Animal welfare advocates celebrated justice on Monday when a Massachusetts man was found guilty of animal abuse.
In 2013, a one-year-old female pit bull mix later named Puppy Doe was found in a park barely hanging on to life. She had multiple fractures throughout her body, a stab wound in her right eye, a split tongue, and she was severely emaciated and malnourished. Someone left her alone in the park to die, but the people who found her and animal advocates from across the country fought hard to bring the innocent animal the justice and peace she deserved. The case quickly received widespread attention.
Puppy Doe Vigil - Philadelphia via Justice for "Puppy Doe"
While rescuers tried to save her life, little Doe was euthanized due to the extent of her serious injuries. Her life was short and miserable, and state officials knew there was a human out there responsible for her abuse. An investigation was put into motion, and 32-year-old Polish national Radoslaw Czerkawski was subsequently arrested by law enforcement.
Czerkawski was picked up in New Britain, Conn. and charged with misleading police and 12 counts of animal cruelty. According to Fox News, Czerkawski told authorities that the dog named Kiya belonged to him, but it had run away. His defense attorney claimed someone else was responsible for the abuse, but Czerkawski's case finally made it to the Norfolk Superior Court in Dedham, Mass. five years after Puppy Doe lost her life.
On Monday, Czerkawski was found guilty of all 12 counts of animal cruelty charges and sentenced to 8-10 years in prison. On top of that, he faces two years of probation following his eventual release. He is also prohibited from ever owning, caring for, or coming in contact with any animal for the rest of his life. The convicted animal abuser is currently serving time for an unrelated larceny convictions from 2015. He was sentenced to three to five years in prison after stealing $130,000 from an elderly woman he was caring for.
The hefty sentence won't reverse the pain and torment Puppy Doe went through, but supporters of animal rights hope the animal cruelty case will send a message that animal abuse will not be tolerated.
Do you think convicted animal abusers deserve time in prison? What do you think of this guilty verdict? Let us know in the comments.
WATCH NOW: People Are Poisoning Dogs
Love reading about pets?
Don't miss a story! Sign up for daily stories delivered to your inbox.