April 14, 2014 in City, Region

Okanogan woman fined, sentenced to community service in dog theft case

Judy Camp found guilty of obstructing justice last month
By The Spokesman-Review
 

Judy Camp sits with her blue heeler.
(Full-size photo)

The Okanogan County woman who says she rescued a dog from deplorable conditions at a junkyard in December must pay a $768 fine and serve 100 hours at area animal shelters, a judge ruled last week.

Judy Camp was found guilty of obstructing justice last month in what prosecutors pursued as a dog theft case. Camp took a blue heeler, also known as an Australian cattle dog, from property near Twisp on a frigid December evening hours after learning of his existence on an Internet messageboard.

A veterinarian said the dog, which Camp adopted and named Tank, was dangerously overweight and his vision impaired. Scarring also indicated either a botched neutering attempt or that Tank’s scrotum had frozen to the ground, the veterinarian said.

Criminal charges were filed after Camp lied about owning Tank to a sheriff’s deputy and attempted to secret him away before he could be returned to his owners, according to court documents. Camp later bought the dog for $500, but prosecutors still sought charges of pet theft, making false statements and obstructing justice.

An Okanogan District Court jury cleared Camp of the two more serious charges but found her guilty on the misdemeanor charge of obstruction. A judge on Friday handed down the sentence, which will be scrubbed from Camp’s criminal record if it is fulfilled within 10 months.

After the initial story about the case ran in the Spokesman-Review, several readers asked how they could contribute to Camp’s legal fund. Camp has set up a Paypal account for donations. Money can be sent to her email address at erwinslileden@aol.com. Those who wish to mail her may do so at: P.O. Box 14, Carlton, Wash., 98814.


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