A California man was arrested on charges of stalking and animal cruelty after his ex-girlfriend told police that he killed and cooked her dog before feeding it to her.
The woman contacted Redding, Calif., police Sept. 9, telling them she was a victim of domestic violence and stalking by her 34-year-old ex-boyfriend Ryan Eddy Watenpaugh of Pale Cedro. She said she had been physically assaulted numerous times during their relationship which lasted several months, police Sgt. Todd Cogle said.
The woman said she suffered bruises and minor abrasions from the assaults and was held against her will on two occasions while trying to escape.
According to police, Watenpaugh attacked her on Aug. 4, and she ran out the back door of her Redding apartment. When she returned, Watenpaugh was gone and so was her Pomeranian named Bear, Cogle said.
The couple reconciled briefly in early September, and Watenpaugh cooked the woman a meal. On Sept. 7, the woman received a text from Watenpaugh asking her how her dog tasted and referenced the meal he cooked for her, according to Cogle.
Watenpaugh continued to send the victim menacing text messages, stating various things he planned on doing with the remains of her dog, which included returning its paws to her, Cogle said.
On Tuesday, around 1 a.m., the woman heard a truck pull up to her residence. When she looked outside, she saw Watenpaugh walk up to her home, place something near her door and walk away. When she opened her front door to investigate, the woman found a small bag containing dog paws, which she identified as belonging to Bear, Cogle detailed.
Watenpauh was arrested Wednesday by Shasta County Sheriff’s Department and told investigators he sent the messages and placed the dog paws on her porch, but denied killing or cooking her dog, Cogle said.
During a subsequent search of Watenpaugh’s home, investigators and deputies reported finding a Romanian variant AK-47 assault rifle and multiple high-capacity magazines.
Watenpaugh was arrested on charges of domestic violence, false imprisonment, stalking and animal cruelty. Additional charges will be sought regarding the weapons violations. He is being held in lieu of $250,000 bail.