Yesterday, Norfolk County District Attorney Michael Morrissey announced the Norfolk County Grand Jury handed down 12 indictments for animal abuse and one indictment for misleading police in the on-going investigation of the suspect in the Puppy Doe case.
“Today’s indictments move the existing case from the Quincy District Court to the Norfolk Superior Court,” District Attorney Morrissey also reported.
In Massachusetts, a District Court can only impose a maximum sentence of two and a half years in a county House of Correction. Previously, the District Attorney’s Office indicated each count of animal abuse carries a five-year prison term.
“Only a justice of the Superior Court can order longer terms to be served in a State Prison,” District Attorney Morrissey explained.
Morrissey said that the suspect’s arraignment on these indictments in Norfolk Superior Court has not yet been scheduled, but that he expects it to be set before December 20, when the defendant would otherwise return to the Quincy District Court. “At the time of the Superior Court arraignment, the District Court case will be withdrawn as superseded.”
The suspect plead not guilty to multiple counts of animal cruelty and one count of misleading police investigators at his arraignment in late October in Quincy District Court. At the arraignment, Judge Mark S. Coven ordered the suspect held on $500,000 cash bail.
Like you, we will continue to closely follow criminal proceedings against the suspect. To learn more about what you can do to prevent future case of animal abuse, visit arlboston.org/take-action.
From the very beginning of the investigation into Puppy Doe’s abuse, we wanted the person responsible for this heinous crime to be found and brought to justice as quickly as possible. The Quincy Police Department and the District Attorney shared our sense of urgency in identifying the perpetrator, and we want to thank both organizations for their diligence and continuous hard work in pursuit of justice for Puppy Doe.
For the safety of people and animals in our community, we feel a tremendous sense of relief that a suspect is now in custody.
The arrest comes after many weeks of dedicated and intensive investigation by the Quincy Police Department. We look forward to attending the press conference tomorrow morning at Quincy Police Department headquarters following the arraignment of the suspect to share more details of the investigation.
If one of the “to-do” items on your Columbus Day Weekend list of activities is adopt a new pet, all three of our adoption centers in Boston, Brewster, and Dedham have cats, dogs, bunnies, and more just waiting to meet you.
Our focus: getting them healthy and ready for adoption
During a drug and weapons raid on a home in Middleboro, MA, on Wednesday morning, police found 17 pit bulls–4 adults and 13 puppies–jammed into a small crate. All the dogs were emaciated and dehydrated; the puppies covered in feces and riddled with worms.
The local veterinarian who provided urgent care to the puppies described them as “little bone racks,” and believes at least one of the puppies wouldn’t have made it through another night if authorities hadn’t found him.
Middleboro Animal Control contacted the Animal Rescue League of Boston for help, and all but one of the rescued pups checked into the three ARL adoption centers in Boston, Dedham, and Brewster. The one puppy too sick to travel remained under the care of the local vet. (UPDATE: Once this puppy was healthy enough she was brought to the ARL and placed in our foster program. We call her Baby Bell.)
Watch a video of Boston’s Channel 5’s report on the care Middleboro pit bull puppies will receive from the ARL:
As widely reported in the media, the puppies had clearly been living in cruel conditions.
Lt. Alan Borgal, director of the ARL’s Center for Animal Protection, suspects the dogs’ previous owner, now under arrest, had a side-business selling dogs: “I think this was a case of a ‘backyard breeder’–an individual who’s not professional breeder and just trying to make a quick buck. They don’t put a lot of care into the animal.”
Over the next few weeks, care-givers at the ARL’s adoption centers will focus on getting the pups healthy and ready for adoption. In spite of their rough start on life, these little guys and gals are snugly, playful, and sweet-as-can-be.
We will keep you posted on their progress and when they will be ready for adoption!
Once alone and starving, Sandy’s story has a very happy ending
On Day 2 of Adopt-a-Dog-Month, we wanted to share the very special story of Sandy and Bill.
Sandy, a stray 7-year-old Chow mix dog, who roamed an industrial park south of Boston for over a year was an animal in desperate need of rescue.
Through all four seasons, she endured the harsh New England weather just barely surviving before the ARL Rescue Team received a call about her this past January. The team successfully rescued her just in time on one of the coldest days of the year.
Because of the prolonged exposure to rain and snow, Sandy had lost a majority of her fur. Her skin red and raw, her body exhausted and emaciated, she spent most of her first few days at our Boston adoption center cowering behind her bed.
With intensive medical and behavioral care, along with plenty of love and attention from staff and volunteers, Sandy slowly began to heal. In the video below shot several weeks into her stay with us, though the fur on her tail had yet to grow back, you can see that Sandy was already a different dog!
After several months in Boston without finding a permanent home, the Brewster adoption center brought Sandy down to the Cape. Almost six months to the day when she was rescued from the cold, Sandy met Bill.
Sandy and Bill enjoying time together at home.
Like Sandy, Bill had come to the Brewster shelter in the hopes of finding a companion. He recently lost his wife and best friend, Helen. In a further crushing blow, his beloved dog, Haven, passed away the day after Helen’s funeral. With so much loss in his life, Bill had become very lonely.
After hearing her story and realizing that she was also looking for someone to love, Bill decided to take her home.
In the short time they have been together, Sandy and Bill’s bond has only gotten stronger. The two have become an inseparable pair – sometimes it’s hard to recognize who rescued who!
Sandy wakes Bill up every morning for their daily routine of a walk and a visit with Helen
at the cemetery.
“We are great buddies,” Bill says of Sandy, his face beaming. “I love her.”
Together, Sandy and Bill remind us that sometimes one rescue means two lives saved.
Remarks from ARL President Mary Nee at the Vigil for Puppy Doe
Mahatma Gandhi once said, “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
I believe that our greatness will not be judged by the person or persons who perpetrated this abuse of Puppy Doe, but instead by the people here today and the thousands of people from around the nation and the world who have spoken out that animal cruelty is reprehensible and cannot be tolerated in a humane, civil society.
I want to thank the organizers of this vigil for bringing us here so that we can share our collective grief and together commit ourselves to seek justice for Puppy Doe and for all animals that are neglected and abused.
I have spoken to many veteran staff and volunteers at the Animal Rescue League about Puppy Doe. Never in our collective memory do people remember a case so horrific. We are all shaken to the core by the details of what happened to this poor dog.
For the safety of animals and people we want whoever is responsible for this heinous crime to be found and brought to justice.
I am proud of the efforts of ARL staff to support the investigation of Puppy Doe.
The difficult forensic work performed by Dr. Martha Smith-Blackmore and the ongoing investigative efforts of our law enforcement division, led by Lt. Alan Borgal, have greatly assisted the pursuit of justice for this dog.
I am also very grateful for the leadership of the Norfolk County DA’s office, led by Michael Morrissey. The Norfolk County DA has been in the forefront of prosecuting animal neglect and abuse in Massachusetts.
And finally, I am grateful for the ongoing investigative work of the Quincy Police Department who are following many leads and working round the clock to solve this terrible crime.
Puppy Doe’s abuse is extreme but not an isolated incident. In 2012 alone, the ARL responded to over 1,500 calls of abuse and neglect of animals.
Beyond finding and bringing to justice those responsible for this crime, we must ask ourselves:
What has this tragedy taught us and what is our collective responsibility going forward to protect animals like Puppy Doe?
In the aftermath of 9/11 we were taught, “If you see something—if you suspect something—say something.
We must begin to apply that lesson to animals and have the courage when we see or suspect animal abuse to report it to our local police.
We must also be advocates for responsible pet ownership. We must be a voice for animals with our family, friends, co-workers and neighbors.
Pet ownership is a big responsibility. People must consider their housing situation; their finances and their lifestyle; do they have the time they have to care for pets?
We must be advocates for adoption through well-run shelters and rescue groups who invest in making adoptions of healthy animals with the right person or family.
And, if someone must give up a pet, we must advocate that people reach out to those well-run shelters and rescue groups so that no animal is passed from person to person through the internet without consideration for its well being.
The Animal Rescue League was founded in 1899 by a social worker, Anna Harris Smith. As Anna visited clients in Boston’s neighborhoods she was appalled by the cruelty she witnessed of horses, dogs and cats on the streets of Boston. This motivated her to found the Animal Rescue League and to open animal shelters throughout the state.
But Anna’s vision went beyond the care of animals; she envisioned a more humane society for both people and animals.
Anna wrote, “that while getting dogs and cats off the street is work worth doing; the teaching of thoughtful kindness is the work that changes families, communities and a nation.”
I encourage us all to keep Anna’s vision alive. How we measure our greatness as a community and a nation will be measured by how we treat our animals.
As we leave tonight let’s each of us have our own personal call to action:
To never remain silent in the face of animal cruelty,
To be an advocate for responsible pet ownership and,
To work for a just and humane society where people and animals are respected and cared for.
Discussion to focus on preventing future case of animal cruelty
Tonight, Friday, September 27, at 7 pm (ET), Dr. Martha Smith-Blackmore will appear as a special guest on the Jane Velez-Mitchell Show on the Headline News Network.
After receiving an outpouring of calls, emails, and tweets from viewers outraged and deeply saddened by the case of Puppy Doe, Jane Velez-Mitchell will do a follow-up program to update viewers on the case and discuss what we can all do to prevent future cases of animal cruelty and neglect.
Dr. Smith, vice president of animal welfare at the ARL, will offer her perspectives on how we can make progress towards becoming more responsible about the animals living in our homes and communities.
Quincy PD and Norfolk County DA only organizations issuing official updates
(photo credit: Animal Rescue League of Boston)
Within hours of appealing to the public for information, investigators had several leads in the Puppy Doe case which they continue to pursue. Special note: The Quincy Police Department and the Norfolk County District Attorney’s office are the only organizations issuing official updates on the case to the public and the media.
Everyone at the ARL remains hopeful on the outcome of the ongoing investigation.
We also wanted to take a moment to thank all the people we’ve heard from, offering support not only for our efforts in her case, but also the work we do all year long to prevent animal cruelty and neglect.
The level of abuse in the Puppy Doe case is the worst we have seen in a very long time, yet every day we assist in cases which are equally as heart-breaking and tragic. Sadly, the ARL assisted in over 1,500 cruelty and neglect cases in Massachusetts last year—most of which never made the headlines.
To date, we’ve received over $35,000 for law enforcement efforts on behalf of Puppy Doe and others like her. We don’t receive public funding for any of the work we have done and continue to do in this case, and feel humbled by the generosity of so many.
Working with the Quincy Police Department, we offered a $5,000 reward late last Friday with the intention of keeping the momentum in the flow of information going through the weekend. Of the funds donated to us on behalf of Puppy Doe to date, $5,000 will go to the reward and the remainder will go to preventing future cases of animal suffering, cruelty, and neglect.
While we have no plans to increase our reward amount, there are other organizations independent of the ARL that have offered rewards for information in the case.
We recognize you have many choices available and understand if you would like to give specifically to a reward fund. We urge you to use due diligence in evaluating the organizations collecting reward funds to make sure they are a legitimate non-profit organization.
When someone asked us the other day if we felt surprised by the magnitude of the response to the case of Puppy Doe, we answered yes and no.
Yes, in that we didn’t expect the instantaneous outpouring of support and concern for her, and the issue of animal cruelty in general.
At the same time, though, it’s not that surprising.
In our line of work, we see the tremendous impact animals have on people—in big and small ways—every day. Whether it’s the companionship they provide; the fun and laughter they bring to family life; or assistance in day-to-day living and work, animals mean a great deal to us.
So when something so horrific happens to an animal that had no way to ask for help, it makes us all want to stand up and shout on her behalf.
(photo provided by Animal Rescue League of Boston)
Boston, MA–The Animal Rescue League of Boston will offer a $5,000 reward for information leading to the prosecution of the perpetrator in the “Puppy Doe” fatal dog torture case.
“We have been deeply moved by the outpouring of support from people all over the U.S. , looking to help us identify who inflicted such pain and suffering on Puppy Doe,” said Mary Nee, president of the ARL.
Yesterday, the ARL, Quincy Police Department, and Norfolk County District Attorney Michael W. Morrissey released a public appeal for help identifying who owned and abused “Puppy Doe,” a young adult female dog pictured in the photo above.
When she was found in Quincy, MA, she weighed less than half what a normal, healthy dog of her size should. Due to the extent of her injuries, she could not be saved by veterinarians.
The ARL has received hundreds of phone calls and has received a little over $2500 in donations to support law enforcement efforts on behalf of Puppy Doe and others like her.
In 2012, the ARL assisted in over 1500 cases of animal cruelty and neglect across Massachusetts. Any funds donated in excess of the $5000 reward will go directly towards preventing future cases of animal suffering, cruelty, and neglect.
Anyone with information about Puppy Doe should contact: