If you hate stories about cruelty to animals, give this one a pass. It’s one of the most savagely horrific animal crimes in recent memory and it will break your heart. What’s worse is that the sick, twisted perpetrator is unknown and remains at large. Still reading? You’ve been warned.
This sweet little brindle and white pit bull puppy once had a name. She’s known to the world now as “Puppy Doe,” but once upon a time she was Kiya, and she was loved. When her owner’s landlord decided she couldn’t keep a pit bull puppy, however, a Craigslist ad found Kiya a new home. That’s when the real tragedy began to unfold.
Kiya’s new owner got rid of her a few months later, apparently because she didn’t want her anymore or couldn’t care for her. Somehow, Kiya ended up in the hands of monsters.
On August 23, a passerby found Kiya abandoned near a playground in Quincy, Mass. She was barely alive and could not walk. Authorities named her “Puppy Doe.”
“She was a Rack of Beaten Bones”
Puppy Doe had been tortured. She had been “drawn,” which is a medieval-style torture that stretches the limbs until the joints pull apart. Her wrist, ankle and elbow bones were separated from their joints, and a leg bone was almost broken in half.
“It’s a very intimate form of violence,” said Dr. Martha Smith-Blackmore, who says Puppy Doe was drawn “over and over and over.”
“I don’t know how they did it, but the force was tremendous,” she added. Dr. Smith-Blackmore said she had to take a time out from the puppy’s post-mortem examination to pull herself together before she could complete it. It was that bad. If you can bear it, read her report here.
That’s not all Puppy Doe endured, though. Not by a longshot. In additional to extreme malnourishment, Puppy Doe’s tongue had been crudely sliced in order to create a snake-like split, she’d been stabbed in the right eye, burned on the nose and beaten. She had broken ribs, broken vertebrae and crushed cheekbones.
“She was a rack of beaten bones,” said Dr. Smith-Blackmore. ”When I saw how vulnerable she was and I understood immediately the duration of her suffering, my heart collapsed.”
This ruthless torture occurred over weeks or months, according to Dr. Smith-Blackmore. It’s a wonder this poor dog was still alive. Puppy Doe got a good meal and some loving care, but it quickly became clear she had to be euthanized.
See HLN’s Jane Velez-Mitchell discuss the “Puppy Doe” case here:
This is How Serial Killers Get Started
“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,” said Norfolk District Attorney Michael W. Morrissey in a press release about this case.
“I spoke with Quincy Police Chief Paul Keenan and we share a sense of urgency here, as does the Animal Rescue League [of Boston],” Morrissey added. ”It is prudent to proceed as if the perpetrator or perpetrators have moved on and are now aiming this cruelty and violence at another target and needs to be stopped.” A prosecutor with experience and training in animal cruelty cases will be working with law enforcement on this investigation.
Law enforcement officials are absolutely correct. Whoever did this must be found and stopped as soon as possible. The person (or people) will do this again to other animals, and eventually to humans, too. People do not commit atrocities like this only once.
Pit Bull Paranoia and Craigslist – A Lethal Combination
It appears a combination of pit bull discrimination and naivete about re-homing dogs using Craigslist are to blame for putting Kiya in harm’s way.
“No one was willing to rent to someone with a pit bull and two other dogs. We looked for four months,” Kiya’s first owner told the Boston Herald. “We even offered our landlord more money.” She was horrified to learn later what had happened to her dog. She thought Kiya was happy in a new home and didn’t know she’d been passed on to persons unknown.
Responding to criticism over continuing to allow pet ads on Craigslist, CEO Jim Buckmaster said he will not put a stop to those ads. He said in his blog:
[D]irect rehoming via classifieds is a solution, not a problem. Countless pets find good homes on CL, saved from euthanization (“no kill” shelters are full and 3 million healthy pets are put down yearly). In fact, CL “pets” is a primary tool shelter volunteers themselves use to find homes for dogs and cats they might otherwise have to put down. We at craigslist love animals and are proud of the overwhelming good our “pets” section does in finding them new loving homes. Let’s honor Kiya by (1) not breeding so many pets, and (2) taking care when a new home must be found (CL recommends a rehoming fee).
Well, yes and no. Yes, these ads undoubtedly do find good new homes for many animals in cases where people make an effort and take a few precautions. Yes, charging a re-homing fee is much better than offering a pet for free. No, Buckmaster’s response doesn’t cut it, because there will always be many uncaring people out there who will offer “free” animals, just to get them out of the house and off their hands.
Do the successful Craigslist pet adoptions outweigh the horror stories? Do we have any way to know?
“Puppy Doe“ Inspires Vigils, Reward Offers and Legislation
Heartbroken dog lovers around the country are staging vigils to remember Kiya. Hundreds showed up in Boston on September 28. See a news report about that vigil here:
Organizers have arrangements in place for a huge vigil in New York City on National Pit Bull Awareness Day, Saturday, October 26 from 5-8 p.m.
Massachusetts state senator Bruce Tarr has proposed legislation in his state called Protecting Animal Welfare and Safety (PAWS), which would increase the penalties of those convicted of abusing animals and create an animal abuse registry to prevent those convicted of animal abuse from being able to buy or sell animals.
Rewards abound for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for this soul-shattering crime. The Animal Rescue League of Boston is offering $5,000, the Animal Legal Defense Fund is offering $2,000 and Misty’s Journey/Second Chance Rescue are offering $11,000, just to name a few.
Craigslist CEO Jim Buckmaster has already said he doesn’t plan to drop pet ads from Craigslist. However, if you‘d like to encourage him to at least stop allowing any ads that offer “free“ pets, sign this petition. Care2 will forward it to Mr. Buckmaster on your behalf.
Photo credit: Animal Rescue League of Boston