New Bedford Police have charged a woman and a juvenile who appear to have abandoned an eight-year-old cocker spaniel on Allen Street this week. The alleged incident was caught on video and went viral all over social media.

The woman faces charges of animal cruelty. The juvenile is charged with animal cruelty and witness intimidation. Police say the public response to the incident was overwhelming and that countless tips from the public led to the arrest of the suspects.

The indignant now-former dog owner denies that she abandoned the animal. She claims she often left the dog to roam free and that it is capable of finding its way home. That is illegal as there are leash laws, and dogs are not allowed to wander unattended. It is also unthinkable to many pet owners to allow a defenseless domesticated animal out alone.

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I don't know what is in this woman's heart, but it sure seems to me as though she was at the very least negligent in dropping the dog off on the side of the street, even if she was not intentionally abandoning the animal.

The family has lost its pet because of the juvenile's foolish behavior, which includes moronic social media rants once a video of the incident went public, and then confronting the person who posted the original video while going live on Instagram. It's possible she may love the animal but certainly has a funny way of showing it.

Domestic animals are completely dependent upon their humans for their survival. In return, most offer unconditional love and loyalty, even when mistreated. To violate that trust by placing a domestic animal in jeopardy is unacceptable whether or not harm is intended. For that reason, an eight-year-old cocker spaniel must wait to find a new home with humans who might better consider its wellbeing.

Good luck, buddy.

Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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