Woman Risks Prison to Rescue Freezing, Neglected Dog

“Yes, I could have taken a plea bargain, but that would have been a lie,” Judy Camp said. “I did the right thing for the right reason.”

3.27.14 - Woman Facing Prison for Saving Dog1Judy Camp just did the right thing:  in December she saw a dog chained to a rotting flatbed trailer in the freezing cold, and she saved his life.  But because what she did is technically a crime, she might be facing up to three years in prison.

Camp found out about the suffering dog through a media site and within hours, had driven to the Washington state address.  She saw a tubby, nearly blind dog chained up to a trailer next to a frozen water bowl.  That night the temperatures were going to be below zero and with a bitterly cold wind chill.

“I did nothing wrong,” she explained. “I did everything right.”

Camp freed the dog from his chain, called him Tank, and took him home.  Not long afterward, the neglected dog was surprisingly reported stolen.

She brought the blue heeler to a vet’s office, where she was met by an Okanogan sheriff’s deputy.  She claimed the dog was hers, and while animal control officer Dave Yarnell collected records from the vet, Camp fled.


She was arrested in the parking lot, given a citation for theft of pet and released her. Later that day Camp called up the owners of Tank – whose real name is Duke – and offered to pay them $500 for the six-year-old dog.  The Magruder family accepted, but she still faces charges.

She brought the dog back to the vet for an additional check-up for his obesity, arthritis, and red, runny eyes.  The last time he had been to a vet was when he was a puppy.  In the meantime he had suffered damage to his scrotum, either from a botched home neutering job or from having been frozen to the ground or trailer.

3.27.14 - Woman Facing Prison for Saving Dog3

It has been reported by neighbors that the Magruders have a history of animal abuse and neglect, but because it’s not illegal for dogs to spend their entire lives on a four-foot chain in freezing temperatures in Washington state, nothing has been done to protect them.

Despite now being a proper, loving owner to Tank, Camp still had to go to court today for the charges of theft and obstruction.  She faces three years in prison, but the verdict did not come back yet.

Tank is adjusting well in his new home with his two canine siblings.  He still plunges his nose into his water dish before drinking to make sure it isn’t frozen, but he happily comes when he’s called for treats.

“Yes, I could have taken a plea bargain, but that would have been a lie,” Camp said. “I did the right thing for the right reason.”





22 thoughts on “Woman Risks Prison to Rescue Freezing, Neglected Dog

  1. LWDs, this lady must file a civil suit against the Magruders as soon as she can, especially if she prevails! Please let her know, she must consult the local free legal clinic or her own attorney. This is why giving animals, at least companion animals at least, either guardian ad litem protection or adjusted civil rights, so the abysmally low standards of care such as exists in WA state can be completely rendered moot.

    She’s right: she did the right thing. (Note to others: do not leave without first asking the officer if you are free to go.)

  2. There should not a penalty for doing the right thing. And this lady did the right thing………. they should throw out charges.

  3. Not only did she do the absolute right thing, there should be a million more people just like her! This woman is a mensch, a human being, a person who does good because that’s the right way to live. Don’t you dare put her in jail! She deserves riches and lauds just for existing.

  4. those so called owners sure have some balls reporting a dog stolen they clearly did not want to start with!!!!

  5. This is crazy…she saved Duke’s life. They would have come out there one day and found a poor lonely senior dog frozen to death if Ms Camp hadn’t saved his life. Those idiot people need to be fined for animal cruelty and they should give her back her $500…even though Duke is priceless.

    1. You are so right. I wonder if anyone could set up a fund for her to help w/any and all expenses? I’m in.

  6. First I agree why lie, I would go to court also and stand up for the right of Tank. Then there is the fact that they must not of wanted the dog, they sold him to her for an outrageous price. I am sure it was worth the money to keep him from being with them. So let see here….unwanted dog sold to the lady they claimed stole him, never been to the vets….I would say not quilty!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. Been there, done that, luckily never was caught. I’d still do it if needed. She’s a savior, the “owners” are the violators. What is wrong with the State of Washington?

  8. The obese dog obviously was being fed. Theft is theft. Why didn’t she ask to purchase the dog before she stole it?

  9. I would love to donate to a fund if someone can set one up for her. And to a couple of you Anonomous writers – the dog was soooooooo being taken care of because he was overweight…yah right and so are the children who suffer from malnutrition with those distended bellies, yep, they’re well fed. Get a grip.

  10. The world needs a million more like Ruth! You go girl.. Would gladly donate to a fund to help her out, if someone knows how to go about setting one up. In the end the story is about “TANK” not the previous owners (they should be held accountable) and if Ruth is found guilty, (can’t believe she is being charged) in the end “TANK” will now know what love is and that my friends is priceless…

  11. I hate people who abuse animals. Dennis Praeger loves to ask the morality-based question “if a human and a dog are drowning, which would you try to save first?” I would tell the person to hold on for a minute, and save the dog first.

  12. God bless her. We need more people like this in the world. Xx “A righteous man regards the life of his animals” – PROVERBS 12:10; “If you have men who will exclude any of God’s creatures from the shelter of compassion & pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men” – ST. FRANCIS OF ASSISI; “Never, never be afraid to do what’s right, especially if the well-being of a person or animal is at stake. Society’s punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way.” – MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.; “I hope to make people realize how totally helpless animals are, how dependent on us, trusting as a child must that we will be kind and take care of their needs… (They) are an obligation put on us, a responsibility we have no rights to neglect, nor to violate by cruelty….” – JAMES HARRIOT; “The greatness of a nation & its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated” – MAHATMA GANDHI

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