Florida woman fined $500 after bringing stray dog to wrong shelter

A Mount Dora woman says she was just trying to do the right thing, bringing a stray dog to the Lake County Animal Shelter.

Now, she's being ordered to pay $500 after the county says she put false information on a form.

"I saw a stray dog in the middle of the road, picked it up, it was the 4th of July," said Hunter File. "The last thing I wanted was for it to obviously be running loose on the most traumatic day to be a lost dog."

File says she kept the dog for the night, since the shelters were closed.

The intersection where she found the dog is in Orange County, about a mile south of the Lake County border.

"It was down the street," File said. "I could walk there and show you how close it was."

When File dropped the dog off at the Lake County shelter, she filled out a form saying she found it there, instead of Orange.

The form did have a warning on it about the penalty for making a false statement.

In August, she was sent a letter telling her she's being fined $500 for using false information.

In part of a statement to FOX 35, Lake County said, "Correct information is critical to providing health services, finding owners who may be searching for the animal, and other responsibilities."

File found out the dog's owner came to pick the dog up after five days at the shelter, only paying about $17 for a microchip.

She still finds it hard to believe.

"Speechless," File said. "How? Why? I was trying to do the right thing. Is the dog owner also getting a penalty?"

Hunter File recently had the case heard by a special master at the county who upheld the fine.

Now, she says she has to choose if she's going to pay or continue to fight the fine.