REDWOOD CITY -- A San Mateo man pleaded not guilty Thursday to charges he killed his Jack Russell terrier during a psychotic episode.
Ryan Gee, 27, was charged with felony animal abuse Jan. 23 when authorities responded to his home and discovered the remains of his dog, Tipsy, District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said.
Gee, who has a history of mental health issues, purchased the dog as a companion while attending UC Santa Barbara in 2006, and grew close to the dog over the next eight years.
According to Wagstaffe, Gee was alone with the pet in the San Mateo home he shares with his mother and sister and experienced a psychotic break. The man reportedly heard voices that convinced him the dog was a demon.
Gee then allegedly strangled the dog and then cut up its body with a knife. The next day, his family members called authorities after discovering the dog's charred remains in a backyard barbecue, Wagstaffe said.
The man was taken to the hospital and placed on a psychiatric hold, and was later charged with felony animal abuse, Wagstaffe said.
He will return to court for trial Aug. 4, and remains out of jail on $50,000 bond.