A Montgomery County District Court judge found Lynda Carter Altman, who played "Wonder Woman" on TV in the 1970s, not guilty of a municipal infraction after a neighbor alleged she left her dog outside to bark at all hours in tony Potomac, Md., on a block where some homes are valued at more than $3 million.
Neighbor Chrissellene Petropoulos said the woofing of Altman's Labrador retriever would wake her before 6:00 a.m., disrupt the vocal lessons she gives at her home and make it difficult to sleep after 11 p.m. Petropoulos said she tried calling and e-mailing Altman over the course of months to ask her to bring her dog inside more promptly and eventually contacted animal services.
"This is not about a celebrity. It is about a neighbor whose dog is barking," Petropoulos said, adding that Altman sent police to her home, alleging she was harassing Altman, after she complained to animal services.
Marc Hansen, the acting Montgomery County attorney, said his office took the issue to court after an animal services officer issued a barking dog citation based on Petropoulos' complaint.
He said the animal services officer did not witness the barking, but Hansen's office prosecuted the matter according to "the normal course of business" when a county department issues a citation.
Altman's attorney, David Driscoll Jr., said his client prevailed because there wasn't sufficient evidence of wrongdoing.
"The evidence they presented did not support the charge," Driscoll said.
Petropoulos, who now jokingly calls herself "Joan-of-Bark," says she'll refocus her effort on changing state laws to protect "the non-barking people of Maryland."