A Massachusetts man accused of abusing a dog so severely that it had to be euthanized was convicted Monday of animal cruelty charges.
Radoslaw Czerkawski, 37, was found guilty of torturing and abandoning the pit bull, known as ‘Puppy Doe,’ nearly five years after the dog was found abandoned near a playground in Quincy, Massachusetts.
Czerkawski, who is already in prison on two unrelated larceny convictions, was cleared of lying to police. He will be sentenced Tuesday.
Radoslaw Czerkawski (in court March 6) was found guilty of 12 counts of felony animal abuse in the case of a one-year-old pit bull who was beaten so badly it needed to be euthanized in 2013
‘Puppy Doe’ was found with a skull, spine and rib fractures, a stab wound to the right eye and a split tongue and had to be euthanized when veterinaries determined he was too injured to save
The Norfolk District Attorney’s Office said that he faces up to 60 years in prison if sentenced to consecutively serve the maximum five year sentence for each of the 12 felony animal abuse counts he was convicted of, according to the Boston Herald.
The case received widespread attention when the year-old pit bull mix was found in Quincy in August 2013 with skull, spine and rib fractures, a stab wound to the right eye and a split tongue.
Veterinarians determined the dog was too badly hurt to save.
Czerkawski’s attorney acknowledged his client owned the dog but said it ran away and someone else was responsible for the abuse.
The Patriot Ledger reports that his attorney suggested during the trial that the dog may have been hit by a car or attacked by another animal.
Czerkawski (in 2015) will be sentenced on Tuesday. He is already in prison on two unrelated larceny convictions, including stealing $130,000 from a woman, 95, he was hired to care for
Czerkawski’s attorney said that his client owned the year-old pit bull but said it ran away and claimed that someone else was responsible for the abuse
After Puppy Doe was found, Massachusetts enacted stiffer penalties for felony animal abuse
Czerkawski’s attorney didn’t immediately return a message left at his office Monday.
Norfolk District Attorney Michael Morrissey applauded the Quincy Policy Department for taking the case ‘very seriously from the onset.’
‘Law enforcement at every level needs to treat animal cruelty cases as the serious crimes that they are,’ he said in a statement.
Massachusetts has stiffened the penalties for animal abuse since Puppy Doe was found, but Czerkawski will be sentenced according to law as it was in 2013.
Under the 2014 PAWS Act, which was enacted in the wake of Puppy Doe’s abuse, Czerkawski would have faced up to 84 years in prison, with each felony animal abuse count amounting to seven years in prison.
The guilty verdict came after the judge dismissed two jurors and replaced them with alternates.
Czerkawski, a Polish national, is already in prison for larceny convictions, including stealing $130,000 from a 95-year-old woman has was a live-in caretaker for.