Boise animal welfare leader charged with grand theft gives puppies to sheriff, will fight charges
Troy Jackson, executive director of Northwest Animal Companions, was arraigned on a charge of felony grand theft in Jefferson County on Tuesday.
Jackson is accused of misrepresenting himself and not returning a dog and her puppies to their Jefferson County owner. Jackson has said his only intention was to get the mother of the puppies veterinary care for injuries believed to have been suffered in a collision with a car; he said the owner helped him load the dog and her five puppies into his vehicle. He'd been communicating with the owner by phone and fax, offering to help get the puppies adopted. Jackson was arrested at his Boise home on Dec. 9.
Tuesday morning, before his court appearance, Jackson says he dropped the five puppies off at the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office. The puppies' mother, Barbie, is still in a foster home in the Boise area; she needs surgery for a broken pelvis, Jackson said.
Jackson said the courthouse was full Tuesday morning, and he was given three petitions that Jefferson County residents had started.
"One is a demand for charges of cruelty and neglect against the dogs' owner, one is to have the prosecutor drop the charges against me, and one is to have the sheriff and prosecutor removed," Jackson said Tuesday afternoon. "There are Jefferson county citizens who I had never met and never had any contact with."
Jackson said he has retained prominent attorney Chuck Peterson. He said a supporter in North Carolina is footing the costs of his legal defense. Jackson has no plans to take a plea bargain.
Many have asked whether the dogs' owner will be charged with neglect/animal cruelty for failure to get Barbie treatment after she was injured. Jackson said a veterinary assessment of her injuries indicated that she had been injured several weeks before he brought her to Boise for treatment.
Sheriff Blair Olsen said Tuesday that he has not received any official veterinary records from a licensed veterinarian. He says he has received some "unofficial notes."
He said the sheriff's office has documentation showing that Torres tried to seek treatment for his dog the day before Jackson showed up to offer help.
"We also have documentation that the dog was mobile and being cared for," Olsen said.
For those reasons, the sheriff said he has no plans to pursue neglect or cruelty charges against Torres.