Alleged dog killer pleads not guilty

January 22, 2009 2:17:04 PM PST
A 27-year-old man accused of beating his girlfriend's 7-pound dog Godiva to death pleaded not guilty to felony animal abuse charges in San Mateo County Superior Court this morning.

Ryan Reeser was charged with killing the 6-year-old miniature pinscher about three weeks after the animal's Nov. 20 death.

Prosecutors say on that day he punched Godiva's face and body, dislodged the dog's eye from its socket and dumped the mortally wounded animal in a plastic storage container before leaving it to die a block from his home, according to Chief Deputy District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe.

Reeser allegedly told his girlfriend that Godiva had gotten out and was nowhere to be found.

The next day, his girlfriend's father found Godiva's body, and Peninsula Humane Society & Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals investigators allegedly found blood in Reeser's house leading to the laundry room area, Wagstaffe said.

The district attorney's office charged Reeser with two separate felony counts of animal cruelty and a misdemeanor count of destroying or hiding evidence after obtaining necropsy results and conducting several interviews with him, according to Wagstaffe.

The necropsy showed the dog suffered bruising in 13 different places and died of blood loss and injuries incurred from blunt trauma.

Reeser remains out of custody in lieu of $100,000 bail. His preliminary hearing was scheduled for April 29. He faces up to three years in state prison if convicted.