An abused and emaciated pit bull found on Quincy’s streets late last month has provoked an intensive search for the dog’s torturer, who law enforcement officials said may be a repeat offender.
The injuries to the dog were extensive and grotesque, pointing to the starvation and abuse of the animal over a prolonged period, officials said.
“It is highly unlikely that this level of sadistic cruelty could be shown to one animal and not be part of a pattern involving other animals or perhaps vulnerable people,” Norfolk District Attorney Michael Morrissey said in a press release. “We need to find the person who did this and see what else they are doing.”
The female pit bull, estimated to be 1 to 2 years old, was found Aug. 31 around Carrolls Lane, near the Whitwell Street Playground and Quincy Medical Center campus. Veterinarians have since put down the dog, saying that she was too injured to be saved.
Morrisey said investigators did not know whether the dog had been abused in Quincy.
In a summary report by the Animal Rescue League of Boston, veterinarians said the dog weighed 18.2 pounds, compared with a normal weight of 40 pounds for a dog of that age.
The dog had evidence of burns on its nose, the report said, its tongue had been cut into a serpent-like split, and the right eye appeared to have been stabbed. X-rays showed multiple skull and facial fractures, dislocated joints, blunt force trauma to the chest, and multiple vertebrae fractures.
Martha Smith-Blackmore, a vice president with the rescue league, said she typically sees instances of intentional animal abuse once every few months, but this case was by far the worst she has ever seen.
“The degree of sadism that had to be involved . . . The fact that there is a multiplicity of types of injuries — pulling, beating, stabbing, burning, mutilation — it speaks of just the worst type of abuse that could happen,” she said in an interview.
She added that many abuse cases probably go unreported as animals are simply discarded in the woods or the trash.
“Fortunately, with the increases in awareness and understanding with the real link of animal cruelty and potential violence against people, and awareness of society that we won’t stand for animals being harmed, there is interest in investigating and prosecuting these cases,” she said.
Quincy police Lieutenant Jack Sullivan agreed on the importance of finding the perpetrator.
“There is a good chance that this person has abused something or someone else at some point in time,” said Sullivan.
At a press conference Tuesday afternoon, Quincy Police Chief Paul Keenan said there were no leads in the case, but photographs of the dog have been released “in the hope that someone will recognize the dog.”
Anyone in Eastern Massachusetts with information about the case is asked to call the Animal Rescue League of Boston, Law Enforcement Deparment, 617-526-5610; send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org; or call Quincy police Detective Thomas Pepdjonovich at 617-745-5774.
Jessica Bartlett can be reached at jessica.may.bartlett