A New Hampshire woman faces animal cruelty charges after authorities say she pushed her aged dog into a lake and then watched it drown, CNN reports. This alleged crime happened over a week ago, but it was only last week that police were able to make an arrest.
Authorities say that on June 8, Nancy Bucciarelli, 66, took her 11-year-old golden retriever to Naticook Lake, near Merrimack. The dog named Bailey was reportedly wheezing and gasping even as Bucciarelli was walking it to a dock. Then, according to Manchester’s WMUR-TV, authorities say she pushed the animal into the water.
Then, according to police, she calmly watched the dog struggle in the three-and-a-half-foot-deep water until it could no longer fight back and drowned.
Witnesses saw the drowning dog, and jumped into the water to try to help, even managing to pull her out. However, it was too late, and Bailey died.
Merrimack Police Chief Denise Roy called what Bucciarelli allegedly did “unconscionable.”
“The witnesses actually are the ones who jumped into the water to find the dog under the water and pull the dog out. They made every attempt to revive the dog, but unfortunately the dog did die,” Roy said.
— Manfred Rosenberg (@4PawShop) June 17, 2019
According to Heavy, Bucciarelli’s Facebook profile, which appears to have been deleted, presented her as an animal lover. Her cover photo was a cat, and a March 2019 post was a link to an article about a proposed law that would make animal cruelty a felony nationwide. For what it’s worth, Bucciarelli herself has been charged with misdemeanor animal cruelty, a state-level crime in New Hampshire.
Another post showed her with a dog, apparently not Bailey, in which she said that “the key to happiness” is to surround one’s self with animals and “avoid idiots.”
Before her Facebook profile was apparently deleted, it was filled with comments about this alleged crime, including from people wishing Bucciarelli ill when she goes to prison. Others called her an “idiot” — apparently in reference to her post about avoiding idiots.
In fact, this “social media frenzy,” as Roy describes it, could actually be hindering efforts to effectively prosecute this case, says the police chief.
“She’s charged with a horrific crime; however, this doesn’t help. This actually feeds into it and makes it worse, and it really stops the process from happening effectively,” she said.
Bucciarelli, meanwhile, has been released from jail on her own recognizance, and is set to appear in court later this month.