After reading the headline “Justice for Puppy Doe” on Facebook and viewing the accompanying photo of a badly abused pit bull type dog, I assumed it was just another all too typical case of animal abuse that I’ve sadly become accustomed to seeing as a volunteer for a “pit bull” rescue. However, the story of Puppy Doe is an entirely different level of abuse. This case involved weeks, possibly even months of starvation, beatings and torture. It’s the worst case of animal abuse I’ve ever encountered, and it continues to haunt me deeply, even weeks after the dog was found, left for dead in a park in Quincy, MA.
It is extremely difficult for me to come to terms with the cruelty and degree of suffering that Puppy Doe (Kiya) endured. It’s too painful to try to make any sense of it, especially when there’s no happy ending to this story. We don’t get to see Kiya get a second chance at a happy life – no new, loving forever home that could someday make her forget the horrors she experienced. We’re left only to deal with the disturbing images of a helpless pup, alone and scared, in the hands of a depraved psychopath.
When I look at my own two dogs and think about how lucky they are to have such a wonderful, love-filled life and how the people Kiya trusted, failed her so miserably by passing her around for free on Craigslist like an old, unwanted sofa, my heart truly breaks. Even worse, every time I look at them or see a photo of her sweet, beautiful face, I’m constantly reminded of her anguish.
While time may make it easier to cope with the sadness of this tragedy, I hope at the very least it inspires those who are outraged to take some form of action. For example, you can volunteer at a local shelter, foster a homeless dog, donate money or supplies, report animal abuse when you see it or hear about it, or fight for change by demanding tougher punishments for animal abusers and an end to Breed Specific Legislation (BSL) which makes it difficult for owners of “pit bulls” and other “dangerous” dogs to rent homes and get home owner’s insurance.
Most importantly, before you get a dog, make sure you are financially prepared and are ready for the major responsibility and commitment involved. According to PittieLove Rescue, a “pit bull” rescue organization operating out of Framingham, MA:
“One of the biggest contributors to the plight of the “pit bull” is a lack of commitment by owners. “Pit bulls” live about 12-14 years. Much can change in your life in that amount of time, so it is important to be sure you are considering your new dog as a member of the family who will be with you through thick and thin.”
A lack of commitment from Kiya’s owner(s) sealed her fate, and true “justice” for the abuse she suffered will not come until those who committed these heinous acts are caught and punished. But, “Justice for Puppy Doe” is a movement, likely to create awareness and to inspire society to be more responsible with their pets and to better protect those who cannot protect themselves.