A New Bedford, Massachusetts woman can be seen in a viral Facebook video as she courageously prevents an alleged animal abuser from leaving his property. The video has been viewed more than 30,000 at the time of this article.
Pilar Aguiar heard about the dog being beaten while on social media. Police weren’t on scene and the Facebook video appeared to show a man beating a yelping dog with a pipe-shaped object.
Brian Harrington of Odie’s Place Animal Rescue was one of the people who saw the video and contacted New Bedford Police Department shortly before 2 p.m. on Wednesday. He can be seen on a video taken at the scene after he had filed the complaint. Brian then went to the man’s home to wait for police to arrive.
The problem is police still hadn’t arrived two and a half hours later. When Pilar saw the lack of police presence to save the dog, she decided to contact police personally. Pilar stated during a phone interview with The Standard-Times
“I’m at home watching and I’m just getting so mad. I went to the back door and started banging. Come out and give me the dog so I can take it to the vet. I said, ‘You ain’t going nowhere.’” ”
Pilar arrived at the Cottage Street property and decided to do a Facebook live broadcast showing her confrontation with the suspect. At one point she heard the car in the driveway being started with a remote. She quickly got back into her vehicle and blocked the car in.
The video works just fine. Please click the center play button…
It was then the suspect came outside. At one point he can be seen talking to police on his cell phone telling them Pilar was blocking in his car. It was then and only then police came to the scene, arriving at 5:02 p.m. Pilar told officers she was fighting for the dog’s rights.
Police Chief Joseph C. Cordeiro stated during an interview that “We encourage people to call police, but not become involved and place themselves in harm’s way.”
One dog and three puppies were removed from the property and Cordeiro confirmed on Thursday that police filed paperwork with the New Bedford District Court to have Miguel A. Martinez charged with animal cruelty. The case will have to be reviewed and probably cause found before Martinez can be formally charged.
Pilar said she never considered the danger involved and was glad to have saved the dog. Police say the person who shot the video and Pilar don’t know each other.
A change.org petition has been started asking for the removal of NBPD chief of police and ACO for negligence in response to a dog beating which states they:
“…were negligent in their response to a dog being beaten with a pipe, after arresting the man the NBPD issued a statement blaming the neighbor who took the video of the beating. The animal control officer has a grudge against a wonderful rescue in our area who exposed his shady and illegal dealings and I am sure this was a non problem according to the animal control officer. Also the Mayors office has been silent on this and we no longer have confidence in the police chief or ACO to do their job properly.”
Pilar is posting updates on her Facebook page where she states police aren’t putting the correct times in their reports. Odies Place Animal Rescue posted
“According to this official police call log a police officer arrived and cleared the call at 4:08 pm and according to this police log the ACO is claiming they arrived at house around 4:30 pm which DID NOT HAPPEN until after 5 pm which is what they told every media outlet when police had to be called for car blocking driveway as Pilar’s video shows. . Animal control arrived at 5:08 pm not 4:34 pm so either they arrived and did nothing or they never arrived AT ALL because nobody seen them anywhere near there until after 5 pm.
The monster was home at 4:30 pm and nobody made contact until Pilar did at 5 pm.”
One update she posted Friday states that during a phone conversation with Chief Cordeiro he asked her if she was willing to sit down with their internal affairs investigators so they can do an investigation about everything that’s going on about a second dog that was left behind on the property.
According to her Facebook page, Pilar says the wrong dog was seized, leaving the injured dog behind.
I wanted to write on this because this scenario happens all too often. Especially with dogs. Animal advocates hear about or witness animals being abused or neglected and nothing is done when police or animal control is contacted. In many cases help doesn’t arrive in time.
Let this be a warning to abusers that women animal advocates CAN and WILL go to this extreme to save the life of an abused animal. You have been warned.
Source (this link has a line through it if you are in Europe because under EU privacy regs there is no access to Europeans).
Odies Place is also posting updates on the case so be sure to check their community page.