In Wilbraham, Massachusetts, the owner of a six-year-old Labrador retriever will not face charges after the dog plunged into the waters of Spec Pond for the Law Enforcement Torch Run Polar Plunge, reports wggb.com.
The controversy, surrounding the event which benefited Special Olympics Massachusetts, centered around photographs taken by an onlooker, which implied the dog named Lincoln had unwillingly been pushed into the freezing waters and submerged.
Allegations of animal cruelty and abuse flew through social media sources quickly leading to hundreds of angry comments on the Wilbraham Police Department Facebook page; so many that the organization removed their social media page temporarily.
On Wednesday, an investigation into the incident by the Town of Wilbraham was announced; a two-page statement outlined what transpired. According to the letter, the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals was called in as part of the investigation that involved Lincoln the dog, as well as the dog being examined by a licensed veterinarian. The police and the MSPCA,
“discovered that Lincoln is an avid winter swimmer, who often uses a floatation device when jumping into water for a quick swim during ice fishing excursions with his owner. The day of the Polar Plunge, Lincoln was in the water for roughly five to seven seconds. Following Lincoln’s quick swim, he was immediately dried off, brought in a warming area and taken home ten minutes later.”
The statement ended with the Wilbraham Police Department conveying their respect and love for all dogs.
Special Olympics Massachusetts responded to the incident on their Facebook page stating they had
“plans to look into this matter and take the necessary actions to prevent a situation such as this from ever occurring again.”
According to masslive.com, an email from a woman attending the event stated the following:
“The man brought the dog to the water; he ran the other way. Caught the dog, brought him to the water, dog went in. He didn’t throw him or forcefully push him. Dog got out, shook off and rolled in the snow. Then the owner toweled him off and got him dry. My kids pet the dog after all this and we talked to the owner. The dog was fine, wagging his tail, happy to see the kids. Owner said the dogs loves swimming. He was in great shape and not old.”
Probably the best way to solve the problem would be to restrict the Arctic plunge to only human creatures who want to brave the cold waters. Dogs – well – they can dive into icy waters in the privacy of their own homes.
Follow the National Pet Rescue Examiner on Facebook by clicking here or on Twitter. Please visit and “like” my page.