A year and a half after a starved pit bull was found at the bottom of a trash chute at a Newark high rise apartment — looking more like a corpse than a pet — the dog who would go on to be named Patrick is doing great.
Progressing far less quickly are court case against his former owner, and a proposed bill, named after Patrick, that would bring stiffer penalties against those who abuse and neglect animals.
Patrick’s Law would increase penalties against those who abuse and neglect animals. Last week, it cleared the New Jersey Senate Economic Growth Committee, but it still requires approval by another committee and both houses of the legislature.
The bill (S1303) would make certain acts of neglect and abuse fourth-degree offenses and increases the civil penalties — up to $3,000 for a first offense and $5,000 for a second offense, according to NJ.com. If an animal dies, offenders could be charge with a third-degree crime, which carries stricter penalties.
Sponsored by Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean Jr., it would also increase the penalties for dogfighting; failing to provide an animal with proper food, water and shelter; and leaving animals unattended in hot cars.
Patrick was found in March 2011 in a garbage chute at Garden Spires.
His former owner, Newark resident Kisha Curtis, was charged with animal cruelty and remains free on $10,000 bond. Curtis has entered a plea of not guilty and has rejected a plea deal under which she would serve 18 months in prison, pay a $5,000 fine and serve 30 days of community service.
Instead, she wants to enter a pretrial intervention program,which would involve no jail time and, once completed, leave her without a record.
That’s now under consideration by Newark Superior Court Judge Joseph Cassini III, who agreed last month to review documents from the Department of Children and Family Services regarding Curtis and her childhood.
Curtis admits to abandoning Patrick, but says she “never harmed” the dog and that she had only had him for a few days. She is not accused of throwing the dog down the chute, only of neglecting and abandoning him.
Patrick, meanwhile — after months of veterinary care and intensive rehabilitation at Garden State Veterinary Specialists in Tinton Falls, N.J.– is happy and healthy.
Who will eventually be awarded custody of him is still at issue, but it definitely won’t be Kisha Curtis.
(Photo: Tony Kurdzuk / The Newark Star-Ledger)
Posted by jwoestendiek September 21st, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abuse, animal cruelty, animals, apartment, bill, chute, court case, courts, crime, cruelty to animals, davis, dogs, garbage, garden state veterinary specialists, high rise, kisha curtis, law, legislature, neglect, new jersey, newark, patrick, patrick's law, pets, pit bull, pit bulls, pitbull, pitbulls, proposal, starvation, starved, starving, trash
The video above was made last year, when Eldad and Audrey Hagar of Hope for Paws found a dog huddled amid some trash in South Los Angeles.
“She was just so defeated,” said Eldad Hagar, who captured the rescue on video. “…There seemed to be no hope there.”
As it turns out, and as you’ll see in the “after” video below, there was.
The Hagars, who estimate they’ve rescued more than 500 dogs through their organization, took the dog home and named her Fiona. They shaved off her grimy and matted fur, gave her a bath and, realizing she was blind, took her to a vet who told them it was possible that sight could be restored in one of her eyes.
A nationwide fundraising effort followed, and Fiona received a $4,000 eye surgery that replaced the lens in one of her eyes. Her other eye, badly damaged by glaucoma, had to be removed.
After that, Fiona — a poodle mix — was adopted and “is doing amazing,” Eldad says.
Eldad, 36, and his wife, Audrey, 37, are the founders of Hope For Paws, a Los Angeles-based animal rescue organization that takes in abused and neglected animals.
Hagar and his wife rescue several animals a week in the Los Angeles area, and often videotape the process. You can see some examples on their YouTube page.
Posted by jwoestendiek March 27th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: adopt, adopted, after, animals, audrey hagar, before, blind, dog, dogs, eldad hagar, eyesight, facebook, fiona, fundraising, garbage, help for paws, los angeles, pets, poodle, rescue, restored, shelter, sight, transformation, trash, videos, youtube
Just look at him now.
Dubbed Patrick — in honor of St. Patrick’s Day — he defied all the odds.
One year later, he’s looking healthy and happy — though a custody battle is still raging over him.
Meanwhile, his former owner, who turned down a plea deal, is scheduled to appear in court today for her trial on animal cruelty charges.
Patrick was originally taken in and cared for by the Associated Humane Societies, New Jersey’s largest animal shelter organization.
In the months that followed, by virtue of his inspiring story, he’d become a poster boy for the rescue organization, the veterinary hospital, and a few others that hoped to capitalize on his growing fame by using his case and image to fight for stronger animal abuse laws.
Associated Humane Societies is seeking permanent custody, despite earlier rulings that he should remain in the custody of Garden State Veterinary Specialists of Tinton Falls.
Both sides accuse the other of trying to profit from Patrick’s plight.
Patrick weighed 19 pounds when he arrived there, and now weighs 50. He has been staying with Patricia Smillie-Scavelli, the hospital’s administrator, who wants to keep him.
AHS says Patrick should be returned, and that once he is, they would begin the process of finding a home for him. They deny that they are trying to make a profit off of him, and say the veterinary hospital didn’t have the right to take possession of a dog brought in for treatment.
She is not accused of tossing the dog down the chute, only of neglecting and abandoning him.
(Photo credits: Top, The Patrick Miracle Facebook page; middle, Associated Humane Societies; bottom, Newark Star-Ledger)
Posted by jwoestendiek March 19th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal cruelty, animals, associated humane societies, battle, bin, chute, cruelty to animals, custody, dog, dogs, emaciated, fight, garbage, garden state veterinary specialists, high rise, inspiration, kisha curtis, miracle, new jersey, newark, patrick, pets, pit bull, profit, recovery, rescued, resilience, st patricks day, story, straving, thin, trash, trial
Leo fell into a Dumpster and couldn’t get out.
An aging Australian cattle dog mix, Leo apparently climbed a ramp attached to a large Dumpster and, when no one was looking, either jumped or fell in.
Barbara Grabell and her husband George Anderson searched high and low for Leo after he disappeared from their ranch in Alfalfa, Oregon.
“I thought he – sometimes, they just go off to die privately. I was walking the property, looking under trees, the sagebrush,” Grabell told KTVZ.
Grabell said she walked over to the nearby trash transfer station and looked in the 9-foot-tall Dumpster, which has a ramp that allows residents to more easily dump their garbage. It was about two-thirds full of garbage by then, but she didn’t see Leo. She shouted his name, but he’s hard of hearing.
Four days after Leo disappeared, the Dumpster was picked up for the trip to the Knott Landfill in Bend.
There, Paul Decker, a driver for Bend Garbage and Recycling, was watching its contents pour out when he saw, amid the trash, a dog — dazed and confused but alive, apparently having survived on a diet of garbage.
The dog was taken to the Humane Society of Central Oregon, which Grabell had called earlier to report Leo missing. They notified her he’d been found. She picked up Leo, took him to a vet to be checked out, and then back home.
“He’s home and he’s resting comfortably,” she said Saturday night. “I’m so thankful and relieved, you have no idea.”
Posted by jwoestendiek March 12th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: aging, alfalfa, alive, animals, australian cattle dog, barbara grabell, bend garbage and recycling, bin, climbed, disappeared, dog, dogs, dumped, dumpster, fell, garbage, humane society of central oregon, jumped, landfill, leo, lost, mix, old, oregon, paul decker, pets, survival, survived, trash, trash bin
The South Carolina woman who put her live dog out with the trash, got caught, then did it again, has been found guilty of ill treatment of animals, officials in Spartanburg County say.
Nancy Smythe, 58, was fined $470 for ill treatment of animals, and fined another $80 because the dog was not vaccinated against rabies, according to GoUpstate.com.
An employee with a trash collection company found the dog inside a trash can outside of Smythe’s residence earlier this month. The worker took the dog to Smythe’s residence, where, after initially denying it, she identified the dog as her’s. The worker called animal control officers before leaving, and when they arrived they found the shih tzu in the trash can again, under two bags of garbage.
Smythe told officers that she “needed to get rid of the dog.”
The dog, named Oreo, is now at Greenville County Animal Care, where Susan Bufano said he’s not nearly as shy and reserved as she expected he’d be.
“He is just a love,” she said of the dog, believed to be about 8 years old.
Oreo was not neutered, was loaded with fleas and had other skin problems when he arrived, but he is being treated with antibiotics and improving, she said.
Bufano has received about 200 calls and emails — from people as far away as Arizona, New York and Texas — willing to provide Oreo a home. The pool of potential adoptees has been narrowed to about 20, she said.
Posted by jwoestendiek February 24th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adopt, adoption, animal control, animals, dog, dogs, fine, garbage, greenville, guilty, ill treatment, oreo, pets, sanitation, shelter, shih-tzu, south carolina, spartanburg, trash
Not her dog’s body. Her dog.
The dog was first discovered by sanitation workers who found it in a trash bag while picking up garbage on a street in Spartanburg County, according to WYFF.
Jamie Nelson, with Spartanburg County Environmental Enforcement, said a trash company worker brought the dog to the house the trash can was in front of, and the owner originally said it didn’t belong to her.
Eventually, she admitted the 8-year-old black and white Shih Tzu was her dog, and animal control was called. While they were on their way, Nelson said, the woman put the dog back in a trash bag and put it back in the trash can, hiding it beneath other bags of trash.
When animal control officers found it there, Nancy Jeanne Smythe, of Spartanburg County, was charged with ill treatment of animals and the dog was taken to a local shelter, where it — other than a pre-existing skin condition — was reported to be doing fine.
Posted by jwoestendiek February 10th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal control, animal cruelty, animals, cruelty to animals, dog, dogs, garbage, garbage can, live, living, nancy jeanne smythe, pets, sanitation, shih-tzu, south carolina, spartanburg, throw away, trash, trash bag, worker
In the best of all possible worlds, I would have a poop valet.
On our walks around the neighborhood, he would follow a few steps behind Ace and me, keeping quiet, and waiting to spring into action when his services were required.
It is not picking up Ace’s poop that bothers me so much, it’s lugging the brown and bulging sack around for the rest of the walk.
The poop valet’s job would be to serve as a courier, running the bag back home to my personal garbage can — three four, five blocks away – before washing his hands, checking his pencil-thin mustache, straightening his red vest and returning to see if his services were further required, because double-doody walks, while not common, sometimes occur. (My poop valet, in my imagination, looks a lot like John Waters.)
I can’t bring myself to toss Ace’s poop in other people’s trash. That would be bad manners even if I had a tiny dog. With Ace, it would be no small deposit, taking up valuable refuse space that’s not mine, and adding a lingering scent to the recipient’s receptacle – no matter how tightly I’ve tied the bag – that is anything but lavender, pine or lemony fresh.
As I said, I can tolerate the scoopage, and the brief period of stinkiness as I tie the bag, but being new in the area – and wanting to make a positive impression upon returning to my native neighborhood – lugging an ever-present, generally full poop bag, I fear, works as a strike against me.
It seems, with everyone I have met on our walks, it has been while clutching in my hand a giant bag of poop.
It’s nothing to be ashamed of, I know. Far more shameful would be not picking it up. But still, I find myself feeling slightly embarrassed and less confident at these moments. It’s hard to have self esteem when your self is carrying a steaming bag of feces.
Normally, I would just avoid meeting people – but people are friendly here, and Ace insists upon making new acquaintances, especially if the person is a female. (And I swear I never trained or encouraged him to seek out and befriend females. He just does.)
Poop bag-toting was never a big issue for us in Baltimore, because most walks were to the park, and he would wait until there to do his business. There would always be a public trash can nearby, often overflowing with other bags of — to use the local nomenclature — dog shit.
Here in Winston-Salem, though, most of our walks are through residential areas, with no communal trash cans. Here, people don’t say shit so much. Or even poop. Or even waste. My mother, a local, gets mad when I write about the topic – even though it’s one a dog writer can’t avoid stepping in from time to time. For better or worse, people are more civil here, act more polite, follow silly but sweet old traditions and wear well-pressed clothing.
I probably should start ironing my shirts (or maybe the poop valet wouldn’t mind doing that, too).
Being a large dog (130 pounds), Ace’s output (though it was less when he was on a raw diet) is pretty massive. Picture four or five Hostess Twinkies, in a pile.
I generally use white plastic grocery store bags for the chore, they being free and abundant, if not quickly biodegradable and best for the environment. Being white, being big, being full, it’s impossible to carry them discretely.
Making matters worse, our normal walking route takes us past a restaurant on the way home, with outdoor dining. At first, I would cross the street so as not to offend diners, but they have a water bowl set out for dogs, and Ace is thirsty by then.
With a poop valet, I’d have none of these problems.
As I see it, I’d still scoop – for I am not above that. I’d still tie the bag in an attempt to keep foul odors from wafting out, for I don’t consider that beneath me, either. But then I’d snap my fingers to summon the poop valet and he’d rush to my side. I would hold out the bag. He would take it.
“Very good, sir,” he would say. Then he’d trot back to my house, holding the poop bag in front of him with a fully outstretched arm, to dispose of it before returning to take his place behind us. He’d also always carry extra bags, just in case we needed one.
With the poop valet’s assistance, unencumbered by a big translucent white bag of poop, I would cut a far more charming, more appealing figure.
With a poop valet, I would no longer find myself in this position: “Hi, I’m John, this is Ace, and this is Ace’s massive output of fecal matter – one of two loads he will likely dispense today. Would you care to get a drink sometime?”
Had I a poop valet, he could carry my social calendar as well, for I’m certain – once I stop toting poop through the neighborhood – I will make many friends who want to go out, especially if I’m wearing well-pressed shirts.
Without one, I fear becoming known as the guy who’s always walking through the neighborhood with a sack-o-you-know-what.
“Oh, Poop Bag Guy. Yeah, I’ve seen him. The one who’s always wearing a wrinkled shirt, right?”
“Yeah, that one. Have you ever seen him without poop?”
“Nope, he always has it by his side.”
Eventually people would start shouting at me from across the street: “Hey, Poop Bag Guy! Howyadoin?”
In the event some of you are taking this too seriously, let me point out that lugging his leavings is a small price to pay for having the world’s most fantastic dog. And that, though big dogs leave big droppings, the loads of joy they bring far outnumber them.
In the event you’re a company that just so happens to market a handsome, discrete, odor killing poop bag “caddy,” let me say I wish you success, but that to me bagging, re-bagging and de-bagging just seems like too much work, and that I’m not willing to pay money to avoid being embarrassed (though we’ll happily run your paid advertisement).
In the event you want to be my poop valet, feel free to stop by and pick up an application, but be aware I can’t pay for that, either. It would me more of an internship, really — interns being used to doing the sh … stuff … nobody else wants to do.
And, of course, you’d have to provide your own red vest.
Posted by jwoestendiek June 20th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ace, animals, bag, bagging, baltimore, big dogs, caddy, clean up, courier, dog, dog walking, dog's country, dogs, dogscountry, etiquette, feces, first impressions, garbage, home, impressions, john waters, large dogs, lawns, manners, neighborhood, pets, pick-up, poop, poop bag guy, poop valet, sack, scoop, self confidence, self esteem, shit, socializing, stinky, trash cans, travels with ace, walking dogs, waste, winston-salem
And, even though he’s living in a new state now, Wall-E — with help from an artist — is still raising money to build a new shelter in Murray County to replace the overcrowded one where he was injected with lethal drugs, pronounced dead and tossed in a trash bin.
After he survived euthanasia — he received two lethal doses, one in the leg, one in heart — Wall-E went on to become a much sought after dog, with national publicity leading to thousands of inquiries from people wanting to adopt him.
After months of reviewing the applicants, the shelter has placed Wall-E with a family that lives out of state and wants to remain anonymous, according to an Associated Press report.
“For some reason I had a complete comfort in picking them. They just really stood out,” said Amanda Kloski, the veterinarian technician at Arbuckle Veterinarian Clinic in Sulphur who cared for Wall-E after he was found alive. “They can give him what I can’t give him and what a lot of people probably couldn’t.”
Kloski said that while Wall-E’s story has made more people aware of the need to find homes for stray animals, overcrowding at the local shelter in Sulphur, about 80 miles south of Oklahoma City, remains a problem.
But donations to the shelter in his name, and sales of his portrait, are helping to raise the money needed to build a new shelter in Murray County.
Animal artist Ron Burns painted a portrait of Wall-E, and is donating 40 percent of the proceeds from sales of the prints.
“I believe Wall-E is still with us for a certain purpose, and that purpose is threefold — that through his ‘tail’ of miraculous survival, he is here to help his fellow four-legged friends, to remind us all of the importance of animal adoption and to stress the necessity of local spay and neuter programs,” Burns said.
Posted by jwoestendiek May 30th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adopt, adopted, adoption, alive, animals, artist, bin, dog, dogs, euthanasia, euthanized, found, garbage, injections, lethal, murray county, oklahoma, pets, rescue, ron burns, shelter, shelters, sulphur, survival, survived, survivor, trash, wall-e
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.
Posted by jwoestendiek April 2nd, 2011 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: abuse, animal cruelty, bail, bin, bond, charges, chute, courts, entered, essex county, garbage, garden spires, hearing, justice, kisha curtis, neglect, newark, news, not guilty, patrick, pit bull, pitbull, plea, sentence, tormenting, torture, trash, video
Here’s a video update posted by the Newark Star-Ledger yesterday on Patrick — the starved, abused and discarded pit bull who has captured America’s heart.
Two weeks have passed since Patrick was rescued — minutes before the bin he was in was headed to the trash compactor — after being tossed down a garbage chute in a high-rise Newark apartment building.
Caregivers at Garden State Veterinary Specialists in Tinton Falls say Patrick continues to improve, but an ultrasound shows that he has an object lodged in his stomach.
Once he gains a little more weight, vets will perform an endoscopy to remove whatever might be lodged inside him.
The Associated Humane Society of Newark, which has official custody of Patrick, will determine who adopts Patrick once he is completely healed. Thousands across the country have expressed interest.
Kisha Curtis, who has been identified as the dog’s owner, has been charged with two counts of abandonment and two counts of failure to provide proper sustenance, according New Jersey SPCA officials. The charges — two criminal counts and two civil counts — carry a maximum penalty of six months in jail or a $1,000 fine and community service.
Curtis told police that she couldn’t take care of Patrick anymore, but she denies responsibility for tossing the 1 year-old dog down the apartment garbage chute.
Posted by jwoestendiek March 31st, 2011 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: abuse, adopt, animal welfare, animals, apartment, arrest, associated humane societies, bin, charges, chute, compactor, cruelty, dog, dogs, garbage, garden state veterinary specialists, high rise, kisha curtis, neglect, new jersey, patrick, pets, pit bull, rescue, trash, update, video