'Abandoned dog' returned to his owners; No charges filed

Investigation determined that he had only been in the car for a few hours

The case of the "abandoned dog" named Zipper at Westwood Village, that caused a virtual media storm last month has resulted in the dog being returned to its owners after an investigation found no reason to charge the owners with cruelty. The Seattle Animal Shelter reported that their investigation revealed that despite widespread speculation that the animal had been left in the vehicle for up to six days there was no evidence to support this claim.

They state, "All evidence points to Zipper being left in the vehicle for a few hours during the evening he was taken in by police. While not ideal, and an absolute no-no in warmer months, leaving an animal in a vehicle for a short time is not illegal unless other circumstances pose a threat to the animal’s welfare (e.g., extreme cold weather, access to dangerous items that could be ingested or cause bodily harm, vulnerability to dog-napping if vehicle is unlocked, etc.)."

Zipper has been cared for by the staff at the Animal Shelter for the past four weeks and then was returned to his owners. The shelter said the owners had been "fully cooperative" during their investigation. They note that the original police report stated that Zipper appeared emaciated and they state, "but his eating habits over his four-week stay at the Shelter and a visit to the vet confirmed that while he could stand to gain a couple pounds, he is healthy, energetic and just one of those dogs that is extremely fit."

Read the Animal Shelter report here.

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