Will ‘Puppy Doe’ Finally Get Justice in Court?

Those who remember the Puppy Doe story may be surprised to learn that four years later, her accused killer has yet to go to trial. But that’s about to change.

Puppy Doe was a young female pit bull once named Kiya. Because of an unhappy set of circumstances, she ended up in the hands of a man named Radoslaw Czerkawski. What happened to her is the stuff of nightmares.

Czerkawski faces 11 felony animal cruelty charges  in Massachusetts for what he allegedly did to Kiya. His trial is now set for March 6, 2018.

Over the course of about four months, authorities say Czerkawski starved and tortured poor Kiya in a particularly gruesome way. Kiya 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. Her leg bone was almost broken in half.

Kiya also suffered burns, a split tongue and a wounded eye. Life could not have been much worse for this poor dog. When she was finally rescued, she was in such bad shape the only kind thing to do was euthanize her.

What kind of sick mind does this to an innocent animal? One can only wonder how many previous animals suffered similar fates as the perpetrator became better and better at his nauseating pastime. It’s also worth wondering whether he had graduated to human killings yet. If not, he was clearly on his way in that direction.

It took more than one disturbed person to kill Kiya, of course. The irrational fear of pit bulls is also to blame here. Kiya’s loving owner had to give her up when it turned out her landlord and/or her homeowner’s insurance wouldn’t allow a pit bull — stories differ on that point.

Unfortunately, the person who adopted Kiya didn’t keep her, but instead offered up the dog on Craigslist — that’s always a mistake. In this case, the seller asked for $40 for Kiya, and he sold her to a man who showed up well-dressed and driving a late model luxury sedan. That man was reportedly Czerkawski.

Typically, the concern is that “free” dogs will end up as bait for dog fighting rings. Here, though, poor Kiya was adopted by Czerkawski, who allegedly tortured and starved her over the course of weeks or months. Can you imagine the agony of finding out that this is what happened to the dog you were forced to give up?

Contact a rescue group for help if you have a dog or cat you can’t keep, or if you know someone in that position. These groups are all over the place, and they exist for this very purpose.

Spread the word, everyone. If you know anyone trying to get rid of a pet, urge them not to do it on Craigslist. In so many cases, only heartbreak will follow.

Breed discrimination started the wheels turning that ended up allowing sweet Kiya to end up in the hands of a monster. When will this shortsightedness stop? There are no bad dogs, and no bad dog breeds. It’s all in the training and socialization of the individual dog.

What of Czerkawski? Finally, judgment day is at hand.

It took four years to get Czerkawski in front of a judge because of a laundry list of delays. The trial, originally set for August 2017, has been delayed four times.

Once it was because Czerkawski suffered an injury in prison that supposedly would have made it too “uncomfortable” to sit through an entire trial. (Czerkawski is already behind bars for unrelated charges.) Then the case had to be delayed again because the prosecutor needed emergency surgery to save her eyesight.

Finally, though, it looks like the court date is truly set. I hope the four intervening years haven’t served to make everyone forget about poor Puppy Doe. Kiya must be remembered, honored and fought for. She needs justice.

Photo credit: Animal Rescue League of Boston


hELEN h4 months ago


Sue H
Sue H5 months ago

An update would be nice.

Peggy B
Peggy B5 months ago


Gino C
Past Member 5 months ago

thanks for sharing

michela c
michela c5 months ago

Justice for poor Puppy Doe

Caitlin L
Caitlin L5 months ago

thanks for this

Carole R
Carole R5 months ago

Such an awful story.

hELEN h5 months ago


Renata B
Renata B6 months ago

I remember this nightmarish story with a very heavy heart. Just found the article speaking of a trial in March: I wonder how it went; we are in September now.

Marie W
Marie W7 months ago

thanks for sharing