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Patrick’s owner enters not guilty plea

A not guilty plea was entered Friday on behalf of Kisha Curtis, the Newark woman accused of animal cruelty charges stemming from the discovery of a dog who’d been tossed down a trash chute and left to die in a garbage bin.

The 1-year-old pit bull, whose rescuers named him Patrick, continues to recover at an area animal hospital.

Public defender Regina Lynch entered the plea in Superior Court in Newark on behalf of Curtis, 27, the Newark Star-Ledger reported. She appeared at the hearing via a video hookup from the Essex County Jail.

Curtis faces two counts of tormenting and torturing a living creature by failing to provide sustenance and two counts of abandonment, said Assistant Essex County Prosecutor Cheryl Cucinello.

After the hearing, Kisha’s mother, Tammie Curtis, said her daughter didn’t discard the dog, but only left him tethered at the high-rise Garden Spires apartments in Newark — while she went on a trip to Albany. She implied that the dog was stolen.

“Anybody would take that dog,” the mother said. “If she tied the dog, she didn’t leave the dog to die.”

A security guard at the 520-unit complex told the Star-Ledger that the dog had been seen tied to a railing with a leather leash, and had been the subject of resident complaints for more than a month.

“It would whimper, and it would yelp when you would come up to it,” Ortman said.

A custodian found Patrick on March 16, inside a trash bag at the bottom of a 22-story garbage chute.

Judge Amilkar Velez-Lopez kept Curtis’ bail at $10,000 bond or $1,000 cash and forbid her to have contact with pets. If convicted, she faces 18 months in prison, a $3,000 fine and community service.

Patrick has been recovering at Garden State Veterinary Specialists in Tinton Falls, where he has gained two pounds since being found.


Comment from Smoketoomuch
Time April 2, 2011 at 12:20 pm

Regardless of whether or not Keshia Curtis deposited Patrick in the trash chute, the fact remains that she starved the dog over an extended period of time, then tied him to a railing and left town. At the very least she is guilty of severe neglect and abuse, he was HER dog after all, and was therefore HER responsibility. And while I understand the visceral response of many who wish to do the same to her, I’m sure that in the cold light of day they understand that doing so would make them no better than Curtis herself. The legal community in New Jersey is aware of the outrage this incident has generated, and I’m sure Ms. Curtis will be found guilty and dealt with in an appropriate manner. What is important now is that Patrick be made whole again, and given a new chance at life with a loving family, and that the laws against animal abuse are both strengthened and enforced going forward. Then perhaps Patrick will not have suffered in vain.

Comment from Angry
Time April 2, 2011 at 12:55 pm

Uneducated pig – tie her up and starve her fat a..

Comment from foro
Time April 2, 2011 at 1:17 pm

I hope this woman to be punished to maximum amount.

Comment from kim k
Time April 2, 2011 at 4:21 pm

It doesn’t look like SHE missed any meals!!!!!

Comment from Maya
Time April 2, 2011 at 7:03 pm

It is as shameful that noone from the buidling reported the animal abuse to the authorities. The dog had obviously been in distress for a long time and everyone seemed to have turned a blind eye. Thank God for the garbage collector, God bless him, Patrick and all the people helping him now.

Comment from John
Time April 3, 2011 at 10:17 am

I don’t care that this statement is wrong…I am very angry…I hope someone kills her while she is in prison. Maybe she can fall down a flight of stairs 15 or 16 times.

Comment from Anne’n’Spencer
Time April 4, 2011 at 12:06 am

Very well said, Smokestoomuch. I prefer to leave Ms. Curtis in the hands of justice rather than reverting to the laws of the jungle. I would like to see stronger laws and better trained law enforcement. Around here, I try to direct the anger I feel over these incidents into contacts with assorted government officials to let them know how I feel. It seems more effective–or at least it lets me feel as though I’ve actually done something to make the problem better. Patrick’s images are haunting, and I’m looking forward to hearing that he’s pulled through his surgery and is on the mend. I know he won’t face a shortage of loving homes to go to. For him, maybe living well will be his best revenge.

Comment from scott
Time April 4, 2011 at 4:03 am

“but unfortunately we are bound by the laws”

spoken like a true lawyer.

Comment from Doreen
Time April 4, 2011 at 6:24 pm

Why are we not seeing pictures of this horrible person. If she can do this to a dog image what she would do to a helpless child. why are we as a country alowing abuse of living creatures it makes me sick. the laws should be stricker these beautiful creatures need a voice.

Comment from raeann
Time April 8, 2011 at 9:44 am

I agree. Tie this woman up, starve her and leave her to die. she is the lowest of the low and should NOT be allowed to get away with this horrific behavior. Shame.

Comment from Cheryl
Time April 12, 2011 at 3:01 pm

They should do to this BITCH the same as she did to this poor helpless dog. How horrible. I can’t even begin to imagine how this dog suffered.

Comment from Ronnie
Time April 19, 2011 at 1:30 pm

She should be bound and gagged and thrown in a closet for a month.

Comment from Ronnie
Time April 19, 2011 at 1:32 pm

The fact the dog was starved, left tied with no food and water for how long? I hope she suffers a lot.

Comment from Maggie
Time May 10, 2011 at 11:46 pm

Wow, she left him tethered on a balcony, to DO WHAT?….what kind of moronic human being would do that, much less that as justification on why they are innocent?? I’m calling bullshit!

Comment from B
Time August 5, 2011 at 6:15 pm

American taxpayers pay to house this wretch in public housing while she works in the sex industry and a public defender will be trying hard to defend the indefensible where IF she is found guilty she faces a fine and minimal jail time. She deserves a 10 year sentence and be forced to pay EVERY GODDAM PENNY OF THE COSTS TO RESCUE PATRICK FROM HER ATROCITIES. This Hoe is in the league of Cheyenne Cherry and Michael Vick!

Comment from Anonymous
Time May 12, 2013 at 2:54 am

I vote for a chain gang. make this bitch work for thefirst time in her life and pay at least a very small percentage of what she costs taxpayers to keep her. At night tie her to a rail.