Radoslaw Czerkawski, 32, pleaded not guilty on Tuesday in Quincy District Court to 11 counts of cruelty to animals as well as misleading investigators. He was ordered held on $500,000 bail.
Prosecutors said that DNA evidence helped them charge Czerkawski with the crime.
Czerkawski was working as a caretaker for an elderly woman in her Whitwell Street home in Quincy earlier this year when the abuse allegedly happened, authorities said.
"DNA material taken from the interior of ... Whitwell Street in Quincy, MA. has been linked to DNA extracted by Dr. Martha Smith-Blackmore from "Puppy Doe," investigators wrote in a police report.
The pit bull-type dog nicknamed “Puppy Doe” was found Aug. 31 in Quincy. The approximately 1-year-old dog was less than half of what her weight should have been. She also had various wounds and her tongue was purposely cut to look like a serpent’s tongue.
Quincy Police Chief Paul Keenan said that investigators believe the abuse happened over the course of weeks and that Czerkawski had the dog for about four months.
Mary Nee, the president of the Animal Rescue League of Boston, said Tuesday that the case was one of the worst instances of dog abuse she's seen.
People outraged by the abuse showed up to the courthouse Tuesday with signs and their dogs. At one point they chanted "Justice for Puppy Doe" and applauded police and authorities who worked on the case.
Keenan said he couldn't offer an explanation for why Czerkawski allegedly abused the dog.
"We don't understand a motive," Keenan said. "Who has a motive for something like this? I think it was probably just a sick individual. We really can't explain that. There's been nothing through our investigation that's indicated any kind of a motive."
What's more, New Bedford Police said on Tuesday that Czerkawski will face charges there because they said he stole $6,000 from a church in a larceny scheme last year. He allegedly told the church he wanted to become a pastor, police said.