Is a dog taking the “polar plunge” animal abuse?

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WILBRAHAM, MA – Pictures of a dog participating in a polar plunge event in Massachusetts prompts calls for animal cruelty charges against the dog’s owner.

Pictures showing a man with his hand on a labrador retriever named Lincoln are causing outrage. The images were posted on Facebook by a person who says it clearly shows animal abuse. WGGB-TV has received hundreds of calls, emails and Facebook posts.

Kimberly writes “I am contacting you with great despair, I strongly urge you to do a follow up and prosecute the owner of this poor dog.”

And on the WGGB40 Facebook page – Coleen from Texas comments: Shame on you for airing the dog being pushed into icy water. It should have been sent to the police and animal abuse personnel in your city!

As for the Wilbraham police, the weekend polar plunge wasn’t their event. They say it was a law enforcement torch run event to benefit Special Olympics, which they proudly sponsored and participated in.

Still, after the pictures were posted online, the department was inundated with negative comments and calls.

Captain Timothy Kane said, “We couldn’t keep up with the negative comments, many of them were profane laced and unprofessional”

Special Olympics also weighed in with their own statement saying, “We are troubled that an animal and pet was put into a situation that we in no way, shape or form condone.

Maspca Law Enforcement Division is also now involved and after looking at the facts.  They ruled there was no malicious intent to hurt Lincoln and further, this was no an instance of animal cruelty as defined by state law. Therefore, Lincoln’s owner will not be charged with any criminal activity.

Police deleted their Facebook page following controversy over dog taking ‘Polar Plunge’

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By: Chris Piston

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