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Family Seeks Justice for Poodle Allegedly Taken and Thrown by Santa Maria Man

Family Faces Man Accused of Allegedly Killing Dog

SANTA MARIA, Calif. - Sophia Schwark and her family want justice for Sam, the dog they considered a family member that's now dead.

"When you do something wrong you own up to it and you pay the consequences for what you did," says Schwark.

On Friday morning, 20-year-old Ryan Durazo of Santa Maria, the man accused of allegedly taking their dog from their home in Orcutt appeared in front of a judge in Santa Maria.  Authorities say he and a 17-year-old are accused of  allegedly throwing him out of a moving car. Durazo pleaded not guilty.

It's the first time the family has come face to face with the man who was involved in allegedly throwing Sam out of the car and onto a group of teachers who were rallying back in March.

"Unbelievable, I honestly didn't think he was going to show," she says.

Authorities say Durazo and a 17-year-old allegedly threw Sam's body out of the car.

However, the question remains if Sam was dead before he was thrown out of the car? For Schwark she says the last few months have been a reminder of what happened to her 14-year-old blind toy poodle .

"He's at peace now, I wish this could be laid to rest and you know everybody involved would be accountable for their own actions," says Schwark.

Durazo's lawyer, Patrick Fisher, says over the phone that this case of alleged animal cruelty is not what it seems. He says once all of the details of what exactly happened are out, he believes Durazo will be freed of any charges.

Schwark says she wishes Durazo would take accountability for his actions. "You can tell when someone wants to own up when they do something wrong, you can tell he's not ready for it."

Durazo is set to appear in court again on August 23rd.


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