Missouri Woman Faces Criminal Charge After Rescuing Stray Dog on Frigid Night

Written by: Phil Monahan

Diesel was brought to a shelter in a different county from where he was found, which caused the problem.
Photo via stltoday.com

Jessica Dudding and her family were out looking at Christmas lights in Lincoln County, Missouri, when they saw a Yellow Lab tied to a pipe in a vacant lot. The dog was just sitting there with no one around. Since the temperature was well below freezing and dropping, Dudding called the police. However, the sheriff’s deputy who arrived wasn’t much help:

A deputy told Dudding the county had no facilities for strays, and Dudding said she couldn’t keep the dog herself because she already had two of her own.

The deputy told her the nearest shelter was in Wentzville in St. Charles County, but he wasn’t sure they would take a dog from Lincoln County.

Dudding took the dog to the Wentzville Police Department, and that’s where she made a fateful decision: to ensure that the dog would have shelter, she lied about where she had found it.

The dog’s owner eventually claimed Diesel, but now Dudding faces a misdemeanor charge for lying to the police.

What do you think? Does the intent mitigrate the crime, or should Dudding just accept her fate as the price for doing the right thing?

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3 thoughts on “Missouri Woman Faces Criminal Charge After Rescuing Stray Dog on Frigid Night

  1. Mark Weisgurt

    She did what she thought was the right thing and should be commended for it. However, in doing so she did break a relatively minor law and should be held accountable. I believe she should talk to the prosecutor and/or judge and try to garner some kind of deal. An apology and a promise not to lie to the police again in exchange for a reduced fine and removing the misdemeanor from her record.

  2. Cally

    Clealry Lincoln Co. needs a shelter of its own. If any of the authorities care about animal safety/cruelty then the Duddings should be given a warning period. Their intentions were admirable. The dog was reclaimed by the owner, who should be given a warning for animal cruelty. Common sense should rule the day.

  3. TLC

    This is the reason most people wont get involved to help humans or animals. The first officer who stated the neighboring county would not take this animal only enticed the good samaritan to lie so that the animal was protected.
    Let the good samaritan off with a warning about the untruthful statement of where the dog was found. However, a hefty fine for the dogs owner should be set to pay for the cruelty charge, shelter’s resources, the police involvement and a reward to the good samaritan for saving a dog that could have certain perished in the freezing temperatures.


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