A 71-year-old northwest Kansas woman has been charged with trespassing for entering the city animal shelter to care for dogs she felt weren't being treated properly.
Melissa Scott pleaded guilty recently to trespassing at the city animal shelter, where she said the dogs didn't have shelter from the sun and lacked water, The Hays Daily News reported. She went into the fenced-in area, which is located at the city wastewater plant, sprayed down the dogs and held up blankets and boards to block the sun.
Scott appeared before Hill City Municipal Judge James Deines and pleaded guilty to trespassing. But she also told Deines about her concerns and denied climbing a chain link fence to get into the area where the dogs are held.
"I'm 71 years old," she said before her court appearance. "I don't think I'll be climbing no fence."
Hill City Police Chief Russ Ingle said the dogs are not mistreated, although he said some come to him in poor shape. Ingle said 10 to 12 dogs a year are impounded by Hill City, a town of about 1,400 residents in northwest Kansas.
"They have 5-gallon water pans," he said. "If they are out of water, they lay in it or knock it over."
He also said the dogs' pens are shaded, with concrete floors and igloo-type dog houses, and the site has received high marks from inspectors.
Scott said she would pay her $50 fine and stay off the property. But she also plans to approach the city council about the issue.
"I don't feel like I can sit still so long as that is going on," she said.