The dog known in Massachusetts as “Puppy Doe” may have only lived a short and in the end, tortured life, but the whole world is coming together to mourn the loss of this beautiful baby.
Puppy Doe was found on August 31 in Quincy Park, near Boston, with signs of abuse so horrendous that it horrified even the most seasoned animal abuse officers and veterinarians who treated her.
Puppy Doe suffered from burns, her eyes being poked, her tongue split, starvation and many broken bones and soft tissue damage. Unfortunately, her injuries were so terrible and she was suffering so that veterinarians at Boston’s Animal Rescue League determined that the humane thing to do was to euthanize the approximately 1 year old pup.
The necropsy, in part reads, “In my opinion and with a reasonable degree of medical certainty, this dog suffered from “battered pet syndrome”, a deliberate abuse condition characterized by multiple fractures, dislocations and soft tissue injuries from a variety of causes in a variety of stages of healing.”
Dr. Martha Smith-Blackmore, who performed the necropsy, told Boston's WBZ of the alleged abuser, “They’re a freak, a total freak.”
The case first outraged Bostonians, but word has spread around the country and around the world, bringing to attention the severity of many problems that affect dogs in this country, including pit bull bans and discriminatory practices that separate families and put dogs at risk, as well as the dangers of rehoming dogs as “free to good home” in newspapers and on sites such as Craigslist.
You see, before Puppy Doe was a nameless, broken dog left for dead in a park, she was known as Kiya. Laura Hankins came forward to the police saying that she and her boyfriend purchased the approximately 12 week old pup on Craigslist for $200 last December. Kiya was a beloved member of their family, which also included two other dogs.
However, when their landlord realized Kiya was a pittie, the landlord demanded the family get rid of the dog or move, for fear she would lose her homeowner’s insurance.
Hankins told the Boston Herald that they looked for a new place to live for four months, but couldn’t find a place that would rent to a family with a pit bull plus two other dogs.
Hankins decided to rehome Kiya, using Craigslist again. One woman adopted the dog, but brought her back. The second woman, who Hankins described as “seemingly wonderful” took Kiya and even sent regular updates on the dog to Hankins.
But those updates stopped in July. In tears, Hankins told the Herald, “The guilt and responsibility I felt — my heart broke. It was my responsibility to find her a good home. The list of things done to her are just so inhuman and so disgusting. She was the sweetest dog.”
Police, who are taking this case very seriously because they believe this monster may be a sociopath capable of hurting other animals or even humans, say they believe the woman gave the dog away to someone else this summer. This was even after Hankins told the woman to bring Kiya back if she could not keep her.
Hankins agrees that this person may be hurting something or someone else. “I just want to find whoever did this,” Hankins said. “From what I read I think this is not the first time they did this and probably not the last.”
A total of $15,000 in reward money has been offered by Boston’s Animal Rescue League, as well as Misty’s Journey and Second Chance Rescue in New York City.
This case serves as a reminder to first be aware of any restrictions your landlord, local or state government might have on pets in general, or on certain breeds. Do not get a pet unless you plan on having it for life. If you must rehome a pet in the event of an unforeseen emergency, never offer it to strangers “free to good home.” Always make sure you charge a rehoming fee, if a person really wants to give your pet a good home, they’ll be willing to pay $50. If possible, follow up with the people and do a home visit prior, as well as a periodic visit after the pet is placed. Make sure you have in writing that the people are to return the pet to you if they cannot keep it.
In the meantime, animal welfare advocates also need to keep working on helping spread the word to the public, government officials and insurance companies that Breed Specific Legislation (BSL) is wrong. It separates families and puts dogs at risk of these kinds of incidents. Boycott any insurance company that excludes certain breeds of dogs and let them know why. Refuse to move to jurisdictions that have BSL and write the local officials letting them know they’re missing your tax revenue and why.
The circumstances that lead to these types of incidents need to stop. We need to make it harder for these monsters to have access to animals in the first place.
Editor’s Note: Photo of Puppy Doe, a.k.a. Kiya from the Justice for Puppy Doe Facebook page.
Will you join animal lovers everywhere in helping stop Craiglist from posting rehoming ads and also do something to help end BSL today?