Criminal Justice

Woman who says she rescued neglected dog faces trial for theft and obstruction

Judy Camp still believes she was doing the right thing when she took home a stranger’s partially blind guard dog who was, she says, kept outside “in a sea of garbage” in near-freezing weather.

Neighbors had also complained about how the blue heeler was treated by his former owners. But the Washington state family filed a theft report after the pudgy pooch—that Camp renamed Tank—disappeared. When Camp took the dog for a veterinary checkup a few days after she acquired him, an Okanogan County sheriff’s deputy was soon on the scene, the Spokesman-Review reports.

As Deputy Dave Yarnell collected the animal’s medical records, Camp tried to make a quiet exit with Tank. However, a confrontation ensued in the parking lot, and she was eventually charged not only with pet theft but lying to police and obstruction. (Yarnell says Camp elbowed him in the ribs. She says the deputy shoved her into the side of her car.)

Although Camp subsequently offered Tank’s former owners $500 to give up their dog to her, and they accepted, the case was nonetheless scheduled to go to trial Thursday. A trespass count was dropped after the owner of the property from which she took Tank declined to pursue the matter.

Camp could have taken a plea, but she is going to trial because she says she did nothing wrong. If convicted, she could get as much as three years, the newspaper reports.

“I did nothing wrong,” she said. “I did everything right.”

The Spokesman-Review says it attempted without success to reach the county sheriff’s office and the Okanogan County prosecutor handling the case for comment.

Hat tip: New York Daily News.

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