WOODSTOCK – Police said a story about a puppy, since dubbed Woodstock, being found on the side of the road after being abandoned turned out to be just that – a story.
An animal cruelty investigation by the Woodstock Police Department has found that Woodstock was not abandoned in a pillow case that was duct-taped shut, but rather given to a woman who then concocted the whole story, Police Chief Robert Lowen said.
Hope A. Sanchez, 38, of 407 Woodbine Lane in Fox River Grove, now faces a felonious disorderly conduct charge for allegedly filing or causing the filing of a false police report, police said.
The investigation, which began after the abandonment incident was reported last week, took police to a Woodstock apartment where nine other puppies were found, along with the puppies' mother, according to a department news release.
The two people at the apartment told police one of the 10 puppies was given to a family counselor, Sanchez, who also teaches as an adjunct professor at McHenry County College.
Police said Sanchez apparently took the puppy to an MCC class and told students the made-up story.
"So [it is believed] Sanchez takes it home and for one reason or another can't keep the puppy at her house," Lowen said. "So she takes the puppy to the class she teaches and concocts this story that while she was riding her motorcycle, she saw a pillowcase moving and rescued a puppy."
A student in Sanchez's class called Hoof, Woof, and Meow Animal Rescue, where all 10 puppies are being kept, and then called the Woodstock Police Department. The puppies were relocated to the shelter while the mother, said to be a "therapeutic service dog" for one of the residents of the apartment, was left at the residence. Police said there was no evidence she was in immediate danger.
After police spoke to Sanchez on Wednesday and conferred with the McHenry County State's Attorney's Office on charges, Sanchez on Friday turned herself into Woodstock detectives.
Sanchez posted the $1,000 bond and a court date was scheduled for 9 a.m. May 12.
All 10 puppies are reported to be doing well at the rescue shelter, which is now accepting applications for adoption.