Boston woman intentionally starved dog close to death, MSPCA says

Lakeida Burris, 36, of Roxbury, was arrested by Boston police on Wednesday and faces animal cruelty charges

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A dog is on the mend after he was rescued from what the MSPCA described as "the most severe case of intentional starvation we have ever encountered."

The woman investigators believe responsible, identified as 36-year-old Lakeida Burris of Roxbury, was arrested by Boston police on Wednesday and faces animal cruelty charges.



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The Boston Police Department had placed Burris on its most wanted list.

According to MSPCA-Angell, Jobee, a 3-year-old pitbull, was just 24.5 pounds when he was found, about half of what his veterinary team said he should weigh. He spent two weeks in a critical care unit with his digestive system close to shutting down.


The dog had open wounds from a loss of circulation to his limbs, likely due to extreme starvation, and had to wear bandages. His tail had to be partially amputated due to necrosis.

“In my nearly three decades in animal welfare I’ve never seen a dog so starved who was still alive," MSPCA-Angell Director Mike Keiley said.


According to court documents, officers first spotted Jobee on July 4 when they responded to Burris' home on an unrelated call. The responding officer said the dog was sitting in a cage full of urine and feces, and looked malnourished. That officer, concerned for the animal's wellbeing, reported it to animal control. Later the same day, a dog, later determined to be the same one, was found abandoned in a parking lot outside the apartment building. At the time, Jobee was too weak to raise his head. Another underweight dog, belonging to Burris' son, was also found in her home during the investigation.

"There have been many times since the start of this case that I thought perhaps maybe he's not going to make it," Keiley said. "I had a lot of internal thoughts about — should we keep going, or is this a point where humane euthanasia is the better route?"


Despite the challenges, Jobee's health is improving, and the MSPCA is starting to consider adopters for the "sweet and snuggly dog."

"Half the battle with dogs in these situations is their will to live, and he showed us that he had that will to live," Keiley said. That little spark we needed to make sure he was ready to keep going, as well, and we're so thankful that he did."


Those interested will need to be committed to more recovery, including weight gain. Jobee should be the only pet in the house.

Burris has a prior conviction for animal cruelty and was not supposed to have animals as a condition of her probation, court documents state. She was ordered held on $1,500 cash bail.

If you're interested in learning more or donating to help pay for his care, visit

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