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Woman Charged With Hoax After Lying About Finding Abandoned Puppy In Duct-Taped Pillowcase

CHICAGO (CBS) -- A community college instructor has been charged with felony disorderly conduct, after she told her class she found an abandoned puppy inside a duct-taped pillowcase, but it turned out she made up the story.

Woodstock Police began investigating after one of Dr. Hope Sanchez's students informed police of her story.

Police said Sanchez, an adjunct instructor at a McHenry County College, had told her class she found the puppy in the pillowcase while riding her bike on U.S. Route 14 in Woodstock. She brought the puppy to class, and her students called Hoof Woof and Meow Animal Rescue in Gilberts, which took in the puppy.

Hope Sanchez
(Credit: Woodstock Police)

After learning about the puppy's rescue on the news and social media, two people at a Woodstock apartment complex called police and told them the puppy was part of a litter their dog had given birth to in March.

Woodstock Police Chief Bob Lowen said the couple gave one of the puppies to Sanchez, who is a therapist and doctor of psychology, because she was working with their child.

Police were able to confirm the puppy Sanchez claimed to have found was from the couple's litter, and after questioning Sanchez, prosecutors authorized an arrest warrant for one count of felony disorderly conduct for causing the filing of a false police report.


Lowen said Sanchez admitted making up the story after learning she couldn't keep the puppy at her home, and she thought her story would convince someone else to adopt him.

"She was completely embarrassed by it, and remorseful to put everybody through all of this stuff," Lowen said.

Sanchez, of Fox River Grove, turned herself in and posted bail, police said. She was due back in court in McHenry County on May 12.

WBBM's attempts to reach her have not been successful.

A McHenry County College spokesperson says Sanchez is finishing her third semester as an adjunct professor.

"Upon learning of this development, we immediately initiated college procedures related to this personnel issue.  Please be assured that we are addressing this issue in the most appropriate and timely manner, and we are taking every measure to ensure that there will be no impact on our students, or in the classroom," the college said in a prepared statement.

Hoof Woof and Meow Animal Rescue has since taken in all 10 puppies from the litter, including Woodstock, the puppy that had been given to Sanchez. The puppies will be available for adoption by the end of May.

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