Let Task Force Take Up Arms Against Animal Cruelty

Target: Alisha Bouchard, Deputy Commissioner of Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources

Goal: Support development of state task force to enhance animal cruelty investigations and laws.

When a one-year-old pit bull mix was discovered in a Boston area park with broken bones, stab wounds, and other indicators of serious abuse, the animal became known as Puppy Doe and garnered nationwide attention. Tragically, the severity of Puppy Doe’s injuries led to her euthanization. Five years later, Radoslaw Czerkawski was convicted of animal cruelty and sentenced to eight to ten years in prison. This horrific case demonstrated how justice could be secured in cases involving innocent animals, but time has diminished the impact.

Since the Puppy Doe case, Massachusetts’ Suffolk County has seen a sharp 70 percent rise in animal abuse cases involving both negligence and physical violence. Unfortunately, few of these cases result in prosecution or conviction due to lacking investigative and legal standards. The county has recently taken a major step in rectifying this disconnect by implementing the Suffolk County Animal Cruelty Task Force. The creation of this entity will enable better coordination and partnership between police, agriculture department officials, and animal rescue and welfare officers. The task force will also diligently advocate for legislative changes such a proposed statewide animal abuse registry. Public education and counseling for individuals who have committed acts of cruelty will also be on the agenda.

Sign the petition below to urge a statewide adoption of this important effort.


Dear Deputy Commissioner Bouchard,

Animal abuse—as reflected in reported cases—is on a disturbing upward trajectory in one of Massachusetts’ main urban districts. The 70 percent spike in cases reflects a larger trend across the state and across the nation. And this cruelty does not only affect innocent and vulnerable animals. As the FBI itself has clarified: “we know Dahmer abused, we know Berkowitz abused, we know Ted Bundy abused animals. So, it’s very important to understand the nexus between animal cruelty and potential rape, sexual assaults and other violent crimes, specifically domestic violence issues.”

Suffolk County is confronting its problem with the development of an animal cruelty task force that will better serve investigative and prosecutorial standards, advocate for legislative changes, and help get mentally ill individuals who commit acts of cruelty the help they need. Such an effort should not end at Suffolk County, however. Please consider the creation of a statewide task force that can serve as a model for a country experiencing an epidemic of unchecked, unpunished abuse and cruelty.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Leif Skoogfors


  1. People are turning into Satans! The degree of animals torture on videos, in the streets, done by adults and kids, is just overwhelming! I am sick and tired of reading all this harm being done but not enough in punishment is being given to those guilty parties. America is the land of NO JUSTICE!!! WE have laws but they are too weak and not enforced. People are getting away with murder, to me, that’s wrong. We are seeing a sick society getting their way due to laughable legal sub standards, no enforcement of laws, and judges who don’t take life seriously. All living beings have the right to live. Clean up America’s legal system.

  2. Animal abuse debases all of us and makes us less in many ways. This is something that HAS to be addressed, and now, not later on when it gets even worse than it is now. And it’s so bad now because we don’t seriously pursue the cowards out there deliberately harming defenseless animals and make them accountable. We need tougher laws, better enforcement and stiffer penalties, both monetary and prison time. I hope Massachusetts is successful and that other states wake up and follow suit with this idea.

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