I would be wrong.
On July 22 the Monterey Herald reported that a 6-week-old Chihuahua with red toenails had been found crying, abandoned in a lavender pet carrier behind a restaurant in downtown Salinas, California.
He was brought in by a Good Samaritan to the Monterrey County SPCA.
The story of the abandoned pup spread across the country and even went international with the warning that if the former owners are found they could be facing charges for "animal cruelty, abandonment, deprivation of food, water and shelter and permitting an animal to go without care."
A $1000 reward was offered for information that would lead to the arrest of whoever had abandoned the dog who they named Pierre.
There was a national and international outpouring of compassion, outrage and requests to adopt the little guy as happens so often when homeless dogs become media superstars.
But wait. That isn’t the end of the story.
For reasons known only to the Good Samaritan who brought the puppy in, she confessed that she had made up the story. She had bought the dog from a transient thinking that she could find a home for him. When she couldn’t she brought him to the SPCA with a false story.
In California, Animal Control is under the auspices of the police department. Filing a false police report is a serious offense. The penalty can be imprisonment in the county jail for up to one year and a fine up to $1,000.00.
However no real harm was done and the woman was apologetic and remorseful. As an SPCA director said,
Given that she openly did the right thing by giving it to us, and that she is now caught in a lie that made international news, that is probably enough for her. Source
So while someone broke the law and lied to make one dog a superstar that everyone wanted, I keep whining endlessly writing about the thousands of other deserving Chihuahuas waiting in California shelters for forever homes.