Watenpaugh receives max sentence in domestic violence, animal cruelty case

Oct 16, 2015 6:28 PM by News Staff

A Palo Cedro man who told his ex-girlfriend he killed her Pomeranian and then fed it to her without her knowledge was sentenced to seven years in prison Friday.

In August, a Shasta County jury found Ryan Eddy Watenpaugh, 35, guilty of nine felonies, including domestic violence, stalking, animal cruelty, and false imprisonment.

The case made national headlines when Watenpaugh was arrested in September of 2014.

His ex-girlfriend told police her Pomeranian, Bear, went missing after she and Watenpaugh had an argument that ended with him assaulting her. The following week the two had reconciled, and Watenpaugh cooked her a meal that was purported to be pork. The next day the victim received a text message from Watenpaugh asking how her dog tasted.

DNA tests revealed the meal Watenpaugh made for that night actually was pork, but prosecutors say a pair of severed paws left on the victim’s doorstep were Bear.

On Friday a judge struck down the defense’s request to place Watenpaugh on probation, saying “this is not a run-of-the-mill domestic violence case, and that Watenpaugh would continue to be a danger to women he dates in the future.”

Watenpaugh will be eligible for parole after he serves half of his sentence. He is currently being held in the Shasta County Jail awaiting transfer to a state prison.


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