NH woman accused of pushing golden retriever into lake, watching it drown

MERRIMACK, N.H. (WMUR/CNN) - A New Hampshire woman is facing an animal cruelty charge after police say she intentionally drowned her elderly golden retriever.

Nancy Bucciarelli, 66, faces a misdemeanor animal cruelty charge in the death of her 11-year-old golden retriever, Bailey. (Source: WMUR/Hearst/CNN)

Nancy Bucciarelli, 66, was arrested Friday. She faces a misdemeanor animal cruelty charge in the death of her 11-year-old golden retriever, Bailey.

Police say Bailey was winded while walking around Naticook Lake on June 8.

Bucciarelli then allegedly pushed the dog off a dock and into the lake. She did nothing to help as Bailey struggled in the water, authorities say.

"It is a sad story. It's unconscionable to think what this defendant is charged with,” said Chief Denise Roy with the Merrimack Police Department.

Witnesses told police they noticed the dog struggling and tried to help, but it was too late.

"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.

Roy says a possible motive for the drowning is not clear.

Bucciarelli was released from custody on personal recognizance. She is set to appear in court later in June.

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