Diane Indelicato, 46, of Ruff House animal shelter has been arrested for felony theft after stealing two pedigree pups and refusing to return them to their owners, instead shipping them to a foster home in New Jersey. But Indelicato, described as a “zealot,” says she was just looking out for the dogs! She told Newsday on Friday that she found the dogs were “infested with fleas” and “didn’t have full mobility of moving their legs or their head because they were so severely matted. Would you give them back to somebody, you know?”
Indelicato came across the dogs on September 17th, when a friend found them wandering without collars or any identification. The friend gave them to Indelicato to groom, and also told the First Precinct. The owners eventually found Indelicato after calling the police, but she said the dogs had escaped. However, the owner’s stepdad saw the two dogs put up for adoption on Indelicato’s Facebook page, and upon returning to her house, found them. She reportedly said they were not his dogs, and demanded he leave. Det. Sgt. Anthony Repalone said, “Perhaps her heart might have been in the right place – she was concerned about the welfare of these dogs – she went about it the wrong way. She went about it illegally.”
Police tracked down the dogs in New Jersey, and they have been returned to their owner. Repalone says there is no evidence of abuse other than “they were not groomed to other people’s standards.” Indelicato is due in court next month, and is taking the arrest in stride. She said, “I just think that’s the way things go for the underdog, pardon the pun.” So, is this lady the hero PETA has been looking for, or should she stick to grooming and let Animal Control handle the rest?