A lawyer for a New Hampshire woman accused of pushing her golden retriever into a lake and letting it drown says the dog’s death was an accident and that his client is suffering from unwarranted public scorn and harassment, the Union Leader reports.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, police arrested 66-year-old Nancy Bucciarelli in Merrimack, New Hampshire, earlier this month.
Witnesses alleged that Bucciarelli pushed her aging 11-year-old dog into Naticook Lake and did not nothing as it struggled to stay afloat. The dog later died.
Since the drowning on June 8, Bucciarelli has received threatening letters and was even mailed feces, her attorney Rusty Chadwick told the Union Leader. The response has reportedly prompted her to purchase a home security system.
“It just hasn’t stopped,” Chadwick said. “She’s living in fear of people coming to her house or people following her around.”
In one letter, someone wrote, “I hope your children and grandchildren drown,” Chadwick said.
He said Bucciarelli groomed the dog, Bailey, twice per month. She had just taken him for a rabies shot at the veterinarian three days before the drowning. And there are text messages Bucciarelli sent to her daughter asking her to put a stress vest on Bailey during a thunderstorm.
Bailey also enjoyed the water and Bucciarelli has videos of the dog swimming and playing games, according to Chadwick.
“I’m just asking for people to dial it back, take a breath,” Chadwick said. “I don’t want to be forced to comment on the case and provide facts, but that’s what I did because there’s a whole other story here.”
In some instances, Chadwick said he will be sharing the names of people who threatened Bucciarelli with police.
“Whenever there is an animal case, people will throw caution to the wind and assume the worst of somebody,” Chadwick said.
Online commenters have called Bucciarelli everything from “monster” to “human garbage,” with one person asking, “Can we throw her off a dock and watch her drown?”
“Although this charge is disturbing, we are asking the community to use restraint when commenting on social media,” Roy said.
Bucciarelli had been scheduled for an arraignment Thursday on a misdemeanor animal cruelty charge, but the hearing was canceled because the case was transferred to a different prosecutor, Roy told the newspaper.
Bucciarelli remains free on bail.
[Feature image: Bailey and Bucciarelli/Facebook]