Pit Bull Puppy Doe’s Torturer was Finally Sentenced

Heartbreaking doesn’t even begin to describe what happened to a young pit bull who became known to the world as “Puppy Doe,” but her torturer was caught, and he has finally been sentenced.

Puppy Doe was found abandoned in Quincy, Mass., in August 2013. Her body told the story of unimaginable abuse that had taken place over the span of months. She had been severely starved, stabbed in the eyes, beaten, burned, and her tongue had been split.

The beatings left her with multiple broken bones, and she was also subjected to a medieval form of torture that stretches the limbs until the joints pull apart. Despite all that, she was still somehow alive.

While she did get to experience some love in the end, her injuries were so severe that she was soon euthanized at the VCA South Shore Animal Hospital in Weymouth.

The severity of her injuries prompted further examination and helped launch a police investigation.

“I remember opening the bag with her body in it, and my heart collapsed,” said Dr. Martha Smith-Blackmore, the veterinarian who did the post-mortem exam. “It was immediately obvious this was beyond the pale. It was organized, tactical torture. The first thing I did was pick up the phone and call the DA’s office and say, ‘We have a very sick and deranged person out there.’ ”

Her story also sparked widespread outrage, led to rewards for information about her abuser, inspired petitions and social media pages calling for justice. It also led to the truth about how she ended up in the hands of a monster.

Puppy Doe was once named Kiya, and she had a loving home with Laura Hankins. Unfortunately, Hankins’ landlord refused to let her keep Kiya, and a search for other housing only turned up more of the same discriminatory policies that don’t allow pit bulls.

Kiya was given to another woman, who then sold her to a man who responded to an ad on Craigslist. That man was then 32-year-old Radoslaw Czerkawski, who would later be found responsible for sadistically causing Kiya’s suffering and arrested.

After multiple delays in this case, he was finally found guilty of all 12 counts of animal cruelty he was charged with this week, which left him facing five years in prison for each count.

Ultimately he was sentenced to eight to 10 years in prison, which will be followed by two years of probation. He is already serving time for stealing $130,000 from Janina Stock, the 95-year-old dementia patient he was hired to care for and from a church in New Bedford.

The sentence has drawn mixed reactions. While many are applauding law enforcement and the Norfolk District Attorney for pursuing the case and taking it seriously and are pleased he will be serving time, others don’t seem to believe the punishment fits the crime.

“Compared to the 60 years he could have gotten, eight to 10 years is a slap in the face,” Deanna Terminiello, director of Massachusetts Voters Demand Justice for Puppy Doe, told the Boston Herald. “He’s going to get out and do it again, and the next time it may be to a child or to an adult.”

If anything can be more tragic than what Kiya went through or the fact that Czerkawski won’t spend the next 60 years in prison for what he did to her, it’s the ongoing ignorance and intolerance that continues to surround pit bulls, which ultimately put her in harms way in this case.

There are also serious issues with putting animals on sites like Craigslist – please don’t ever do it.

At least what happened to Kiya has helped grow the dialogue surrounding animal cruelty and inspired tougher laws in Massachusetts.

In 2014, the legislature passed the Protecting Animal Welfare and Safety (PAWS) Act, which increased fines and maximum sentences for animal cruelty, requires vets to report abuse, and created a task force to review ways to prevent abuse and punish abusers.

That law is now being updated with PAWS II, which moved forward in the state’s Senate earlier this month. It increases the role of mandated reporters, increases penalties for abuse and prohibits discrimination against specific breeds by landlords and insurance companies, among other measures.

While legislation won’t prevent abuse, tougher laws and the amount of attention Kiya’s case, and others like hers, have received will hopefully send a message that animal cruelty won’t be tolerated and encourage more people to speak up if they see something troubling.

For more updates and info on how to support stronger animal protection laws in Massachusetts, check out the MSPCA.

Photo credit: Puppy Doe: A Documentary/YouTube


Marie W
Marie W6 months ago

thanks for sharing

michelle t
jennifer t7 months ago

This vile bastard MUST be given the death penalty and nothing less. I am ready,willing and able to help implement this procedure!! OH YES!!!!!!I am 100 % serious!!!!!! Any bastard who abusers an animal will pay !!!!!!

Antje S
Antje S11 months ago

If People only would stop to discriminate dogs because of their breed, her Initial owner could have been happy with the poor pup. Good News that the criminal torturing the poor pup did have to face punishment. Rest in Peace, Kiya =^..^=

Cindy M. Dutka
Cindy M. D11 months ago

This punishment is not severe enough to fit the crime. The history of this criminal is enough to give Alfred Hitchcock nightmares!!!

Brittany E
Brittany Evans11 months ago

Agree with you, J. O, what are the answers to those questions?!

This man's history tells a very terrifying story. And the fact that the judge was merciful upon him when handing down that VERY LENIENT sentence is also abhorrent. Have some people STILL not learned anything from history?!?! Know who else was given leniency? One example is Ted Bundy. This resulted in his first escape! And then a second escape! If he was handled as he should've been from the start, he would never have been able to kill more innocent victims!

Radoslaw Czerkawski has proven he's a psychopath. Ask Dr. Michael Stone where he would place Czerkawski on his "Scale of Evil"...my best guess would be at one of the highest levels, if not THE highest level. He'd be there because he didn't just kill and it was over. He didn't kill. He slowly tortured, and abused a dog who was completely at his mercy. He let it go on and on because he enjoyed it. He wanted it to be that way. He is a danger to everyone and every animal around. He should NEVER be allowed freedom because, if he gets it, he WILL do this again! Guaranteed.

The judge he had is totally incompetent. Judges like this put us all at risk!

RIP Sweet, precious Kiya aka "Puppy Doe" May you be running and playing happily and free! No more pain for you sweet girl! I pray that what you went through will now keep another/others from the same fate.

ANA MARIJA R11 months ago

Second encouraging news today :) Thank you.

Fiona O
Fiona Ogilvie11 months ago

Good good good. As Olga below write...."Death Penalty" would be too light. May Karma bite this creep everyday.

Olga Milore
Olga Milore11 months ago

Death penalty would be too light for this monster, he should endure the same thing he has done and then maybe he would understand, before he would be put down. His victims; a puppy and an old 95 year lady, do I need to say more?? Is anybody really that stupid that they believe he wont attack victims who cant offer any resistance again?

Margaret B
Margaret B11 months ago

My heart aches for all the abused animals. It should be illegal to sell animals online. The man who tortured Puppy Doe is a danger to society.

Teresa Antela
Teresa Antela11 months ago

Thank you for posting. Sentence should be harder.