When making faces at dogs is outlawed, only outlaws will make faces at dogs — in Vermont

Jayna Hutchinson, 33, of Lebanon, N.H., was charged with cruelty to a police animal and resisting arrest after a July 31 incident in West Fairlee, VT. Police responding to the report of a brawl were approached by Hutchinson, who told one officer she had been assaulted the day before by one of the men in the brawl.

Vermont State Police Sgt. Todd Protzman declined to take her statement on the grounds that she was drunk but offered to take her statement at another time.

Hutchinson then approached Protzman’s cruiser, where his dog Max was waiting.

Putting her face within inches of the window and “staring at him in a taunting/harassing manner,” Protzman wrote in an affidavit. “While the defendant taunted my canine, Max was focused on the defendant and the perceived threat she presented to him,” the affidavit said. “He was no longer focused on me and the other officers at the scene.”

Best quote goes to state attorney Will Porter, who subsequently dropped the charges:

“I think it was going to be difficult to prove her conduct changed the dog’s behavior,” Porter said. “Most of the time (in harassment cases) people would come tell the court what it felt like. Dogs can’t do that.”

Woof.

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