A woman in Raleigh, North Carolina, is baffled by a serious charge she is facing following her apparent act of kindness. According to WRAL News, 24-year-old Kathryn Nilsson found a German shepherd mix running loose last month, and after failing to find the dog’s owner, she took the “stray” to the local animal shelter where she hoped the dog would be safe until an owner came forward.
But her good intentions instead resulted in a larceny charge. After finding the dog in the Five Points neighborhood, she knocked on doors to see who the pooch belonged to – then she took the dog to the Wake County Animal Shelter, where she left her contact information.
She explained to the news agency:
I didn’t want the dog to get hit by a car or anything like that, and I felt like the shelter was a place where that wasn’t going to happen to her.
But the dog’s owner, Joanna Pittman, had been told by neighbors that someone stole her dog and she filed a report with the police. Shortly thereafter, the police “connected” the lost dog with her owner and filed a larceny charge against the woman who had dropped her off at the county animal shelter.
Pittman has stated that she doesn’t want Nilsson to face charges, and Nilsson’s attorney, Ben Brown, admitted that this is unusual, but not unheard of, stating:
It is unusual when someone is trying to help and then gets charged. It does happen.
Nilsson is a dog trainer in the area and she also volunteers sometimes at the animal shelter where she took the wayward dog. She has support from area residents and is hopeful that things will soon be resolved. The Wake County District Attorney’s Office did not respond to WRAL’s request for a comment.
So what should you do if you find a dog running loose? If there is no identification on the dog, it is usually advised to transport the pup to an area animal shelter to allow owners the opportunity to be reunited. It is unclear why this rule of thumb advice resulted in charges for Nilsson.
Nilsson is due back in court on October 1.
(Screenshot via WRAL)
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