Outrage over the abuse of a dog found near a Quincy park has prompted a vigil and a petition, both hoping to raise awareness of this disturbing case.
The responses are only the latest from the public, hundreds of whom have come forward donate money for the reward to find whoever tortured the pit bull found in Quincy. Hundreds more have expressed shock and disgust on Facebook groups and message boards.
The latest showing of public support will take place with a vigil at Pageant Field in Quincy on Saturday at 5 p.m., moved to the location to facilitate the large crowd expected.
“We will have a police presence to make sure everybody is safe,” said Quincy Police Captain John Dougan.
The vigil location was initially planned to occur at the Whitwell Street playground, where the one- to two-year-old dog was found battered, malnourished, and mutilated on Aug. 31. The dog was later put down due to the extent of the injuries.
A tribute of flowers and trinkets has been placed at the site as a memorial, but Quincy police felt the location wouldn’t be suitable.
“It’s near a hospital, so with parking we didn’t want the chance of blocking the right of way to the hospital,” Dougan said. “We moved it to City Hall, but they are starting construction on Old City Hall, so they cornered it off. So therefore we moved them down to Pageant Field.”
The vigil is expected to attract more than 100 people.
“The point of this vigil … it’s about [Puppy Doe]. It’s about this one particular animal. But other issues will be brought up, strengthening animal cruelty laws. How do we prevent this from happening again?” said Ally Baker, a Salem resident who is organizing the Quincy vigil. “We don’t ever want this to be forgotten. This is the worse animal abuse case, we couldn’t even imagine anything like this, we want her to have a lot of voices.”
Organizers will also be collecting animal food and accessories to donate to five different animal charities.
For those than cannot attend, the group has requested that people light a candle in the dog’s memory.
Locals and animal advocates have also begun a petition to restrict “rehoming”, or the sales of pets, on Craigslist.
Groups believe that the abused dog used to belong to a Hudson woman, who came forward to police with photos of a nearly identical looking dog named Kiya. The woman has told police that she gave the dog up to a new owner via Craigslist several months ago.
Though police have not confirmed that Kiya is the same as the abused animal found in Quincy, local activists said the story has prompted them to action.
“We started doing some research and reading horror stories of pets put up for adoption on Craigslist and ended up being victims of animal cruelty. It made me think of the Craigslist killer case,” said Joyel Ennis, a Braintree resident who started the petition. “Once that happened, they banned an erotic services section, but there are no rules in place, no guidelines for having a pet on there.”
Ennis said she would like to see Craigslist restrict rehoming ads to rescue shelters, which can adequately screen people and do background checks.
“I think regularly people are…ignorant about the dangers out there of rehoming your pet to anybody,” Ennis said.
The Change.org petition, enacted on Saturday, already has 30,000 signatures.
Yet in a blog post, Craigslist CEO Jim Buckmaster called the petition misleading, and said the pets section of the website had done far more good than harm.
“Monsters do exist and will find victims regardless. But countless re-homings will become euthanizations if Craigslist bows out – giving a few monsters far more destructive power than they deserve,” he said. “We at Craigslist love animals and are proud of the overwhelming good that our “pets” section does in finding new homes for unwanted animals.”
Buckmaster suggested people can help by not breeding unwanted pets and using caution when a new home has to be found for a pet.