By Keith Eldridge
Tacoma, WA (KOMO/CNN) - A Washington state man now admits he brutally attacked a neighbor's dog with a hatchet or a similar tool.
The last time we saw the golden retriever Kona, he was recovering after nearly being killed by a next-door neighbor.
Police reported it as a hatchet attack, or at least some type of hammer, that Ricky Knowles took to Kona's head because the dog had been barking.
Neighbors heard the dog's yelping and rushed to get police there.
"This was a horrific crime, I mean this poor dog was beaten in the head with a hammer," said Amber Chenoweth with the animal protection group Pasado's Safe Haven.
Members of the group crammed the courtroom as Knowles changes his animal cruelty plea to guilty.
Also in the court was Kona's owner, Sam Hokanson. His family has since moved away from that house.
"I didn't want to see the guy but I knew that I needed to be here to show the court I think he should pay for what he did," said Hokanson.
The prosecutor said the standard range for animal cruelty is one year in jail.
"A year is better than nothing. What I wanted was the felony. That's what I wanted because I want him to know he did something wrong," said Hokanson.
And how is Kona doing today?
"I've put some new pictures on Facebook a couple of days ago. He's playing in the sprinkler. He has his hair back, he's energetic and like nothing ever happened," said Hokanson.
But something did happen, and even though Knowles is still out on bail, he'll eventually have to pay for it.
Knowles will be sentenced in September.