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Woman arrested for theft of dog belonging to sheriff's deputy

Sometimes, criminal charges appear cut and dried, but other times extenuating circumstances can blur the lines between right and wrong in some people's eyes. For instance, what would you do if you saw a living creature in distress? Would you consider breaking the law and dealing with the legal consequences later in order to protect and preserve its life? When you add to this equation the possibility that depending on the circumstances, taking action to protect life might not actually be wrong and you can see how murky some legal waters can become.

A woman in Elk Park, North Carolina, is facing theft charges because of an action she allegedly took that may have saved a dog's life. According to reports, the woman took the dog out of her neighbor's yard after noticing the animal had been left alone for an extended period. In a letter she sent to the sheriff's department, the woman said she thought the animal was dead until she saw him raise his head, then she knew he was in poor condition.

The woman claims several dogs left in the yard of her neighbor, a sheriff's deputy, had no food or water dishes and were "weak and heartbreakingly pitiful." She allegedly took one of the animals and gave it to someone else who would take care of the dog. The sheriff's deputy, who was vacationing at the time, claims he had made arrangements for the feeding and watering of the animals while he was away, but the dog she took had contracted worms, which can result in malnourishment.

Reports indicate that the sheriff's department waited over three weeks to charge the woman, hoping she would give the dog back or reveal its location. They claim they only filed charges when she would not comply. Arguably, the woman could have chosen a solution more in keeping with the law, but a good criminal defense attorney can help her overcome these theft charges and carry on with her life.

Source: Avery Journal, "Woman arrested for theft of sheriff deputy's dog" Caroline Harris, Jun. 11, 2014

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