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
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
There are three weeks left to vote in the American Humane Association’s Hero Dogs Contest, a competition aimed at shining a light on the thousands of specially trained dogs giving comfort to people every day.
The American Humane Association and Cesar Canine Cuisine, are honoring the work dogs do in eight different categories — service dogs, guide dogs, hearing dogs, therapy dogs, as well as those in law enforcement, the military, and search and rescue.
An eighth, catch-all category will honor an “emerging hero dog.”
Browse through the nominees and you’ll find a few dogs that have been featured on our pages before — including Surf Dog Ricochet and, though he’s no longer in the competition, Miracle Dog Patrick.
Patrick is the dog who survived being tossed down a trash chute and abandoned at a high-rise apartment in Newark, N.J. While his story “is one of heroism in the face of horrific abuse and neglect,” contest officials said, the person who entered him asked that his name be removed to avoid further complications in the continuing controversy over who should have legal custody of the dog.
“Many people call us the heros for not euthanizing him,” notes his owner. “We respond that Rigby is the true hero for loving life and not letting his disability in any way slow him down.”
Winners in each category will be determined by online voting — you can cast your ballot at herodogawards.org — and the grand prize winner will be selected based on those votes and the decision of a panel of judges.
Judges for the contest include Betty White, Whoopi Goldberg and Victoria Stilwell.
For every online vote, Cesar Canine Cuisine will make a donation to the AHA, with a limit of $200,000.
Voting ends July 31.
Founded in 1877, the American Humane Association is the oldest national organization dedicated to protecting both children and animals. It’s the organization that issues the “No Animals Were Harmed” stamp on film and TV productions.
Winners in each contest category receive $5,000 for the charity they have designated. The grand prize winner receives $10,000 for their specified charity. They also win a trip to Los Angeles for the Hero Dog Awards on October 1st in Hollywood. (AHA officials say a tribute to Patrick is planned as well, even though he’s no longer an official entry.)
The presentation will air on the Hallmark Channel, November 11 at 8 p.m.
Posted by jwoestendiek July 9th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: american humane association, animals, assistance, betty white, cesar canine cuisine, dogs, guide dogs, hearing dogs, hero, hero dog contest, hero dogs, honoring, judges, law enforcement, military, miracle dog patrick, online, patrick, pets, rigby, search and rescue, service, surf dog ricochet, therapy dogs, victoria stilwell, votes, voting, whoopi goldberg, work
Patrick, the dog found starved nearly to death after he was dumped down a high-rise apartment building’s trash chute in Newark, now weighs in at more than 35 pounds.
And that’s without the petrified hairball that was surgically removed from his stomach this week.
Dr. Jason Pintar, an internist at Garden State Veterinary Specialists, removed the long flat hair mass from Patrick’s stomach using a video endoscopic procedure while Patrick was under anesthesia.
After the hair mass was removed, Patrick was transferred to another surgery suite for neutering, Associated Humane Societies in New Jersey reportsAfter surgery, he’ll still need treatment for mange, and physical therapy for weak rear legs, AHS says.
The non-profit organization says it’s receiving thousands of emails a day — and that it has been contacted by several people who say Patrick was their dog. Some say he ran away, some say he was stolen, and one told AHS they’d contacted an attorney.
Also casting a cloud over Patrick’s story is the emergence of people hoping to profit off his name and image.
The number of Internet sites related to him — some well-intentioned, some not — has steadily grown, and some are selling ”Patrick” items such as t-shirts, keychains and posters, and using his story to ”solicit funds for their own use,” AHS says.
(Photos: Courtesy of Associated Humane Societies and Popcorn Park Zoo)
Posted by jwoestendiek April 21st, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abandoned, animal cruelty, animal welfare, animals, associated humane societies, chute, cruelty to animals, discarded, dog, dogs, hair mass, hairball, neutered, new jersey, newark, patrick, pets, recovery, scams, surgery, trash, treatment, update
Newark Mayor Cory Booker is asking the public for a birthday present — a new animal shelter to be built in honor of Patrick, the pit bull dumped down a high rise apartment building’s trash chute and left to starve.
Booker called the act “one of the most heinous incients of animal cruelty that I’ve seen since I’ve been mayor” and he noted that it has led to outrage across the country.
But, he added, “This is a time that, instead of blame, we all take more responsibility for what’s going on to animals in Newark, New Jersey and around the world.
“For my birthday wish … we would like you to join our cause” — a state of art animal shelter that can be No. 1 in honor of Patrick but also in honor of those many other animals in our larger Newark community that face severe problems and challenges. We must be there for them, too.”
The mayor’s YouTube video refers viewers to a website where donations be made.
The campaign seeks to raise $50,000 towards construction of a facility that would serve Essex and Hudson Counties. Already, Booker said, a site has been identified and architects are working on the design.
“By working to build a modern, state-of-the-art shelter through public and private funding, and by employing innovative policies to improve responsible pet care, decrease birthrates, increase adoptions, and help keep animals with their responsible caretakers, we believe that Newark’s animal shelter operations can become a model for the rest of the nation.”
Patrick is now in the custody of Associated Humane Societies and is receiving treatment at Garden State Veterinary Specialists, both of which say they’ve received enough public donations to cover his care.
Kisha Curtis, with whom Patrick lived, has entered a not guilty plea to charges of abuse and abandonment.
Posted by jwoestendiek April 4th, 2011 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: abandoned, abuse, animal cruelty, animals, apartment, associated humane societies, chute, cory booker, discarded, dog, dogs, garden state veterinary specialists, high rise, kisha curtis, mayor, neglect, new jersey, newark, patrick, pets, pit bull, pitbull, starved, trash
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
All the terrible things humans do to dogs is another.
ohmidog! – as regular readers know — is not all fluffy, feel-good dog news all the time. We think it’s important not to turn a blind eye to animal abuse, in any of its forms, because only when the public fully knows what is going on can steps be taken to do something about it.
A case in point: Patrick, the starving New Jersey pit bull tossed down a trash chute at a high-rise apartment in Newark.
His reprehensible treatment, and subsequent resiliency, is not just tugging at the heartstrings of dog lovers everywhere, it’s uniting them to demand that those who abuse dogs be subject to punishments more in line with the ones received for violent crimes against humans.
If no one had seen those disturbing pictures of what Patrick looked like when he was taken in by Associated Humane Societies, there probably wouldn’t have been the outcry that has ensued. Publicity about his case has led not just to donations for his care, and that of dogs similarly abused, but to the sprouting of grassroots movements aimed at strenghtening animal abuse laws.
Patrick’s story, amid signs he’s continuing to recover, appears headed for a happy ending.
There was one in North Carolina this week that didn’t:
A female retriever mix, believed to be about 4 years old, was found wandering in the 6500 block of Lake Brandt Road in Greensboro on Tuesday after apparently being scalded with boiling water.
She was wearing a collar and a rabies tag, but the numbers could not be read, according to Marsha Williams, the animal shelter’s director. The nameless dog was responsive when she arrived at the animal shelter, but she was emaciated and suffering third-degree burns on her face, ears and legs. She died 30 minutes later.
The Greensboro-Guilford County Crime Stoppers is offering a $2,000 reward for information leading to the arrest or indictment of those responsible. The Crime Stoppers number is 336-373-1000.
Very little is known about the dog, or what happened to her — and given as she has no known name, given that she didn’t survive — she’s not likely to emerge as a poster child or Internet sensation.
We share her story — or at least the sparse details known – for the same reason we passed along Patrick’s story; and that of Phoenix, a pit bull burned in Baltimore; and Susie, a puppy tortured in Greensboro; and Louis Vuitton, burned and beaten in Alabama; and Buddy, dragged to death behind a truck in Colorado.
And that’s because the public needs to know — the non-sugar-coated truth, unfathomable as it is, painful as it may be to see and hear.
That’s the only way change happens. Our hope would be that change would involve more than just harsher sentences for animal abuse. More severe sentences will send a message, serve as a deterrent and satisfy our need for vengeance, but they don’t address the underlying causes that, without making compassion for animals part of every school’s curriculum, ensure such incidents will continue.
ohmidog! tries not to be one of those websites that shoves animal abuse down your throat daily (sometimes the days just don’t cooperate, though). Similarly, it tries not be one of those blissfully ignorant websites that look only at the happy dog news, pawsing only for bad puns.
If you want to be totally shielded from the sad and gory, the depraved and the troubling, don’t come here.
Because when humans sink this low, whether they be punks in an alley, breeders at a puppy mill, or scientists in a laboratory, we will make note of it and, if we can, more than likely include a photo, too — not for the purpose of sensationalizing, but to inform and spark action.
That said, to see the photo, continue. To avoid it, don’t click, don’t scroll, just go back to our main page.
Posted by jwoestendiek April 1st, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abuse, abused dogs, animal cruelty, animals, boiling, buddy, crime, cruelty, dead, details, dog, dog websites, dogs, gory, greensboro, killed, law, louis vuitton, media, news, north carolina, ohmidog!, patrick, pets, phoenix, photos, pictures, pit bull, scalded, sentences, susie, torture, water, website
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
A 28-year-old Newark woman has been charged with four counts of animal cruelty in the case of Patrick, a 1-year-old pit bull who was found almost starved to death after he was dumped down a garbage chute in a high-rise apartment building.
Kisha Curtis was charged Friday with two counts of abandonment and two counts of failure to provide proper sustenance, New Jersey SPCA officials said.
The dog was discovered by maintenance workers March 16 inside a garbage bin at Garden Spires, a 550-unit apartment building. Staff at the Associated Humane Societies/Popcorn Park called it one of the worst cases of cruelty they’ve ever seen.
Matthew Stanton, a spokesman for the New Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals told FoxNews.com that Curtis, the alleged owner, faces two criminal counts and two civil counts, which he said could result in up to six months in jail or a $1,000 fine and community service if convicted.
Stanton said Curtis told authorities she was unable to take care of the dog anymore, but she denied throwing the dog into the chute at the 22-story apartment building. The New Jersey SPCA is investigating whether anyone else was involved in the abuse and disposal of the animal.
Patrick, meanwhile, is slowly recovering at Garden State Veterinary Specialists in Tinton Falls. Staff there say he is now standing and eating small amounts of food several times a day, though he remains pathetically thin.
AHS, which is paying for Patrick’s continuing care, is continuing to post daily updates on his condition. Most recently, they’ve reported that an ultrasound test found a foreign body lodged found inside the dog, and they speculated he may have swallowed something to quell the hunger that he was experiencing.
AHS also arranged to have Patrick interviewed by an animal communicator, who reported he told her, among other things, ”I am broken, I don’t know why.”
(Photo: Courtesy of Associated Humane Societies and Popcorn Park Zoo)
Posted by jwoestendiek March 26th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abandonment, animal communicator, animal cruelty, animal welfare, animals, arrest, associated humane societies, charges, condition, cruelty, dog, dogs, dumped, garbage, garden spires, garden state veterinary specialists, health, kisha curtis, new jersey, newark, owner, patrick, pets, pit bull, popcorn park zoo, starved, trash chute
And considering the condition he was found in — by a maintenance worker who noticed a soon-to be-compacted plastic bag moving — that’s pretty close to miraculous.
According to Associated Humane Societies, Patrick, as he was later named, was living — and just barely — somewhere in the Garden Spires apartment building, which is equipped with garbage chutes on each floor.
“Someone had no more use for this dog. They had starved it to near death, put it in a garbage bag and threw it down the garbage chute,” AHS reports on its website.
Normally, the contents of the bin at the bottom of the building are sent directly into a trash compacter, but on Wednesday, March 16th, a maintenance worker noticed a bag moving, opened it and found the dog inside – about one year old, pathetically thin and on death’s doorstep.
“His eyelids were moving a little. But he was just lifeless — his body hung there when we picked him up,” Monmouth County animal control officer Arthur Skinner said.
Skinner took the dog to Associated Humane Societies Newark Animal Care Center, and he was sent from there Garden State Veterinary Specialists in Tinton Falls, veterinarians and technicians have been giving him transfusions of blood, feeding him intravenously and warming him with heated blankets.
By Monday, Patrick, who was named by hospital staff on St. Patrick’s Day, was able to sit up and walk. He’s now off IV fluids and eating canned dog food.
Patrick — and we’ll warn you now that the picture below, taken shortly after he was discovered, is highly disturbing — is slowly becoming more than skin and bones. He spends most of his time in his cage, napping next to stuffed animals donated by the hospital’s staff. He doesn’t bark or wag his tail, but lifts his head whenever someone passes by, accordingn to the Star-Ledger in Newark.
The Associated Humane Societies reported this week that Patrick is now able to stand, eats little bits of food several times a day and is having normal bowel movements. The organization is accepting donations towards his continued care. You can find AHS updates on Patrick here.
Posted by jwoestendiek March 24th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abuse, animal control, animals, associated humane societies, compactor, cruelty, dog, dogs, dumped, garden spires, garden stat veterinary specialists, monmouth county, new jersey, newark, patrick, pets, pit bull, pitbull, popcorn park, starved, trash, trash bag, trash chute