National News

Woman finds dogs duct taped inside hot car, owner won't be charged

Posted September 15, 2021 9:31 a.m. EDT

— A woman called 911 when she found two dogs duct-taped and locked inside a hot car in a south St. Louis parking lot.

The dogs were wrapped in what appears to be plastic wrap.

Part of the encounter was caught on camera, and you can hear the unidentified dog owner ask, "Why you calling the cops for? Can you stop her recording me?"

Rachel Bishop, who recorded the video, answered, "Because this dog has been in here barking its head off, I've been here for 40 minutes.”

Bishop recorded the video when she saw the car in the Planet Fitness parking lot. She didn't want to go on camera but shared the statement she sent to animal control officers with news outlets.

Bishop called the St. Louis Police Department, who dispatched firefighters because their officers were busy. The firefighters found the sunroof of the car open and two dogs inside that they described to be "wrapped up in plastic." One was stuck underneath a stroller and blanket, the other was under the front seat.

The St. Louis Police Department said, according to their 911 notes, animal regulation investigated the incident and determined no crime occurred.

But Melanie Wade, who owns a grooming business and rescues dogs, saw the video posted in one of her animal Facebook groups and is fighting back.

“They were taped," Wade said. "Their front legs taped down to their body. Their back taped together. Their back legs taped to them. Their muzzle taped on one dog ... the other dog had a muzzle on under the front seat of her car.”

Bishop's statement said the woman claimed she taped the dogs up because they'll chew on themselves and to keep them from barking. Once the animal control supervisor arrived, he spoke to the woman for awhile and ended up letting her drive off with the dogs.

That worries Wade, who said, “It's a crime, and if you don’t think it is, let somebody duct tape you, your face, your legs and your hands, and stuff you under the seat of a car for 45 minutes in the St. Louis heat in the summer.”

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