Animal Rescue League asks public for tips in death of dog found in Lawrence with multiple skull fractures


A necropsy of a dog found dead in a plastic bag outside a Lawrence middle school in late March revealed it suffered extensive abuse before and after its death — dying of multiple skull fractures and acute blood loss, officials said.

In light of the new information, the Animal Rescue League is renewing its call for tips from the public regarding the dog’s “intentional killing.” The league has received no tips since it first asked for the public’s help in early April, Mike DeFina, an ARL spokesman, said in a statement.

The dog, identified as a Jack Russell terrier, was found by a Lawrence police officer at approximately 10:45 a.m on March 17. The white and tan dog was found with blood on its body and in the black plastic bag, and its tail was stained with urine, DeFina said.

The necropsy revealed the dog also sustained extensive bruising on its body, indicating it had been “intermittently” abused in the 36 hours before it was killed. Officials now believe the dog was mutilated after it was killed, “adding an extra layer of public concern for investigators.”

The increased concern is a result of a “clear link” between animal abuse and other kinds of abuse and violent crimes.

“Animal abusers are far more likely to perpetrate acts of domestic, child, or elder abuse and are a threat to the general public at large,” the statement from the rescue league said.

In April, ARL Director of Law Enforcement Joe King said the primary focus of the investigation was identifying the dog’s caretaker.

“We want to start with the person who’s responsible for inflicting these injuries on the dog. We’ve done all we can with the dog right now, we know that the dog has serious injuries. We know that the dog was abused in the last couple of days before its death, and the dog did not die of natural causes. The dog was killed,” he told the Globe. “Now we need to find out who was responsible, and that’s the purpose of us reaching out to the press and asking the public for information.”

Anyone with information about the case is encouraged to contact Lawrence Police Detective Carmen Poupora at 978-794-5900, ext. 625, or Animal Rescue League Law Enforcement at 617-426-9170, ext. 110, or cruelty@arlboston.org.

Material from previous Globe stories was used in this report. Charlie McKenna can be reached at charlie.mckenna@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @charliemckenna9.