puppy in a bagForty-four-year-old Mary Snell of Bernalillo County, New Mexico, got a brand new baby Chihuahua. Snell named her 8-week-old furry friend Baby and she seemed to be really excited to show her off to all her Facebook friends. But she wanted to get the point across exactly how tiny little Baby was so she stuffed him in a Ziploc freezer bag and had her son, 21-year-old Britton James Engel, take a photo.

We all know that putting a living thing in a plastic bag is a bad idea. A really bad idea -- it's deadly. Even Mary Snell, the woman who put her puppy in a plastic bag, knows this. She and her son were arrested because of this photo and facing felony animal cruelty charges. We all know she went too far just for a photo, but have the police gone too far as well?

I think she just had a momentary lapse of judgement. She didn't intend to hurt the puppy. The top of the bag wasn't sealed. It was a moment in time -- probably only lasted as long as it took to take the photo. The police say that the way the puppy was in the bag with its nose pressed up against the sides could have killed the dog, depriving her of oxygen. Baby, thankfully, is doing just fine and wasn't harmed. She's living with another family member for now.

Snell and Engel are still charged with a felony. That's very serious. And seems a little too harsh for the crime. I'm not saying what she did was right -- it was wrong. But we have to look at intent. She didn't intend to hurt the puppy. The puppy wasn't hurt. She thought it was funny. It's certainly not at all funny. But perhaps a misdemenor with some community service at a humane animal shelter is more fitting in this situation. 

We've all done things we realize was wrong. It happens. We're human, not perfect beings who never make mistakes. Nowadays though, our mistakes are often broadcasted on social networks and the world can see, and therefore we get judged on a grander scale. And maybe because of the internet and all this social networking, we are too quick to share too much or make some kind of funny point with a photograph in order to get some sort of reaction from our online friends. Who knows. Today everything is so instant. Too fast. Too much. Maybe we aren't stopping and thinking. Taking a moment to realize, hey this is a bad idea.

Snell could have proved her point by taking a photo of the pup next to a coffee mug or even just her hand. I certainly do not tolerate animal abuse, or abuse of any kind. This is a terrible thing, and a terrible story. I'm glad abusers get caught from posting photos of abuse they inflicted on others -- they deserve to be caught and held accountable. I just feel that Snell didn't intend to abuse the puppy and made a mistake that thankfully didn't harm the pup. Justice can be better served in this case by education.

What do you think? Does this mother and son deserve felony charges for this?