DEDHAM , Mass. - The trial began today in the so-called 'Puppy Doe case' where the man suspected of torturing a dog faces 11 counts of animal cruelty and misleading police.
The suspect in this case, Radoslaw Czerkawski has pleaded not guilty to a dozen counts of animal abuse.
He's accused of terrorizing the dog in 2013.
Prosecutors said he tortured a pitbull that was found abandoned In a Quincy playground four years ago, and she was so severely injured that she needed to be euthanized.
The abused pit bull was found barely alive near a playground in Quincy in Aug. 2013 weighing half of what she should, with multiple broken bones burns to the nose and stab wounds to the eye.
The first witnesses took the stand on Thursday at the Norfolk Superior Court in Dedham.
Witnesses today spoke on how they found the dog and how it has been so abused it couldn't walk.
A veterinarian who treated "Puppy Doe" also testified in court today, saying she could not put any weight down on her limbs and had wounds around her eyes.
"She essentially had no muscle mass, no fat, you could see all of her ribs, all of her spine through her skin," said Amanda Duffy, the veterinarian who cared for the dog.
Attorneys for Czwerkawski defended today their client did not torture the dog. The defendant claims the dog had run away.
A 500-foot buffer zone has been set up around the courthouse for the duration of the trial as demonstrations have been staged by animal rights groups and protestors upset with the suspect.
Czerkawski is a Polish native who is already in prison on unrelated charges, and he will need an interpreter as he faces the animal cruelty and misleading police charges.
He was sentenced to three to five years in prison for stealing $130,000 from a 95-year-old woman he was caring for.
Outrage over what happened to Puppy Doe already prompted Massachusetts to change the law on animal cruelty to stiffen the penalties.
More witnesses are expected to take the stand on Friday.
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