Hope Sanchez, 38, (right below), an adjunct psychology professor at McHenry County College, is at the center new case out of Illinois with a rather bizarre twist. She reportedly told her class about her finding an abandoned boxer puppy inside a duct-taped pillowcase. The incident was ultimately reported it to the police and the police determined that the story was untrue. Police charged her with filing a false report even though it does not appear that she went to the police.
Sanchez told her class that she was riding her motorcycle when she spotted the pillowcase covered in duct tape. Police went to her home and found found nine puppies along with the mother. The puppies were all the same age — about five weeks old. Police say that Sanchez, who is also a therapist, provides services for a child of the family at the residence and given the puppy. Police determined that Sanchez was given the dog but that her partner did not want the pet. The mother of the puppies is a therapy dog for the child and was left at the home.
One report says that it was the family that saw the story on the news and called police. However, another report states that the police were called after a student, MCC student Natalie Kawell, volunteered to take the puppy to a shelter and told the shelter about the alleged dumping. The shelter called police and the story reached the media. Both may be true because it seems like the human development classroom story led to the student taking the puppy to the shelter and that that triggered a week long investigation.
What is interesting is that she is criminally charged even though she did not go to the police. It is not clear if her failure to deny the story or confirmed the story was deemed a police report for the purposes of the charge. However, the law allows a charge if you “cause” a police report to be filed. One report says that Sanchez admitted making up the story and said that she had hoped that her story would convince someone else to adopt him. The investigators said “She was completely embarrassed by it, and remorseful to put everybody through all of this stuff.”
Since she gave up the puppy, I am willing to believe that she told the story to generate sympathy for the puppy. I am also willing to believe that she never intended for the police to get involved. Under those circumstances, is a criminal charge truly warranted for “causing” a report to be filed?
Now, the school appears to be moving against Sanchez. The school issued a statement that “we are addressing this issue in the most appropriate and timely manner, and we are taking every measure to ensure that there will no impact on our students or in the classroom.” The school may view this as a felony charge that stemmed from conduct in a class.
The good news is that all 10 puppies to the Hoof, Woof and Meow Animal Rescue. They are slated for adoption and 40 applications have been received. In meantime, Sanchez is slated for a court appearance on May 12th at the McHenry County Government Center to face a charge of filing or causing the filing of a false police report, a Class 3 felony.