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Criminal Charges Filed Against Rescuers, Owners In Dalmatian Case

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HARNETT COUNTY — Last week, a dalmatian was taken or stolen, depending on who you talk to, from her owners. Criminal charges have been now added to the mix. While the situation is growing more complicated, life for Duchess is growing easier.

Angie Tompkins was one of several people who took Duchess from her owners, because of concern for her health. The owners, the Moats, have filed criminal charges against her for larceny and trespassing.

She says she would do the same thing over again.

"I sure would. Look at what happened to her. Her foot was gone," she says.

Duchess has faced a number of obstacles, but she has come a long way in the last two weeks. Her veterinarian says her amputated leg is doing fine. It is the severe infection inside her that is doing the most harm.

However, antibiotics are turning things around. Stephen Tompkins helps care for Duchess and says she is a changed dog.

"She's 100 times better. She didn't deserve what life has given her," Stephen says. "She's one of the sweetest dogs you'll ever meet."

Duchess has touched the hearts of everyone who knows her story. Donations of more than $1,000 have been coming in from as far away as Austrailia.

Angie says she does not have any plans of giving her back.

"No, I don't want to. Not after what I saw her go through," she says.

The Harnett County Sheriff's Department decided Thursday to press charges against the Moats for misdeameanor animal cruelty.