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Harford County Grandmother Gets Her Dogs Back After Arrest

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Alex DeMetrick has been a general assignment reporter with WJZ...
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HARFORD COUNTY, Md. (WJZ) — An emotional day in court for an 81-year-old Harford County woman. Mary Root’s unexpected plunge into the legal system began when her dogs got loose.

She was booked and jailed. Her dogs were taken away.

Alex DeMetrick reports Wednesday Mary Root finally faced a judge.

There were prayers outside Harford County District Court.

“I’m thankful to God for keeping me in good shape through this,” Mary Root said.

The ordeal began with her seven small dogs when some of them got out of her home and onto a neighborhood road.

Citations and an order to appear in court followed. Then came arrest and a mugshot when she missed that court date. Root spent two days in jail.

“And I sort of clutched my bible and was crying and went to sleep,” Root said.

“It was a decision of the court when a court hearing was not attended, and we certainly respect the decisions of the court,” said Michael Comeau, Sr. Asst. County Attorney.

But for the 81-year-old grandmother, going to court Wednesday is still an emotional journey. She originally faced thousands of dollars in fines, but prosecutors and her lawyer worked out a deal–a $500 fine with all other charges set aside.

And she will no longer have to visit her dogs at her daughter’s home. A lock on her gate and warning bell on her door means her pets can return with her.

“My dogs, they keep me company and I love them,” she said.

“I had a mother. I have dogs, you know. And we’re not totally heartless when we deal with these cases,” Comeau said.

“I don’t know whether I’ll ever be the same because I do feel bruised and I’m going to try to recover and get back in my home best I can,” said Root.

A contractor has volunteered to secure Mary Root’s property. She hopes to have her dogs home by Saturday.

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