Dog owner who abandoned confused elderly Labrador in park escapes charges

A dog owner who was filmed dumping her elderly Labrador in a park in a heartbreaking video will not be charged.

Maria Bruce, 63, was identified as the owner of 13-year-old Henry after footage of the heartless act went viral and led to a wave of tips about who she was.

Bruce told Clark County Animal Control officers that she felt she could no longer keep the pooch and that she’d “run out of options”.

She will be fined, made to pay for the cost of Henry’s care and is also not allowed to own dogs for the next two years but she escaped criminal charges after signing a confession.

Tear-jerking footage emerged of Bruce dumping him at a park in Portland, Oregon, US, on August 6.

The confused Labrador seemed excited at the prospect of going for a walk and was seen wagging his tail.

He was then led into the forest but, moments later, Bruce ran back out without the pooch and drove off in her Tesla.

Henry is now in foster care and will be put up for adoption in the coming weeks, local news outlet KOIN reported.

Clark County Animal Control spokesman Susan Anderson said: “Our animals trust us and depend on us for their survival.

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  • “If rehoming is the only option, pet owners have a responsibility to do so humanely, so as to not betray that trust.”

    In other news, Daily Star Online recently revealed how animal charities fear that dogs could be abused or abandoned by people who blame them for spreading coronavirus.

    Scientists in Canada have claimed that stray dogs may have transmitted Covid-19 to humans in China after eating infected bat meat.

    Caroline Allen, Chief Veterinary Officer at the RSPCA, told Daily Star Online: "It is really important to note that this is just a theory.

    "There is currently no evidence that dogs were the origin of this virus and no evidence that they are playing a role in the spread of Covid-19, which is a disease transmitted between humans.

    "It is vitally important that people do not abandon their pets or harm stray dogs on the basis of this theoretical paper or misleading reports, as this could have a huge impact on animal welfare.

    "We would encourage people to stick to the latest government and medical advice and visit our website for more advice around pet care during the crisis."

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