Case Snapshot
Case ID: 19961
Classification: Stabbing, Beating, Neglect / Abandonment
Animal: dog (pit-bull)
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Attorneys/Judges
Prosecutor(s): Michael Morrissey


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Friday, Sep 20, 2013

County: Norfolk

Disposition: Open
Case Images: 2 files available

Suspect(s) Unknown - We need your help!

Case Updates: 4 update(s) available

A stab wound to her right eye. A split in her tongue. A dislocated shoulder, elbow, wrist and ankle.

These are some of the grisly injuries suffered by a pit bull recently found in Quincy, and authorities are now looking for the person or people who tortured the dog.

The injuries, described by a veterinarian as "horrific" from "clearly repetitive" abuse, were too severe, and the dog had to be destroyed.
"We're concerned that an individual who might do this to an animal, God knows what they're capable of," Norfolk County District Attorney Michael Morrissey said.

Morrissey and Quincy Police Chief Paul Keenan are urging residents to call police if they know anything about the dog or her owners.

Keenan said all calls regarding donations should go to the Animal Rescue League of Boston, which is offering a $5,000 reward for any information leading to the perpetrator in the Puppy Doe case. People can make donations by clicking here.

The nonprofit Animal Legal Defense Fund is offering a $2,000 reward for any information leading to the arrest and conviction of the perpetrator. Other Puppy Doe reward accounts have been set up on crowdfunding sites like GoFundMe.com and CrowdRise.com.

Anyone with information about the dog can call the Animal Rescue League of Boston at 617-226-5610, email cruelty@arlboston.org, or call Quincy Police Detective Thomas Pepdjonovich at at 617-745-5774.

Police said the dog, named Puppy Doe by the Animal Rescue League of Boston, was found Aug. 31 when a Carrolls Lane resident saw the battered dog lying near the Whitwell Street playground and the Quincy Medical Center campus. Investigators said someone clearly dropped off the dog because her injuries were so severe that it was impossible for her to walk.

Dr. Martha Smith-Blackmore, vice president of animal welfare for the Animal Rescue League of Boston and the veterinarian who performed the necropsy on the dog, said the pit bull was 1 to 2 years old and weighed roughly 18 pounds, less than half the normal, healthy weight of a dog that age and breed.

Smith-Blackmore said the dog suffered from starvation and showed signs that it had been kept in a tight, constrictive space by her abuser. She had a plethora of physical ailments, including dislocated limbs, a fractured skull, stab wounds, broken ribs and a serpent-like split to her tongue.

"What's so exponentially disturbing about this case is that the dog was hurt on purpose over and over and over again," Smith-Blackmore said.

Although some of the dog's trauma was consistent with being hit by a truck, Smith-Blackmore said she's certain the injuries were caused by abuse because there was no skin or soft-tissue damage that is seen on animals hit by a car. She also said the injuries appeared to be inflicted at different times.

"There aren't enough words to describe what this dog endured,"" Smith-Blackmore said.

Keenan said he didn't know if the dog was abused in Quincy.

"We don't really have any leads to follow up, so we're looking for anything the public can do," Keenan said.

If you have information on this case, please contact:
Animal Rescue League of Boston
617-226-5610


Case Updates

In reaction to the horrific torture of a pit bull named "Puppy Doe," legislators in Massachusetts say that they plan to file a bill that would create a statewide registry of convicted animal abusers.

State Representative Bruce J. Ayers wants to support a new bill that would create harsher penalties and punish those who have tortured innocent animals in their custody.

Prosecutors said that Puppy Doe was found in Quincy Park with blunt force trauma to the chest, burns, a stab wound to the eye, multiple vertebrae fractures and dislocated joints. The rescue team claims that they had never seen such a horrific case of animal cruelty.

Animal lovers, Norfolk District Attorney Michael W. Morrissey, State Representative Bruce J. Ayers, the Animal Rescue League of Boston and many other officials gathered in Pageant Field to attend the vigil in remembrance of Puppy Doe. Everyone in attendance expressed their want for a reform of state animal cruelty laws.

The legislation has been named the "PAWS" Act, Act of Protecting Animal Welfare and Safety. This bill would not only aim to keep dangerous individuals away from owning a pet, but it would also increase the fines of first offenders up to $10,000, as well charging re-offenders up to $20,000 with a 10-year prison sentence.

The Puppy Doe bill would also increase the fines of hit-and-run drivers involved with animal accidents from $50 to $2,000 with the possibility of jail time. Legislation also proposes that all animal shelters, breeders and pet stores should be required to monitor the registry of offenders before selling or giving an animal to anyone.

Chelsea Giudice, an animal lover and pit bull owner, says, "What's happened to this dog, and to the thousands of other cases we do and do not hear about, is utterly despicable. I completely support this bill and everything it stands for. Abusing anyone or anything, let alone a defenseless animal, deems someone completely unworthy of any dignity or respect."

Though this bill has gained mass attention, it is not the first bill filed this session that has brought up the matter of animal cruelty and the need to increase penalties associated with animal abuse. Many bills such as An Act to Ensure Adequate Care of Animals in Cities and Towns, An Act to Prevent Farm Animal Cruelty, and many more have addressed this subject.

The Quincy Police Department has been diligently searching for Puppy Doe's abuser, asking the public for tips and going as far as to trace her ownership history all the way to Connecticut. Though Puppy Doe had been bought and sold several times on Craigslist, investigators have managed to find her last known owners who have agreed to cooperate with the investigation. Though subpoenas have even been issued to trace cell phone records of those involved with this case, no arrests have been announced so far.

Ali Fretwell, another animal lover and pit bull owner, says, "I think that animals have been neglected by our legal system. Animals have become a part of families across the country and the people who purposely hurt helpless animals should be punished more than a small fine. Even more, they shouldn't be allowed to own an animal ever again."
Source: Neon Tommy - Oct 5, 2013
Update posted on Oct 14, 2013 - 8:13PM 
A vigil is planned in Quincy, Massachusetts Saturday night, for a dog that was tortured so badly it had to be put down.

Authorities say the female pit bull was found near a park in Quincy August 31st.

Detectives say she appeared abused, starved and suffered from multiple broken bones.

She was in such bad shape, veterinarians had to euthanize her.

Police still have not made an arrest in this case.
Source: Turn to 10 - Sept 28, 2013
Update posted on Oct 14, 2013 - 8:08PM 
Rewards on offer, petitions are fired up, and two Facebook groups are gaining members -- all in the name of a puppy who was found beaten, burned, and with broken bones, abandoned in a park in Quincy.

Dubbed "Puppy Doe" by animal rescue officials -- the Boston Herald claimed to identify the dog's original owner -- police are on the hunt and asking for the public's help, for information leading to the arrest of the person responsible for their "sadistic" abuse of the animal over an extended period of time.

Police are worried that the abuse of Puppy Doe may be part of a bigger problem, and other animals may be at risk. "It is highly unlikely that this level of sadistic cruelty could be shown to one animal and not be part of a pattern involving other animals or perhaps vulnerable people. We need to find the person who did this and see what else they are doing," said Norfolk District Attorney Michael W. Morrissey, during a plea to the public last week, asking individuals to send any information to authorities related to the case.

After being found in Quincy on August 31 and brought to a veterinarian, Puppy Doe had to be put down due to the extent of her injuries.

Besides burn marks, a laceration to the eye, and broken bones that had been pulled apart, Puppy Doe weighed less than half of the normal weight for a healthy dog of her size, according to officials. "Words cannot adequately describe the shocking suffering that Puppy Doe endured or capture the urgency in identifying who did this to her," said Mary Nee, president of the Animal Rescue League.

Since the story made national news, Nee said the organization has been "deeply moved" by the outpouring of support from people all over the country who are looking to help identify the person who inflicted "such pain and suffering on Puppy Doe."

A vigilante Facebook group has joined the ongoing search for the perpetrator, and is accepting tips from the general public to pass onto Quincy Police and officials looking into the case. Quincy Police said that thousands of calls have been pouring in. "We want to see those persons punished for this crime," according to a statement on the Facebook group's page. The group, called "Help find the torturers of Puppy Doe," had more than 4,000 likes as of Sunday morning.

On the Animal Rescue League of Boston's official website, a fundraiser was started to help further the investigation. The Animal Rescue League of Boston is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of Puppy Doe's abuser. Misty's Journey and Second Chance Rescue in New York City added an additional $10,000 in reward money over the weekend.

Funds donated on behalf of Puppy Doe in excess of the ARL Boston reward will go directly toward preventing future cases of animal suffering, cruelty, and neglect, according to the organization's website.

A petition has also been started, called "Justice for Puppy Doe," which calls for changes to the state's animal abuse laws, and getting rid of the option to give away pets for free on Craigslist. The group has an accompanying Facebook page with the same name, already with more than 16,000 followers.

The petition, which is addressed to Craigslist CEO Jim Buckmaster, was created after news surfaced that Puppy Doe's original owner had to give her up due to breed restrictions, and decided to do so through an ad on Craigslist. "It's beyond words that this sweet, innocent dog, that once knew love, had to suffer this violent, evil fate," the petition organizer's wrote. "But at the very least, if the banning of 're-homing,' and 'giving away' of pets was [removed from] Craigslist, there would be a small amount of justice in her name."

As of Sunday, the petition had 12,000 supporters who signed their names to the cause.

Anyone with information is urged to contact the Animal Rescue League of Boston at 617-226-5610.
Source: Boston Magazine - Sept 22, 2013
Update posted on Oct 14, 2013 - 8:02PM 
An abused and emaciated pit bull found on Quincy's streets late last month has provoked an intensive search for the dog's torturer, who law enforcement officials said may be a repeat offender.

The injuries to the dog were extensive and grotesque, pointing to the starvation and abuse of the animal over a prolonged period, officials said.

"It is highly unlikely that this level of sadistic cruelty could be shown to one animal and not be part of a pattern involving other animals or perhaps vulnerable people," Norfolk District Attorney Michael Morrissey said in a press release. "We need to find the person who did this and see what else they are doing."

The female pit bull, estimated to be 1 to 2 years old, was found Aug. 31 around Carrolls Lane, near the Whitwell Street Playground and Quincy Medical Center campus. Veterinarians have since put down the dog, saying that she was too injured to be saved.

Morrisey said investigators did not know whether the dog had been abused in Quincy.

In a summary report by the Animal Rescue League of Boston, veterinarians said the dog weighed 18.2 pounds, compared with a normal weight of 40 pounds for a dog of that age.

The dog had evidence of burns on its nose, the report said, its tongue had been cut into a serpent-like split, and the right eye appeared to have been stabbed. X-rays showed multiple skull and facial fractures, dislocated joints, blunt force trauma to the chest, and multiple vertebrae fractures.

Martha Smith-Blackmore, a vice president with the rescue league, said she typically sees instances of intentional animal abuse once every few months, but this case was by far the worst she has ever seen.

"The degree of sadism that had to be involved . . . The fact that there is a multiplicity of types of injuries -- pulling, beating, stabbing, burning, mutilation -- it speaks of just the worst type of abuse that could happen," she said in an interview.

She added that many abuse cases probably go unreported as animals are simply discarded in the woods or the trash.

"Fortunately, with the increases in awareness and understanding with the real link of animal cruelty and potential violence against people, and awareness of society that we won't stand for animals being harmed, there is interest in investigating and prosecuting these cases," she said.

Quincy police Lieutenant Jack Sullivan agreed on the importance of finding the perpetrator.

"There is a good chance that this person has abused something or someone else at some point in time," said Sullivan.

At a press conference Tuesday afternoon, Quincy Police Chief Paul Keenan said there were no leads in the case, but photographs of the dog have been released "in the hope that someone will recognize the dog."

Anyone in Eastern Massachusetts with information about the case is asked to call the Animal Rescue League of Boston, Law Enforcement Department, 617-526-5610; send an e-mail to cruelty@arlboston.org; or call Quincy police Detective Thomas Pepdjonovich at 617-745-5774.
Source: Boston Globe - Sept 20, 2013
Update posted on Oct 14, 2013 - 8:10PM 

References

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