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Tuesday, Jan 31, 2012County: Wayne
Alleged: Name Undisclosed
A woman who hopes to become a veterinary technician was cited for animal cruelty Tuesday after police found a puppy in the trunk of her car at Dearborn's Sanford-Brown College.
Sanford-Brown Campus President Roger Hosn said the 18-year-old Westland resident was visiting the college to see about enrolling in a veterinary program. Hosn was returning from lunch when he passed by her car and heard barking coming from the trunk.
Using the visitor's sign-in sheet to obtain her identity, Hosn said he located her and took her out to the car along with a Sanford-Brown veterinary professor and tried to explain that it was inhumane to leave an animal trapped in a trunk. The woman opened it up and inside was a shivering, shaking 4-month-old pit bull pup, Hosn said.
"She said she left the latch to the fold-down seat unhooked so if he wanted to, he could just push it down and walk around in the backseat," Hosn said Friday. "I said 'well put the seat down then and let him walk around.'"
The message didn't resonate.
Hosn said the woman refused to put the seat down and then went back inside to continue her visit. At that point, Hosn called for a stall.
"I told (staff) to take her on a tour and keep her busy until police arrived," he said. "We wanted her arrested."
By the time an officer arrived the dog had already been in the trunk for about 45 minutes, Hosn said.
The animal control officer wrote in an incident report that it sounded like there was in fact a distressed dog was in the trunk and decided to open it using a "personal key." The dog looked to be in OK condition, but the trunk smelled of urine and there were feces inside of it, so it was taken out while authorities looked for the owner. While the officer was interviewing witnesses, the dog's owner walked out of the college and asked what was going on.
The officer explained the situation, to which the girl replied that she was only inside for about 45 minutes, which is fine for leaving an animal in a automobile trunk. She went on to say that she hopes to become a veterinary technician and reiterated that she saw no problem with leaving the dog in the trunk, police said. The officer disagreed and issued her a ticket for animal cruelty. The puppy, meanwhile, was taken to the Dearborn Animal Shelter for holding until a court hearing to determine whether or not it will be returned to the owner.
Whatever the young woman's plans for continuing education, she can cross off Sanford-Brown from them.
"We would never admit her and she is not welcome on campus," Hosn said.
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