An undocumented immigrant from Poland pleaded not guilty this morning in Quincy, Massachusetts, to 11 counts of animal cruelty for allegedly torturing a tiny pit bull dubbed ‘Puppy Doe’ and leaving her for dead in August.
A judge ordered Radoslaw Czerkawski, 32, held on $500,000 bail pending a November 21 pretrail hearing.
Prosecutors said Czerkawski obtained the dog free of charge on Craigslist and spent weeks brutally abusing her before dumping the tormented puppy in a Quincy park. The pet later had to be put down due to the severity of her injuries.
The 1-to-2-year-old pooch reportedly was stabbed in the eye, burned, had her limbs pulled from the joints and had her tongue sliced in half like a serpent.
‘I just want to know so bad why he did it. Why her, of all dogs? What did she ever do to him to make him want to hurt her so bad? She loved everybody,’ Puppy Doe’s former owner Laura Hankins told the Boston Herald.
Investigators said they found Puppy Doe’s blood in the second-floor Quincy residence where the 32-year-old illegal immigrant was living.
According to prosecutors, Czerkawski worked as a home attendant, caring for a 95-year-old Polish dementia patient woman in Quincy, Boston Herald reported.
Police say Czerkaswki left Puppy Doe in the park a day after his client passed away. Her death certificate stated that the woman died from ‘failure to thrive’ caused by her illness.
Authorities do not believe that Czerkaswki had anything to do with the woman’s passing.
When asked during a press conference Tuesday about a motive behind the sadistic animal abuse, Quincy Police Chief Paul Keenan said: ‘Who has a motive for something like this? He’s probably just a sick individual.’
Following Czerkaswki’s arrest in New Britain, Connecticut, Sunday, police in New Bedford, Massachusetts, announced that the 32-year-old was a suspect in the theft of $6,000 from a local church, South Coast Today said.
Czerkawski is accused of stealing and cashing 11 checks from St Lawrence the Martyr Church, where he had stayed between January and April 2012 after telling the pastor there that he wanted to become a priest.
A month after the 32-year-old man left for Canada, the church noticed that three of its accounts were missing a total of $6,000.
Czerkawski, a native of Hrubieszow, Poland, has been staying in the U.S. on a tourist visa that expired last month, according to The Patriot Ledger.
Besides the charges in the Puppy Doe case, which carry a five-year prison term each, he is expected to face 11 counts of larceny by check over $250 and a single count of larceny in a building in connection to the New Bedford case.
The 32-year-old suspect was found at a La Quinta hotel last Wednesday morning, police said, and appeared in New Britain Superior Court Monday to start the rendition process back to Massachusetts.
The charges against Czerkawski is the first significant break in the two-month investigation into the animal cruelty case that sparked outrage among dog lovers from coast to coast.
During Czerkawski’s arraignment Tuesday, animal activists filled the Quincy courtroom to support Puppy Doe. Outraged dog owners and their four-legged friends also waited outside the courthouse.
‘She didn’t deserve what she got. We’re definitely here with our puppies to support her,’ dog owner Kelly Duncan told WBZ NewsRadio 1030.
Cops have spent weeks following the trail of people who have owned the dog, which had been given away at least once on Craigslist’s animal-adoption pages by a woman who owned the dog last year.
Police and much of the public have been on the hunt for the suspect since the female pit bull was found on August 31st close to a local playground.
Quincy, Massachusetts Police, the Animal Rescue League of Boston and the Office of the District Attorney for the Norfolk District in Massachusetts have been investigating.
‘Please be assured that these three agencies are working in concert to identify and hold accountable the person or persons responsible for the torture of Puppy Doe. 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 statement.
The two-year-old dog, found near a Massachusetts play park, had been beaten, burned, starved and stabbed in the eyes in what was described as ‘medieval’ torture.
Animal rescue workers described the injuries inflicted on the pit bull, including a crude split to give it a forked serpent tongue, as the worst they had ever seen.
Veterinarians at the Animal Rescue League of Boston who treated the dog said that she was emaciated and weighed half of what would be expected for a two year old.
The dog’s tongue had been split on purpose. She had also been burned on the nose, stabbed in the eye, and beaten so severely that she could barely walk. The pit bull had to be put down due to the extent of her injuries.
When she was first found it was thought that she had been hit by a car, but the true nature of her injuries soon came to light.
Vet Martha Smith-Blackmore was so shocked by the extent of the abuse that she had to walk away and give herself a break as she examined the dog’s body.
‘Her joints were pulled apart like medieval times,’ she said. ‘She was beaten, stabbed, burned over weeks to months and maybe her whole life. And could not walk.’
The vet added: ‘When I saw how vulnerable she was and I understood immediately the duration of her suffering, my heart collapsed.’
Despite the pain and suffering Puppy Doe had clearly experienced in her short life, staff at the rescue center said she was sweet natured.
‘Within hours of being found she had pain medication, food and love. She experienced some tenderness and some care at the end of her life,’ Dr Smith-Blackmore said, adding that the dog’s injuries were so severe she would have always been in pain if she hadn’t been put down.
As well as the burn and stab marks, the dog’s vertebrae had been smashed from being hit by a baseball bat or board.
Article via Daily Mail