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Orcutt man sentenced in dog abuse case

A disturbing case of animal abuse in the Santa Maria area has been resolved in court with a no-contest plea to unlawful transportation of a dead animal.

20 year old Ryan Durazo pleaded no contest to one of the three misdemeanor charges against him linked to the disturbing case of a dead dog, identified as a toy poodle named “Sam,” thrown from a moving vehicle at a group of demonstrators at the corner of Clark and Bradley Roads last year.

“There was a good investigation that was conducted by local law enforcement that was able to determine that Mr. Durazo was in fact the driver of the vehicle from which the animal was thrown,” said Catherine Pringle with the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office.

As part of his plea agreement, Ryan Durazo will be on two years of informal probation and will have to complete at least 40 hours of community service at an animal shelter or similar facility regarding the care of animals.

“I know that he has animals of his own because we’ve seen pictures of stuff that has happened on social media and are very disgusted with it,” said Sam’s owner Sophia Schwark. “Maybe by him going in to walk dogs, take care of them, do things with dogs, cats, animals, maybe it will give him a different perspective on how he feels on the inside after what has happened in the past,” she added

Durazo must also participate in restorative justice meetings with the Schwark family through the Conflict Resolution Center.

“I’m looking forward to meeting with him face to face to find out why he did what he did,” Schwark said.

Durazo must also pay a $140 fine.

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