Proposed Sale Of ‘Puppy Doe’ Figurine Upsets Animal Activists

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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.

Puppy Doe, a pit bull that faced horrifically brutal torture, had to be euthanized because of her injuries. Police are now searching for her abuser. | Animal Rescue League of Boston

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.

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ASPCA Assists NYPD in Seizure of 50 Dogs, Forensic Evidence Collection in Bronx Dog Fighting Case Read more here:

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NEW YORK, June 21, 2012 — /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®), in conjunction with the NYPD Vice Enforcement Division and Bronx District Attorney’s office, is assisting in the removal, forensic evidence collection and on-scene documentation and sheltering of 50 dogs seized from a dog fighting operation this afternoon at 1254 Sherman Avenue, a six-story apartment building in the Bronx.

Raul Sanchez of the Bronx was charged with animal fighting, a felony. Other related charges may follow.

Many of the dogs, which range in age from 12 weeks to five years, exhibited injuries indicative of fighting. They were living in a windowless basement, which included a makeshift arena with estimated capacity for 100 spectators. Also recovered were a loaded .25-caliber handgun, 22 crude wooden cages, multiple pet carriers, U.S. currency, and paraphernalia associated with dog fighting, including dog treadmills, harnesses, muzzles, syringes, and a shopping cart full of raw chicken parts.

“Organized dog fighting is a brutal form of animal abuse where dogs are exploited and forced to fight as their owners profit from their torture,” said Howard Lawrence, senior director of operations for the ASPCA’s Humane Law Enforcement department. “The dogs we saw today exhibited scarring and injuries consistent with fighting dogs. The ASPCA is determined to protect New York City’s animals from this form of cruelty.”

A search warrant was executed Thursday afternoon for the removal of the dogs. The dogs are being transferred by the ASPCA to a temporary shelter for further evaluation by the organization’s emergency response medical team.

In addition to removing the animals and collecting evidence, the ASPCA is providing legal support to the Bronx district attorney’s office to help prosecute the case.

The investigation is continuing.

ASPCA: Queens Woman Charged With Animal Cruelty After Pit Bull Found ‘Near Death’

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A Queenswoman has been arrested for allegedly neglecting and starving her young pit bull.

Zellie before receiving treatment at the ASPCA’s Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital.

Back in March, Humane Law Enforcement agents with the ASPCA were called to a home in the Richmond Hill section of Queens after someone reported a dog was tied to a tree with no food or water, officials said.

When officers arrived, the found a thin 1-year-old pit bull named Zellie collared with a padlock and tied to a tree on a short chain with no access to food or water in the back yard, according to the ASPCA.

Zellie’s owner, Shakisha Codling, turned the pup over to the ASPCA and Zellie was taken to an animal hospital for treatment.

When vets first examined Zellie, officials said she weighed only 32.1 pounds.

Veterinarians determined that Zellie was near death and if somebody hadn’t been good enough to call, she could have died from her neglect,” said Joe Pentangelo with the ASPCA.

But since then, Zellie has recovered. She gained 15 pounds in about three months and will soon be available for adoption.

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Brooklyn man busted for starving pit bull

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A brutal Brooklyn man today was busted for starving his pit bull to the point where the tragic animal was eating trash and towels to stay alive, authorities said.

The ASPCA had visited Ledell Walker’s home last year after receiving a call saying his dog was very thin, sources said. Walker, 57, wasn’t home, but afterward, he dropped off his ailing, abused pet at the Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital in Manhattan, authorities said.

His 4-year-old pooch — named “Drew” by the veterinarian staff — was so weak that he could barely walk or lift his head, authorities said.

“Drew was nearly dead upon arrival, it was almost too late to save his life,” said ASPCA spokesman Joseph Pentangelo. “Drew suffered from a combination of starvation and medical neglect.”

The grey-and-white dog was anemic, emaciated and had an untreated intestinal blockage. Surgeons removed trash, chewed pieces of plastic and a towel from his stomach — indicating the poor pup had been scavenging for food.

Walker was charged with animal cruelty.

His arrest was the 17th involving animal cruelty in New York City, and the fifth in Brooklyn, so far this year, Pentangelo said.

He also was recently collared for grand larceny and has a past robbery arrest.

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Two starved pit bulls rescued as Bronx woman is charged with animal cruelty

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“Dam, this infuriates the hell out of me…There is just no excuse for pets to look like this, the courts have to start handing out some serious prison time for animal abusers. At most the majority get off with a slapped wrist,  & no contact with said species for a couple of year…Oh, & possibly a fine, that they obviously won’t be able to pay, if they couldn’t afford to buy dog food!”  

“Come on, that just isn’t going to be any deterrent whatsoever; especially if they live in an area known for dog fighting. These guys are clever & know how to work the system,  they could walk straight out of the court house to a mates house, who has pit bull puppies to re- home, the offender doesn’t necessarily have to take it home….I’m sure the owner of the pups will gladly stick it on the end of a chain in his back yard…Especially if a lot of money is going to change hands due to fights .”

“The Authorities can’t keep their eye on them all the time. Bring in Animal Abuse Registry’s, let all shelters, pounds etc. have access to certain records to make sure their not handing out a dog to some inhumane sicko, who’s going to let it starve or worse use it as a bait-dog!! And so they can’t change their name & address to wriggle out of the registry, when they are first added, there must be a clear photo, just like a passport…That should in theory stop a lot of re-abuse, it’s worth a try…isn’t it?”

Both dogs, Cagney and Lacey, will be put up for adoption, the ASPCA said

Starved pit bulls Cagney (below) and Lacey (above) were rescued and are recovering. Soon, they will be up for adoption.

The photos of  the two bony pit bulls — their ribs protruding — are almost too much to take.

When the pooches, Cagney and Lacey, were rescued Feb. 17 from an apartment in the Norwood section of the Bronx they weighed merely 16.4 and 15.2 pounds, respectively. One of the malnourished youngsters was tied to a radiator with an electrical cord.

Agents for the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals arrested Gillian Irving, 27, on Friday for starving them, the agency said.

The dogs were taken to the ASPCA’s Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital for treatment, and now weigh about 27 pounds each.

They will both be put up for adoption, the ASPCA said.

Irving was charged with two counts of misdemeanor animal cruelty. She faces up to two years in jail and/or a $2,000 fine if convicted. She is due in Bronx Criminal Court on Aug. 22.

The animal protection group learned about the two abused pups through a tip.

 “As in this case, if someone did not report the matter the animals would likely have died,” ASPCA spokesman Joseph Pentangelo said. “Animal crueltyis a wrong and a crime.”He said the arrest was the agency’s third in the Bronx this year and 16th city-wide.To report animal cruelty in New York City, contact the ASPCA’s Humane Law Enforcement department at (212) 876-7700, extension 4450 or

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How To Identify And Report Animal Cruelty

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April is Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month.  What does that mean to those of us who lovingly care for every aspect of our pet’s health and happiness?  It means that this month we remind ourselves of our responsibility to help those pets and farm animals who are not cared for properly.

Be Their Voice

This month theAmerican Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) gives us a refresher course in identifying cruelty and ways to report it to the proper authorities.

ASPCA, which has lots of experience identifying signs of animal cruelty, suggests that any of the following signs may be suspicious:

  • Tick or flea infestations. Such a condition, if left untreated by a veterinarian, can lead to an animal’s death.
  • Wounds on the body.
  • Patches of missing hair.
  • Extremely thin, starving animals.
  • Limping.
  • An owner striking or otherwise physically abusing an animal.
  • Dogs who are repeatedly left alone without food and water, often chained up in a yard.
  • Dogs who have been hit by cars-or are showing any of the signs listed above-and have not been taken to a veterinarian.
  • Dogs who are kept outside without shelter in extreme weather conditions.
  • Animals who cower in fear or act aggressively when approached by their owners.

You can report anonymously!

All of us have probably seen instances of one or all of these acts of cruelty, but have we called the appropriate authorities to report it?  Perhaps because we are fearful of owner reprisal, we don’t.  But you should know that you can report what you have witnessed totally anonymously.  Just report it.

  • Learn the appropriate agency in your community that investigate reports of animal cruelty.
  • Look out for the animals in your neighborhood and dog parks.
  • Report instances.  Make the call.  Protection of innocent animals begins with you.
  • Also, call the police. Animal cruelty is against the law.
  • Become an advocate through the ASPCA or through other animal welfare organizations.
  • Teach your children and their friends how to approach and treat animals.
  • Adopt an abused animal if you can. Give the animal a new chance for a good life.

We have all witnessed instances of animal abuse and the images of those animals will never leave us. We will always feel the guilt of not having reported them.  Don’t let the opportunity to save any animal from abuse go by again.

The ASPCA has a wealth of information on the topic of animal abuse.  Please visit the site to get many answers to specific questions you may have.

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