NEW BEDFORD (CBS) – Disturbing video viewed more than 70,000 times on Facebook appears to show a man beating his dog with a pipe. In the video, you can hear the dog’s screams, and see a man follow it, occasionally appearing to hit it.
New Bedford Police have now charged 41-year-old Miguel Martinez with animal cruelty, confiscated his dog and her three puppies, and brought them to the Animal Rescue League of Boston. “They’ll just receive ongoing care and love for the duration of their stay,” said Mike DeFina of the ARL.
Neighbor Rob Machado took the video of the alleged abuse in the backyard of a Cottage Street home around 1:30 Wednesday afternoon. He told WBZ he took it as evidence, so he would have something to show police. “I was in shock,” he said. “I was like, ‘I don’t understand why someone is treating a dog like that, period.’”
Machado gave the video to Brian Harrington, the owner of local shelter “Odie’s Place Animal Rescue.” Harrington told WBZ he immediately brought it to the police and filed a report. However, he said police didn’t show up to the home to rescue the dogs until 5 in the afternoon. He knows because he sat in his car and watched the house. “There could’ve been more abuse in that three hours,” he said. “And nobody did anything.”
In the meantime, local animal lover Pilar Aguilar saw the video on Facebook and rushed to the house. When Martinez tried to leave in his car with the dog in the backseat, she pulled up her car and blocked him in until the police arrived.
The New Bedford Police Department posted on Facebook, writing, “New Bedford Police urge residents to contact 9-1-1 the event of any emergency, including animal cruelty as it is happening. While recording a video can certainly help provide valuable evidence to the police, calling 9-1-1 during a suspected crime as soon as possible is the best way to ensure police are able to respond and to ensure public safety.”
Rob Machado said he recorded video so his allegations would be more than hearsay. He went to police headquarters Thursday evening to meet officers and clear up the situation, but said he was told no one was available to interview him at the time.
The dog and her three puppies were checked out by a veterinarian and appear to be in good health. They will still at the Animal Rescue League while the case is investigated.