News Index > Sortable News 10/06 - now > December 2006
California Woman Arrested for Helping Neglected Dog
Urge D.A. to Drop Charges against Woman Arrested for Helping Neglected Dog
Mountain View police have charged a 64-year-old British woman name Caroline Donald with petty theft and prowling for feeding a neglected dog on someone else's property. More concerned about the welfare of the dog than her own, Caroline put herself in harm's way to relieve an animal's suffering. For this she is being unfairly punished.
A friend of Caroline's had been feeding the dog and removed a chain collar that had started to embed itself under his skin. She also bought him a doghouse because he was tied up outside without adequate shelter. Caroline's friend alerted the "owners" that there was a tumor in the dog's ear, but they dismissed the suggestion of medical treatment, saying, "It's only a dog," and warned her to stay off their land.
Caroline reported the tumor to the police, who sent animal control investigators out to ensure that the dog finally got treatment. After the tumor was removed, the dog was returned to the squalid conditions under which he was being kept, with junk piled high against the fence and his small area littered with debris. After the dog stopped eating for two days, it was discovered that he had a swollen, infected foot, and he was forced to stand on only three legs. His "owners" again chose to do nothing. When this was reported to the police department, their response was "CASE CLOSED."
Caroline started going in her friend's place to feed the dog and gave him a blanket to keep warm, but the property owners erected a barricade in the driveway leading to the back yard where he was kept. She found that she could see the dog over the fence from the commercial property next door. Being unable to reach his bowl, she used a plastic tube she found on the guardians' property to aim food into his bowl. She took the object with her to her car and used it each time she visited (hence the charge of petty theft).
When the police came, they could have given her a citation. Instead, they handed her a citation, then handcuffed and arrested her, and ordered animal services to take the dogs waiting in her car to the shelter. No charges were brought against the guardians, as police claim they are providing proper care for the dog according to law. Now the dog has disappeared from the site, and his whereabouts are unknown.
What you can do
An arraignment for Caroline Donald is scheduled for Monday, December 11th. Please contact the Santa Clara County District Attorney today and urge him to dismiss the charges against her. Encourage him to focus on prosecuting people who hurt animals, not those who help animals.
District Attorney George Kennedy
Please also cc all letters to:
Mayor Nick Galiotto
Jay Boyarsky, Supervising District Attorney