Monday, January 6, 2014 11:32 PM EST -By LISA BACKUS STAFF WRITER
The proposed sale of a figurine of “Puppy Doe,” a young pit bull mix who Massachusetts authorities say was tortured by a man later found in a New Britain hotel room is drawing the ire of animal welfare advocates.
The Puppy Doe case drew national media attention after the severely injured dog was found in Quincy, Mass. and had to be put to sleep due to the torture that was inflicted on the young female dog named Kiya by one of her former owners. Radoslaw Czerkawski, 32, of Quincy, Mass, pleaded not guilty in December to 12 counts of animal cruelty, and one count of misleading a police investigation in the case after he was found in a New Britain hotel room in October.
Czerkawski is also wanted for larcenies involving a New Bedford, Mass church. He is currently being held without bail as a flight risk, according to the Norfolk State’s Attorney’s Office in Massachusetts which is prosecuting the Puppy Doe case.
Herobuilders, an Oxford, Connecticut-based action figure company owned by Emil Vicale, announced Sunday they would be producing a figurine of the dog estimated to be one to two years old at the time of her death with 10 percent of the proceeds going to animal welfare groups. “I heard about the story and thought it would be a good thing,” Vicale said Monday. “I wanted to make a donation in Puppy Doe’s name.”
But animal welfare advocates who have been raising money in the dog’s name and staging peaceful protests outside the Norfolk courthouse when Czerkawski appears are appalled at the idea, said Deanna Terminiello of Leominster, Mass. “I was shocked,” Terminiello said when she saw Facebook posts promoting the product. “To see that made me sick that someone is trying to make a profit off of a dog that was tortured.”Several other animal welfare advocates also posted similar comments on Terminiello’s Facebook page, “The Truth About The Puppy Doe Vigil,” which has close to 300 members.
The figurines which will go into production this week can be purchased for $29.95. Vicale, who will only produce 2,000 of the resin statues, will donate 10 percent of the profits between the Animal Rescue League of Boston, which is involved in the Puppy Doe case, and the national ASPCA.
Vicale said he expects to make about $10 per figurine after he donates $3 per figurine to the two animal welfare groups. “We are not a charitable organization but we are trying to do something good,” Vicale said. A spokesperson for the Animal Rescue League of Boston said they had not been notified by Homebuilders of the potential donation but confirmed they had received other donations in the name of Puppy Doe. “If someone wants to give to the Animal Rescue League of Boston we recommend that they give directly to our organization,” said Ami Bowers, director of marketing for the group.“They could be giving us the proceeds but at this point we don’t know because we haven’t heard from them.”
A spokesperson for the Connecticut state Humane Society of the United States which offers rewards in animal abuse cases and help in prosecuting animal cruelty cases applauded the sale of the figurines. “It does seem like a well intentioned effort to raise awareness and help fund groups that support animal welfare,” said Ami Hornish, the director of the Connecticut chapter of the HSUS.
But Terminiello, who along with others helped raise $2,500 to donate to the Quincy animal shelter after the dog’s death and who attended a protest in December at the courthouse called the sale of the figurines “sickening.” “This is not about fame, it’s not about fortune,” she said. “Anyone who would profit off this dog is unimaginable.” David Traub, a spokesperson for the Norfolk State’s Attorney’s Office said Czerkawski is due back in court Feb. 11.
Facebook Related:-Reflections on Puppy Doe, Animal Cruelty, and Freezing for a Cause:– http://southend.patch.com/groups/announcements/p/reflections-on-puppy-doe-animal-cruelty-and-freezing-for-a-cause?a_dgi=aolshare_facebook
- More petitions:-http://www.change.org/en-GB/search?_csrf=LOIHuNxTnUGN45PA3b2xVc0OaONHBQ7YU9cj7RdSzz4%3D&authenticity_token=LOIHuNxTnUGN45PA3b2xVc0OaONHBQ7YU9cj7RdSzz4%3D&q=Puppy+doe