A woman in California may be getting deported because of her barking pooches.
Ruth Montaño, 39, said she stepped out of her Bakersfield home on New Year’s Eve to buy ingredients for a dinner she was planning. She said she returned to her trailer to find six police cars and close to 10 police officers, two who she claims harassed her. The officers told Montaño her two small dogs – a Chihuahua and a poodle – were disturbing the neighbors.
“I told them that we had not done anything wrong,” Montaño told Fox News Latino.
She claims the officers were shouting slurs at her and threw her against a police car in front of her three children.
Montaño was charged with one misdemeanor count of resisting arrest and one infraction of maintaining an animal that makes excessive noise. Police claim she became agitated when they confronted her and she kicked a police officer.
She denies the allegations.
“One of the officer’s faces was so angry and began telling us that we Hispanics are trash,” said Montaño. “I told them not to disrespect me in front of my children and that just how they demand respect so did we.”
Kern County Sheriff's spokesman Ray Pruitt would not comment on the case.
Montaño spent ten days in jail. While she was detained, she was flagged by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement because she is undocumented. She is now facing a deportation order.
Her lawyer, Jennie Pasquarella, said because there was a complaint about animals, animal control should have showed up at her property – not uniformed officers. She alleges that Montaño was singled out because of her illegal status.
“There is no other explanation in my mind as to why the sheriff would reply so aggressively,” she told Fox News Latino.
Montaño pled guilty to resisting arrest and the animal charge was dropped. She is due in court in September for an immigration hearing.
Virginia Kice, the Western Regional Communications Director/Spokesperson for ICE told Fox News Latino in a statement that Montaño was "encountered Jan. 1 by Bakersfield-based Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) officers" who "released Ms. Montaño on her own recognizance, pending a hearing before an immigration judge."
"It will be up to the immigration courts to determine whether Ms. Montaño has a legal basis to remain in the United States," Kice said.
"ICE is focused on smart, effective immigration enforcement that prioritizes the removal of criminal aliens, recent border crossers and egregious immigration law violators, such as those who have been previously removed from the United States," she added.
Montaño said she can’t believe all she is going through because of her barking dogs.
“There are bigger dogs here [like] Rottweilers and nobody has said anything,” said Montaño. “The other day a pitbull bit a neighbor’s eye out and no one came for the dog.”