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Williston couple claims police left their dog in car to die

WILLISTON, N.D. — A Williston couple is claiming that police officers locked their dog in a hot car while searching their home and then left the dog to die while they spent nearly a week in jail.

Samantha Chadwell and Jerry Demarre posted bond and returned home on Thursday after being jailed on possession of marijuana charges. Hours later, they realized that their wire terrier, Jade, was missing.

They say they eventually found the little dog dead inside their car the next day after a neighbor noticed a smell coming from the vehicle, The Williston Herald reported.

Williston police deny the couple’s claims that officers left the dog to die in the car.

On July 31, Chadwell said she and Demarre were asleep around noon on July 31 when police entered into their house, equipped with a search warrant. She said they thought the couple was running a “chop shop.”

Instead of stolen car parts, police found marijuana. Chadwell and Demarre were arrested and are facing felony charges for felony drug possession and drug paraphernalia.

While police were searching, the couple said they were handcuffed.

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Demarre said Jade was loose in the yard, along with the couple’s golden retriever, Blaze. The terrier’s barking prompted an officer to pick it up by the collar and put the dog in a sedan sitting in the driveway, Demarre said.

Demarre said he asked repeatedly if animal control was going to come for the dogs and was told several times they would be cared for.

“The whole time they just said we’ll take care of the dogs, and they did take care of one dog,” Demarre said.

Chadwell’s friend, Patti Mischke, said she arrived at the house about an hour after the couple was taken to jail. She said she found the golden retriever, but couldn’t locate Jade. She said she asked officers, who were still at the house, about Jade’s whereabouts, but was told they didn’t know.

Williston police deny the couple’s claims and released a statement Friday that said their allegations “are not factual.”

Police say the couple’s two dogs were at the house while detectives searched inside, and that once they were finished two hours later, both dogs were put back inside the house.

When officers returned later in the afternoon, they were met by two women, one of whom said she was there to take care of the dogs.

Upon leaving, officers said they saw both dogs in the house, according to the statement.

Information from: Williston Herald, http://www.willistonherald.com

This article was from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

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