Charges were dismissed last week against a St.Charles woman accused of stealing a man’s dog and putting it up for sale on Craigslist.
As reported by the Courier News, Jennifer M. Aviles, 26, was charged with theft Dec. 9 for what she claimed was an honest attempt to rescue a sick-looking German shepherd and find it a good home.
Aviles was arrested for taking the black dog from the yard of his owner’s St. Charles home on Dec. 7th. The night the GSD was taken, its owner found a Craigslist.com ad advertising the dog for sale for $150. Although Aviles cooperated with police and returned the dog the next day, the owner wanted to press charges.
According to a Daily Herald story, Aviles says she found the emaciated GSD on the side of the road and believed it had been abandoned. The dog, Kaiser, was in fact a rescued animal being nursed back to health at the time of the incident.
In this case of ‘he said, she said’, the charges were dropped because of lack of concrete evidence that a theft had occurred.
Elgin resident and GSD owner Christine Frasco has mixed feelings about the incident. “If you were someone who cared you would have taken it to a vet or shelter,” Frasco said, “Posting it for sale is trying to profit.”
Frasco drove hundreds of miles last year to adopt her dog from a kill-shelter in Ohio just days before his scheduled euthanasia date. The GSD, named Chance, was seriously underweight and suffering from a post-neuter infection at the time of adoption. Chance’s ribs were jutting out, and he was on antibiotics to fight the infection that caused painful swelling of his testicles and prevented Frasco from being able to give him a bath. Although he is a healthy and happy dog today, when he was first adopted he could have been mistaken for an abandoned or mistreated dog. Just because a dog appears undernourished does not necessarily mean the owners are neglectful.
“If you think a dog is in danger, call the local authorities instead of taking it off of someone’s property,” Frasco said. “[Aviles] didn’t know what was going on and should have called somebody to see what could have been done legally.”