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In Your Corner: Shih Tzu Snafu

OKLAHOMA CITY – An apparent mix-up involving a Shih Tzu lands an Oklahoma grandmother in handcuffs.

DeBorah Revels, 59, says she never saw it coming.

“I’m laughing, but I’m also hurt,” she said. “That was hurtful, embarrassing, shocking.”

Last week the grandmother was in city court answering to a misdemeanor traffic citation when a judge had her arrested for failing to pay a misdemeanor dog ticket from more than 11 years ago.

“You got to be kidding. You’re kidding! ‘You guys are going to hold me for a dog ticket?’ A Shih Tzu,” she said.

The ticket from 2001 alleges DeBorah failed “to confine her white Shih Tzu or terrier-type dog”, then refused to acknowledge or sign the citation.

“I don’t remember ever seeing it before, ever and come on, 12 years ago,” DeBorah said. “What do you remember 12 years ago? You don’t. I can tell you this. I’ve never owned a white Shih Tzu.”

We tracked down the neighbor who filed the complaint with animal control.

Linda Schafer said, “It was a little Shih Tzu.”

DeBorah has owned a Pomeranian breed but “Puffy” wasn’t white.

News Channel 4’s Scott Hines asked Schafer if she could have confused DeBorah’s golden Pomeranian with a white Shih Tzu.

“No, it was white,” she said. “It was not a Pomeranian.”

DeBorah calls her neighbor’s allegation a sham but said she’s more appalled at the way the judge handled the situation.

“If the judge had said, ‘You know Miss Revels, I’m going to give you the opportunity to pay the ticket,’ and told me the amount of the ticket,” DeBorah said. “That was never said in the courtroom. Matter of fact, I was never even told I was being arrested for the ticket in the courtroom. So I was shocked when I went outside and ended up in handcuffs.”

Oklahoma City Deputy Municipal Counsel, Cindy Richard, tells the In Your Corner team the judge acted appropriately and DeBorah’s arrest wasn’t so much “about the underlying dog charge” as it was her failure to pay the ticket “or show up for court” way back in 2001.

DeBorah said she can still feel the handcuffs around her wrists.

“[I feel] humilated, shocked, surprised, thinking this crazy,” she said. “I’m thinking you have people out here committing crimes. I’ve never been arrested in my life.”

Unfortunately the ticket is all we have to go on.

We requested an incident report but the city’s archive system doesn’t go back that far.

Plus we’ve learned the animal control officer who wrote the citation is no longer with the city.

A hearing’s scheduled for city court later this month.

We’ll be there every step of the way.