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Woman Causes Debate After Stealing Stranger’s Dog Who She Believed Was Neglected

Photo: TikTok
Images from Zimmer's TikTok of her taking the dog

When a viral TikTok suggests that a Texas woman stole a mistreated dog, the internet broke into a debate over whether or not she had been wrong to do so.

Samantha Zimmer on TikTok (or @streetlifetothesweetlife) posts many videos online about her work trapping and rescuing dogs — who are usually either strays or lost.

However, one of her latest rescues sparked a debate in the comments because, this time, the dog was had a clear owner, but they did not reportedly take care of her properly.

The viral TikTok, posted at the beginning of February, shows Zimmer’s dognapping that took place at least a few months ago, shown with some of the follow-up information she shares in it.

Was this TikToker wrong to steal a mistreated dog?

The video starts with a short clip of the rescued dog, Bertha, in Zimmer’s car.

   

   

On the text overlay, Zimmer writes that she is “googling statute of limitations on theft in Texas,” clearly worried that she’d be facing legal troubles for her choice to steal the “emaciated” dog.

But the dog was clearly in need of help, and Zimmer adds that “she was so hot she was overheating,” before showing a previous clip of her taking the dog.

The dog owner’s neighbor seemed concerned by the theft.

While Zimmer walks Bertha down the street toward her car, she is confronted by one of the owner’s neighbors.

The neighbor, who Zimmer refers to as “some clown,” calls out to her in the video, asking, “Are you taking that dog?”

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Zimmer is honest, but keeps it short, saying “yeah,” but leaving it at that until the neighbor confronts her further, saying that “It belongs to my neighbor.”

Zimmer seems to ignore the accusation of theft, and she makes no move to return the dog.

Instead, Zimmer focuses on the dog’s health in her appeal to the neighbor, as if to convince them that their neighbor should lose their dog for how they’ve been treating her.

She says to the neighbor, “Look at her. She looks like she has never eaten. She’s matted. She probably has heartworms. She can’t breathe.”

If the neighbor continued to confront her after she had stopped recording, it is not shown in the video.

Zimmer was proven right about one thing, but in the worst way.

While we will get to the debate over her choice to steal the dog, Zimmer was, at least, right about one thing.

While, at the point of taking the dog, she only guessed that she “probably has heartworms,” she had tragically read the signs correctly.

At the end of her TikTok, Zimmer writes that after they rescued the mistreated dog, they “named her Bertha,” and that “sadly she passed away from advanced heartworms a few months later.”

So clearly, at the very least, the dog had been terribly unhealthy when she was rescued.

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But how are people online responding to her openness about stealing the dog, even if it was for a good cause?

The comments rallied behind her and the abused dog.

In some ways unsurprisingly, the users of TikTok were more concerned about the visible signs of abuse on Bertha that the TikToker pointed out than the theft of the dog.

Many did not seem concerned about the legality of her actions except for their worry that she would face punishment for it.

The general consensus felt by the sympathetic TikTok users was clearly illustrated in one comment that said Zimmer’s story was “A perfect example of how legality and morality don’t always go hand in hand.”

Another top comment cited a law that might help Zimmer’s case, saying, “It’s now illegal for dogs to be chained outside in Texas!

Meanwhile, some other commentors showed their support for her decision with more lighthearted jokes.

One of the top comments said, “Will 100% pay your lawyer fees,” meanwhile another read, “me: yes officer, it was a 6'3 dude with red hair.”

Unsurprisingly, it seems like the average person is much more sympathetic to a mistreated dog than to a neglectful owner that had it taken; we can only hope that Zimmer does not face any serious legal consequences for it!

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Amanda Hartmann is a writer and editorial intern at YourTango who writes on news and entertainment.

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