MSPCA: No charges in dog's controversial polar plunge - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

MSPCA: No charges in dog's controversial polar plunge

Lincoln's polar plunge has ignited a debate on animal cruelty. (Source: CNN) Lincoln's polar plunge has ignited a debate on animal cruelty. (Source: CNN)
(CNN) - A dog participating in a polar plunge event in Massachusetts prompted calls for animal cruelty charges against the owner, but after completing an investigation, officials decided on no charges at all.

The pictures, which show 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.  

It's led to hundreds of calls, e-mails 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."

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. 

"We couldn't keep up with the negative comments. Many of them were profane-laced and unprofessional," said Capt. Timothy Kane.

Video shows Lincoln was led over the hole in the ice by his owner, who nudges him in, not forcefully pushing him in. Lincoln's total time in the water was about 4 seconds, before being lifted out, wagging his tail.

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."  

MSPCA law enforcement division has also become involved. After looking at the facts, it ruled there was no malicious intent to hurt Lincoln. More so, it stated this was not an instance of animal cruelty, as defined by state law, therefore, Lincoln's owner will not be charged with any criminal activity. 

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