A South Carolina animal activist was arrested in June and charged with the theft of a dog.
Janice Melton, 43, claimed the dog walked up to her on June 2 as she was watching Columbus County Animal Control officers seize two horses from property owned by Ronald and Donna Beck that were allegedly malnourished. Melton had reported the horses to animal control.
Melton returned to the area on June 3, and according to her account,
I picked her up and put her in my car. I wasn’t on their property. She didn’t have a collar or tags, and she was in desperate need of some help.
According to Melton, the dog suffered from malnourishment and mange. An Associated Press report quoted an unnamed relative of the Becks as saying that the dog did not have mange, but appeared malnourished because it was recovering from parvovirus.
When Melton refused to turn the dog over to police, she was arrested and charged with felony theft. She was also charged on an outstanding warrant accusing her of providing alcohol to a person under 21 years of age.
Woman says dog’s welfare worth jail. Associated Press, June 18, 2003.
Animal-rights activist charged in dog theft. Deuce Niven, Fayetteville Online, June 17, 2003.