BOSTON, Mass., June 17 – The MSPCA’s Law Enforcement division announced today that it has filed two counts of felony animal cruelty charges against an Agawam man on behalf of “Sophie,” the four-and-a-half-year-old Pit Bull mix.
The MSPCA received a complaint from the man’s condominium management office, reporting complaints from neighbors who could hear Sophie being hit, and crying in pain. Law Enforcement Officer William Loiselle visited the home on May 4 with Agawam Police and Animal Control, where they found Sophie severely emaciated.
Sophie’s owner, Carl Moglika Jr., surrendered Sophie to the MSPCA that same day.
“Sgt. Loiselle drove Sophie from Agawam to the MSPCA’s Angell Animal Medical Center in Boston because it was clear she needed to be seen by a veterinarian as soon as possible,” said Thomas Grenham, Director of MSPCA Law Enforcement.
Veterinarians who examined Sophie found that in addition to being emaciated, she had diarrhea, anemia, a fractured tooth, and a thin coat.
“Now, she’s got a chance at a new life, a positive outcome that was only possible thanks to the dedication of Sgt. Loiselle and the collaboration between our department and Agawam Police and Animal Control.”
Hampden District Attorney’s Office’s Communications Director, James Leydon, shared a similar sentiment. “We are happy to hear that Sophie is recovering and her condition is improving,” he stated. “We are thankful for the people who came forward to alert law enforcement of the inhumane treatment, which resulted in Sophie getting the treatment she needed and her owner being held accountable.”
Mogilka Jr. is scheduled to be arraigned on two counts of felony animal cruelty July 16 at Westfield District Court.
“Very Special Adopter” Needed
Despite what she’s been through, shelter staff say that Sophie is incredibly friendly and loving. But, her past trauma has impacted some of her behavior.
“It was heartbreaking to see Sophie’s condition when she first came to us,” said MSPCA-Angell Director of Adoption Centers and Programs Mike Keiley. “We’ve been able to nurse her back to health, physically, but there are still some behavioral challenges that we’re working through.”
Keiley said that those challenges include resource guarding, which is a tendency for some dogs to growl, lunge, or even bite, to guard their food or toys. “Our team is working hard to help Sophie learn how to communicate with people in a new way,” he added. “Having lived in an environment in which normal forms of dog communication were being ignored, she has to learn those skills from the beginning.”
Morgan Katz, MSPCA-Angell director of behavior services – adoption centers, has been fostering Sophie and echoed Keiley’s sentiments. “Despite her history, Sophie has a big personality and is silly and engaging,” Katz said. “She loves being around people and is constantly seeking affection from them. We know that she can thrive in the right home with ‘hero adopters’ able to continue the behavior support she’s been receiving in our care.”
The MSPCA is looking for an adopter in an adult-only household with no other pets who is committed to working with a behavior professional to provide the on-going support she needs. Interested adopters can apply at mspca.org/bostonadopt.