DEDHAM, MASS. (WHDH) - The trial in the case of an abused puppy that has gained national attention started Thursday as opening arguments were heard in Dedham District Court. The man accused of torturing the animal is facing cruelty charges.
Many have come to know the one-year-old pit bull as “Puppy Doe.” Her story is widely known. She was found badly abused in Quincy in Aug. 2013 and could not move. Now, more than four years after she was put down, Radoslaw Czerkawski stands trial for torturing her.
“There were injuries to the dogs head, injuries to the dog’s body, injuries to the dog’s right eye. It also appeared that the dog’s tongue had been cut,” said prosecutor Greg Connor.
In opening statements, Connor said Czerkawski, a Polish immigrant, was working as a caretaker for an elderly woman in this Quincy home. Connor tied Czerkawski to Puppy Doe through a text he claims Czerkawski sent to the woman’s granddaughter.
“In Feb. 2013, she received a text message from the defendant saying your grandmother wants a dog,” Connor said.
The defense says its true Czerkawski brought a dog into the house.
“It’s for you to determine if the dog they say they found in the street was the dog they are taking about,” said defense attorney Larry Tipton.
Stephen Felkel was driving to his friend’s home when he spotted Puppy Doe in the street and stopped to help.
“The dog looked emaciated. All skin and bone,” said Felkel, a witness.
The second witness has a dog of her own and often walked it past the home Czerkawski lived in. She was asked if she ever heard a dog there yelling in pain.
Joanne O’Brien said she “never” saw a dog at the home.
The jury will listen to much more in the days to come and decide who abused the puppy to the point she had to be put down.
“Whatever happened to the dog, we’re going to hear about this little Pitbull. It was a tragedy, but another tragedy looms,” Tipton said. “That’s convicting an innocent man of something he did not do.”
Czerkawski’s trial will resume on Monday. He is currently serving time for stealing from an elderly woman.
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