Elderly Man Out of Doghouse After Illegal Stroll with Pooch


The bizarre case of a Glendale, Ore., man who took a neighbor's dog for a walk against the neighbor's wishes ended up in an Oregon courtroom.

The Roseburg News-Review reports that 84-year-old Thomas Ritchey was initially charged with felony theft, but his charge was reduced to trespassing.

Police said Ritchey approached his neighbor's dog Aug. 8 to check on its welfare because the weather was hot and the animal was lying very still. Ritchey said he decided it would be good to give the dog a walk.

The 24-year-old neighbor said she had faced eight months of harassment from Ritchey over her dog, with notes repeatedly left on her door. The neighbor also argued that she feared she might be sued if her dog injured Ritchey.

The neighbor said she had contacted the district attorney's office, asking the charges to be dropped because of Ritchey's age but received no response.

But when the neighbor and Ritchey showed up in a Douglas County, Ore., courtroom Oct. 23, the charge was dismissed because the arresting officer was a no-show.