A jury said an Okanogan woman was not a thief when she took a guard dog from freezing conditions at a junkyard near Twisp in December, but did say she obstructed justice when trying to keep the pet from a sheriff’s deputy.
Judy Camp said Thursday she had been found guilty of obstruction of justice after what she calls the rescue of a blue heeler (also called an Australian cattle dog) she’s named “Tank.” A jury threw out charges of pet theft and lying to a police officer.
Camp took the dog from the property on a Saturday. When she brought Tank to the veterinarian Monday morning, a sheriff’s deputy arrived and asked her if the dog belonged to her. She said yes, prompting the deputy to inform her the dog had been stolen. While he obtained the medical records for the dog, who he planned to return to the owners, Camp took Tank through a side door and attempted to put him in her car.
A scuffle between Camp and the deputy ensued, during which Camp allegedly elbowed him in the ribs. The obstruction of justice charge was filed for her behavior when the deputy attempted to take the dog from her.
Camp later purchased the heeler from the owners for $500. Tank currently lives with her and her two other dogs.
A charge of criminal trespass was dropped earlier when the junkyard owner - not the owner of the dog - declined to press charges.
Camp said her sentencing is set for next month. Obstruction of justice is a gross misdemeanor with a potential jail sentence of up to a year and a $5,000 fine.