Imagine taking a dive into icy water during winter. Imagine the gasp that comes out of your mouth when your body enters the frigid waters, the way you feel your heart might stop, how you just want to get out of it and warm up. How you might shiver and shake afterwards. Now imagine being pushed into the water.
Every year, up to thousands of people take part in the polar plunge (or polar bear plunge) where they jump into icy water to raise money for charities. Deciding to participate if you want to is up to you, but things become murkier if you’re letting your dog 'participate'. Recently, a man who posted pictures of himself pushing a Labrador into icy water during a polar plunge event in Massachusetts caused uproar, with people demanding animal cruelty charges get set against him.
The incident, which occurred at a polar plunge for the Special Olympics, also resulted in the Special Olympics releasing a statement about it. They claimed that they are troubled by the animal being put into such a situation and they wanted to make sure that everyone knew they were certainly not condoning such an incident.
So, what's going to happen to the owner of the dog? Mascpa Law Enforcement jumped on the case and decided that since there was no intention to hurt the dog further, state law did not define the act as animal cruelty. The owner is not going to be charged with anything. Apparently, after the dog entered the water he remained in there for a few seconds. Then he was towelled off and taken to a warming tent by the Wilbraham police offers. He was then taken to a veterinarian to be checked out and was said to be in great health. Although the dog was thankfully okay after such a horrendous experience, this by no means makes it acceptable for pet owners to put their furry friends into such situations. While you’re making the choice to jump into the icy water, your dog can’t say if he wants to or not. Pushing him is making that decision for him. Isn’t time people stopped using animals for their enjoyment or forcing them to partake in human activities?
*Image courtesy Flickr Creative Commons