California man killed ex-girlfriend's dog, then fed it to her, police say

A Redding, California man was arrested last week after he claimed to have killed his ex-girlfriend's dog, cooked it, then served her a meal prepared with its meat, ABC 7 reports.


According to the restraining order filed against him, the victim's Pomeranian, "Bear," went missing in early August after she had a violent argument with Ryan Watenpaugh. The two broke up, but temporarily reconciled in early September, during which time Watenpaugh served the victim a home-cooked meal.

On September 7, he sent her a series of menacing text messages, one of which read, "Oh and ps. How's your dog taste? I thought it was better with BBQ and those Hawaiian buns."

"I guess u could bury what u didn't eat," he continued. "Ahh. The smile on my face when u read this is priceless."

Sergeant Todd Cogle of the Redding Police said that his department was trying to verify whether Watenpaugh's claims were accurate or merely him "being mean," as he later told police.

"We obtained some evidence that will be tested to determine whether or not what he said [about cooking the dog] is true," Sgt. Cogle said.

He told police that he did, in fact, place two Pomeranian paws on the victim's porch at 1 a.m. on September 9, but that was only so his ex-girlfriend would know the dog was dead. He denied having any role in its death, though.

"It's good that the victim sought help when she did and got it," Sgt. Cogle said. "Reading the text messages, you can really get a sense of how this relationship was extremely toxic, like a pressure cooker of anger and resentment. There was not going to be a happy resolution."

Watenpaugh is out on $250,000 bail after being charged with suspicion of stalking, animal cruelty, and kidnapping. He is also being investigated on weapons charges, as officers found an unregistered AK-47 and illegal high capacity ammunition magazines in a search of his home.

Watch a report from ABC 7 below.