Officials say they have been "overwhelmed" by people seeking to help them find the unknown abuser of "Puppy Doe". Meanwhile, the reward for information leading to the arrest and prosecution of the person, or persons, responsible, has reportedly grown to at least $18,000.
The heart-breaking story of the pit-bull puppy who was brutally tortured and left to die in a Quincy, Mass. park has sparked tremendous outrage among animal lovers worldwide. The puppy, whose name was "Kiya", was discovered on August 31, by a passer-by who took her to a local veterinary clinic, thinking she had been hit by a car.
At the veterinary office, it was determined that Kiya was so badly injured that she would never be able to live a life free of pain. The veterinary staff fed and comforted Kiya, and then humanely euthanized her.
A necropsy revealed that Kiya had been repeatedly beaten, stabbed, burned, and her limbs had been pulled apart "Medieval-style" as she was tortured and starved over a number of months, according to the vet who performed the examination.
Police subsequently named the unknown puppy, "Puppy Doe" and released her story to the media in an effort to find her abuser. Kiya's original owner, Laura Hankins, came forward when she recognized Kiya on the reports, and has been working with the police.
Hankins told the Boston Herald yesterday that, “The guilt and responsibility I felt — my heart broke. It was my responsibility to find her a good home...She was the sweetest dog.”
Hankins said she was forced to re-home Kiya in May after her landlord, reportedly afraid she would lose her homeowners insurance, refused to allow her to keep the half-grown pit bull puppy. Hankins, who has two other dogs, offered the landlord more money to allow Kiya to stay, and was refused. Hankins says she also looked for other housing for four months, but was unable to find a rental that would allow her to keep all three dogs, especially her pit bull.
Hankins said she gave the puppy to a Grafton woman, and asked her to contact her in the event she could not keep the puppy. Hankins said she told the woman she would help find Kiya a new home, if it became necessary. In spite of that, police believe the Grafton woman gave the puppy away sometime in July, without contacting Hankins.
“She has been forthcoming and assisting in any way she can. The information she’s given us we’re following up on,” said Quincy Detective Sgt. Richard Gilmore, “We appreciate any help that the public can give. It’s not just because of the cruelty to the animal but because there could be more behind it.”
The Grafton woman, who has since been contacted, reportedly said she had no information about Kiya and hung up when reached by phone yesterday.
Lt. Alan Borgal of the Animal Rescue League said police were chasing six specific tips — “We’re trying to figure out if they’re fruitful or not,” Borgal said, but declined to provide details — and they planned to keep on the phones through the weekend.
Several organizations are offering a cash reward, now totaling $18,000, for information leading to the arrest and prosecution of the torturer of "Puppy Doe". The Animal Rescue League of Boston is offering a $5,000 reward, the Animal Legal Defense Fund is offering a $2,000 reward, and Misty’s Journey and Second Chance Rescue in New York City yesterday raised an additional $11,000 in reward money.
Anyone with information about the dog is urged to call the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s Law Enforcement Department at 617-226-5610, email them at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call Quincy Police Det. Thomas Pepdjonovich at 617-745-5774.