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UPDATE: Thrown Away As Garbage, Dog Captures Nation's Heart

Patrick was reportedly starved for a month before he was literally thrown away.

Patrick, the pit bull found near death after being thrown down a garbage chute of a New Jersey apartment building, is continuing to thrive almost a year and a half after being found.

His alleged abuser, however, is continuing to go through the court process and maintains that while she abandoned the dog in her apartment building, she did not starve him or throw him away.

The case against Kisha Curtis was again continued Monday.

But that New Jersey apartment building is but a dim memory for Patrick, who is enjoying live, living with one of the employees of the animal hospital that saved him:

http://tinyurl.com/74xzaqx

 

Original Story: 

It's a story about the worst of humanity and the best of humanity.

Patrick is a young pit bull mix who was hours away from death on March 16 when his owner allegedly wrapped him in a garbage bag and sent him down the garbage chute of her Newark, N.J., apartment building to the basement 22 floors below.

A maintenance worker saw the bag slightly moving and opened it, finding the starved dog. He called the authorities, who immediately got help for the animal, setting into action a series of events that have brought together tens of thousands of people around the world who were horrified and touched by Patrick's story.

And now, two weeks later, Patrick -- named in honor of St. Patrick's Day, the day after he was found -- is on the road to recovery. But his caretakers say it's going to be a long one; it will be months before he is well enough to be adopted.

The person who allegedly starved Patrick is Kisha Curtis, 28, who lives in the 550-unit Garden Spires apartment building in Newark where Patrick was found. 

The maintenance worker called Newark Associated Humane Societies (WARNING: graphic photos), who brought the lifeless dog to the Garden State Veterinary Specialists in Tinton Falls, N.J., where he has been ever since.

"When he first came in, he really was looking like a corpse," said Pat Scavellino, GSVS's administrator. "There's no easy way to say it -- he was that poor."

Curtis was initially charged with animal cruelty, but on Tuesday those charges were upgraded to "torture or torment of a living creature," which carries a possible sentence of 18 months in prison and a $3,000 fine.

According to officials, the dog had not been fed for about a month. The normally 50-pound dog weighed about 20 pounds when found. But after two weeks of treatment, including heating blankets and blood transfusions, things are looking up for Patrick, Scavellino said this week.

"He is wagging his tail for the first time and he barked a little bit," she said. "He's walking around now -- we take him outside and put a sweater on him and carry him out and put him down on grass and he prances around a bit."

And Patrick has quite the appetite, Scavellino said, though he's not able to eat a lot at once. 

"When a dog has been starved for so long, you have to be very careful," she said. Overfeeding can lead to a metabolic shutdown that is life-threatening, she said.

Patrick is fed every couple of hours, she said, and has gained about two and a half pounds in the last two weeks. But he still needs to gain about 30 more pounds, she said.

"We feed him multiple times a day every few hours in small increments at a time -- prescription canned dog food -- and no treats right now," she said. "It's hard but it's really going to take some time -- another few weeks -- until he's strong enough."

But even in two weeks, the difference is obvious.

"Honestly, he's starting to act like a real dog," she said. "His body was concave, it was so curled up, but now he's started to relax and his coat looks so much better."

X-rays detected a foreign object in his intestine, she said, but he's still too weak for it to be investigated. That will have to wait until he's stronger, she said. It's common for a starved animal to eat anything it can whether it is food or not, experts say.

In the meantime, Patrick is getting lots of love, not only from the hospital staff but also from around the world -- including some Hamden residents -- as word of his story has spread. Almost immediately after the story broke, a Facebook page was created in his honor -- The Patrick Miracle -- that in two weeks has attracted almost 50,000 fans. 

"I had to do something, and what could I do?" said Coty Hohanshalt, an Iowa resident and animal lover who started the page with New Jersey resident John Rosa.

"I got a hold of Patrick's story I think before anyone got a hold of it," Hohanshalt said, "and my intention was not for what happened next."

She posted the corpse-like pictures of Patrick on her own Facebook page and the reaction was immediate, she said.

"I posted his album of the first three pictures of the worst of him, and even before I could put the information on the album, people were sharing it, commenting, etc," she said. "I then started getting friend requests and messages [asking] what they could do to help, and it was out of control."

That's when Rosa came up with the idea to create a fan page, she said. 

"It went viral, people started joining, offering hope and following his progress by the second," she said. "And what has struck me is these people are not the normal friends I have on my list, they don't see this stuff and many did not know it was happening, they were just animal lovers."

And not only did they show Patrick support, they started sharing other dogs in need of help. Many have adopted dogs in Patrick's honor, she said, and so much money was donated to Garden State Veterinary Specialists for Patrick's care that the hospital finally said they had more than enough money for his treatment.

Two other pages have sprung from Hohanshelt's page -- Patrick's Law, which is promoting a change in animal abuse laws, and Patrick's Pals, a page where dogs in need of homes are posted.

"I would like to see Patrick's legacy continue and keep spreading awareness that we need tougher animal cruelty laws," she said. "The punishment does not fit the crime."

A petition she started that now has in excess of 25,000 signatures will be forwarded to the Newark Police Department and Mayor Cory Booker, she said.

"Why is Patrick's story is so different than all the others is because he lived to tell it when most don't get that chance," she said.

Sandra Baker March 30, 2011 at 11:02 AM
Patrick has the most compelling eyes that bring me to tears whenever I look at them. His story has gone around the world, and he is a much loved dog. This message comes from Australia.
Khadija March 30, 2011 at 11:05 AM
I am so proud of Patrick's rescuers ! For it is because of people like them, that i can be happy about being human. I hope the rest of greater humanity can also relate and agree with me. I feel that there should be penalties for animal abuse, that coincides with the penalties that are given for abuse on a child; adult, senior . lets fight for Justice for Patrick <3
elaina healey March 30, 2011 at 11:12 AM
This story of patrick has captured my heart, I pray for him every night. I can't wait to wake the next morning and see how he's doing. He's a sweet baby that deserves only the best after what he's been through. Love you Patrick, we are all supporting you every minute of everyday.
ashleigh March 30, 2011 at 11:14 AM
The man who found him is a true hero, thankyou to who ever you are for finding him when you did, thank you. xxxx
Lisa March 30, 2011 at 11:17 AM
like i said before he was meant to stay in this world for a reason ,he was meant to be found that day gos love him i hope he has a great speedy recovery and goes to a great family who will love him to no end best wishes for him come from our family in CORNER BROOK NEWFOUNDLAND CANADA , lets hope its a new beguinning for the stop of animal abuse may never be fully stopped but hopefully people will get greater sentences and fines to show others it cannot be done to these living things
allison dibiasio March 30, 2011 at 11:17 AM
God bless the maintenance man who found him.I hope that disgrace of a woman gets the prison sentence. It is unimaginable to me to see someone do that to a defenseless animal.
Barbara Vieira March 30, 2011 at 11:21 AM
Patrick is a true inspiration that miracles do happen!! For all the pepole that helped him and continue to help him there is a place in heaven for all of you and there will be justice for Patrick!! Thanks to all of you helping him and all the other dogs in this sometimes cruel world for with out dogs like patrick and millions of other animals wouldnt have a second chance God Bless each and every one of you!!! Barbara
rikki goble March 30, 2011 at 11:31 AM
I've been following Patrick's story from almost the beginning, having seen it on a friend's page just a few days after he was rescued and i can testify that it has touched the hearts of many here in Indiana! several friends of mine and I are playing with ideas on how we can help local shelters, raise money, awareness and supplies, one friend was inspired to foster and is on the search this week for "the one" (though how could one decide?) and I'm going to contact local shelters and offer up my photography skills to help capture the personality of their residents to possibly help get them adopted faster. sweet Patrick is here for a reason, and i believe it was to give a voice to the many who may not have been as fortunate as he and to inspire those of us ho can, to make a difference in even just 1 animals life. much love to those who care for Patrick and the man who found him and made the right call! God bless!
Jan Stone March 30, 2011 at 11:38 AM
Wow! Am very happpy tht Patrick's Law is gna spread the voices around AND that will influence a lot of people around the world, too! We all love u n' the staffs, drs, n the man who found Patrick is meant to be n has to be the reasons to capture Patrick's voice n' his heart, too to go around the world for then to kno!!! What a great starter tht way to do more for other states to pass the better laws for animals rights! Many hugs to all of u from us the deaf Stone family n' 3 boston terriers! =)
Carrie Futchko March 30, 2011 at 12:55 PM
The response, love and support 4 Patrick is proof in numbers that our voices want 2 B heard. We all have spoken 4 those who can't. Shouting out loud and strong that we demand that the laws B changed. Changed 2 ensure that the punishment does fits the crime, even if it is an animal. To place a slap on the wrist to animal cruelty is a crime within itself. And yes we R all grateful 4 those who have stepped up and showed the best of humanity against that of the worst. Shouting out from Chicago.
carol ives March 30, 2011 at 01:28 PM
many THANKS go out to the person that found this beloved animal thank GOD he is recuperating nicely i hope they throw the BOOK AT THIS NASTY WOMAN WHO IS ABOUT THE SCUM OF THE EARTH THATS WHY WE HAVE TO GET THE BILL MAKE ANIMAL ABUSE A FELONY PASSED IN ALL STATES PLEASE GO THE THE LINK AND SIGN PETITION THANKS THIS WOMAN AND ALL OTHERS WHO ABUSE ANY ANIMAL ARE THE LOWEST PEOPLE ON EARTH MAYBE THEY SHOULDNT EVEN BE HERE ANYMORE WHAT THE H... IS WRONG WITH THEM MENTALLY ILL AND EGOTISTICAL well patrick i nhave followed your story and you are improving greatly i love you carol ives
Lisa Doucet March 30, 2011 at 01:33 PM
yes, animal laws should be more strict. When human beings can't have compassion for an animal, they also have no compassion for human beings. We have to live with those heartless individuals.
JT WALDIE March 30, 2011 at 01:45 PM
Patrick WILL be a much loved, comforted, well cared for and meaningful member of an adoptors' family. Please keep Patrick in your heart and remember there are hundreds if not thousands of Patricks in every corner of the world who are crying out for help at this very moment. Patrick, this Miracle Patrick, is a shining light guiding the way for all the other Patricks who do not have a voice. This Miracle Patrick is the poster child for changing the laws in regard to animal abuse. Contact your governmental powers and tell them to enforce animal protection laws. No more slaps on the wrists for animal abusers. Adopt homeless pets from shelters and other entities. Adopt, don't shop! END ANIMAL ABUSE IN EVERY FORM, please!
Ethel Settler March 30, 2011 at 03:06 PM
Laws should be much more punishing and not just a fine - they should suffer in some way the way they made the animal suffer - jail time for sure. Too many cases get off with just a fine or some puplic service - that is not enouth.
Mary Arellano March 30, 2011 at 03:51 PM
I firmly believe that there needs to be tougher legislation in place for our animals. Torturing or neglecting any life is a crime, whether it be a human child or a puppy. Punishment needs to fit the crime and there has to be some kind of deterrent. These individuals have no respect for the lives of these animals, and will continue to do harm unless they fear the consequences. These crimes against animals have gone on for too long. It needs to stop, now!
susan March 30, 2011 at 04:00 PM
My heart broke and I cried when I first read of Patrick two weeks ago I'm so verry happy and pleased Patrick in the road to recovery. I'm also thanking the powers that be the so called 'humane being' was found and charged,although I think before sentence is carried out Kisha Curtis should be starved to the point of near death, bound, put in a garbage bag and thrown away... and MAYBE be rescued in the nick of time, MAYBE be given just enough nourishment to carry out sentence.. and then starved again..... but that's just me saying. The laws for animal cruelty, neglect, torture, torment should most definetly be much more strick than they presently are. Everyone that has had anything to do with Patricks' recovery including Patrick himself are remembered in prayer. God bless you all.
Dr. Donna Struck March 30, 2011 at 06:01 PM
There are no words that can describe the horrific cruelty which Patrick suffered at the hands of what is considered to be a human being. She is a monster. I am embarassed to be part of the same species. I, along with (to date) 50,000 people have followed Patrick's rescue and slow recovery on a daily basis, most of us since his story went public. We are dedicated and addicted to every breath this animal takes on his road to recovery....willingly....and with incredible interest and passion. Patrick represents only one of MANY horrible conditions and abuse situations that exist daily, unbeknownst to the public....although on the continuum, Patrick represents the extreme. IT IS IMPERATIVE that we enact stronger laws and subsequent fines, penalties and jail time to ensure that the message gets through that abusing ANY creature is not tolerated by our society. For those individuals who may be less passionate about animals, know this. Antisocial and criminal behavior starts early....with the abuse of animals comes a direct relationship to abusing, hurting and murdering human beings. The key to this antisocial behavior is a lack of empathy and lack of remorse for societal norms. They simply don't care. These individuals need to be stopped in their tracks and weeded out. Our value system is deteriorating. The next time you go on a diet to lose a pounds, and fall off the proverbial wagon because it's so uncomfortable, think of having no food or water for at least a month.
Cindy March 30, 2011 at 07:32 PM
Yes, we need to have tougher laws for animal abuse, but we also need to find a way to fund more officers to enforce these laws. There are so many areas that simply do not have the money it takes to enforce these laws. It has been shown in studies that people who abuse/torture animals will do the same to humans. Hopefully, at least this time, this woman won't have the opportunity to hurt anymore animals or children. Obviously she doesn't think there was anything wrong with what she did-therefore, education would certainly be beneficial, but NO MORE ANIMALS in her future, EVER!
Leah Prewitt March 30, 2011 at 11:40 PM
I know that it would be found to constitute "cruel and unusual punishment" but I cannot help but wish that people who starve their animals could be sentenced to go without food for at least three days. Some amount of time that would not be medically harmful, but would be extremely uncomfortable, and might give them some measure of empathy or understanding of what wrong they inflicted upon another living creature.
Lisa Wilson March 30, 2011 at 11:57 PM
Please check the animal cruelty laws where you live. Even the best laws which are felonies for these crimes are not worth the paper they are written on if they are not enforced. Work to get the laws changed and the punishments more harsh! I think this poor animals plight will make us do just that. For him, and every other abused animal in this world!
Vannessa March 31, 2011 at 05:16 AM
Its a shame how a person could put a living creature thru torture.. Im absolutley against amimal cruelty. I treat animals with as much respect and love as I would treat a person.
Patricia Cope March 31, 2011 at 11:23 AM
I believe the "owner" of sweet Patrick deserves the sames treatment that he gave to Patrick plus time in prison and a huge fine.
Gail G March 31, 2011 at 02:33 PM
I'M SO DAMN SICK OF HEARING OF THESE SCUM OF HUMANS BEING CRUEL ABUSIVE TORTURING INNOCENT ANIMALS THAT CAN'T DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT THAT I DON'T CARE I'M ABOUT TO REALLY LOSE IT ON ONE OF THESE SCUMBAGS EVEN IF IT GETS ME A CRIMINAL RECORD! KARMA WILL GET YOU CURTIS AND YOU ARE LUCKY YOU LIVE VERY FAR FROM ME! I HOPE YOU DO TIME AND A REAL HARDCORE LADY GETS AT YOU FOR TORTURING SOMETHING THAT CANT EVEN DEFEND ITSELF! I HOPE YOU DONT HAVE KIDS! YOU CANNOT BE NORMAL ENOUGH TO RAISE THEM FOR SURE AND I DONT KNOW HOW YOU LOOK IN THE MIRROR OR LIVE WITH YOUR SICK MENTAL UGLY SOUL! DO THE WORLD A FAVOR AND GO GET HELP!! YOU ARE A PUNK!! I'D BE SOO TEMPTED TO SPIT ON YOU! STARVE FOR A MONTH LOL YOU PROB ATE FOOD RIGHT IN FRONT OF THAT DOG! GREED IS ONE OF THE SEVEN SINS! CHECK YOURSELF QUICK!!!
pamela March 31, 2011 at 05:04 PM
i am so sick to my stomach; my heart goes out to poor Patrick. The only punishment for this useless excuse of a human being is that she be starved for a month, then thrown into the same garbage chute. Nothing else will do in my opinion. Forget jail and a fine. She needs to be tormented and tortured; the stupid b**ch
Dianne McGonigle April 01, 2011 at 03:03 AM
"I looked at all the caged animals in the shelter...the cast-offs of human society. I saw in their eyes love and hope, fear and dread, sadness and betrayal. And I was angry. "God," I said, "this is terrible! Why don't you do something?" God was silent for a moment and then He spoke softly. I have done something," He replied. "I created you."
Donna Modafferi April 05, 2011 at 01:33 AM
If this were done to a child she'd get life! Patrick loves, hurts & bleeds like us. Laws against animal abuse should ABSOLUTELY be more severe!
jackie July 24, 2011 at 09:23 PM
a jerk in Groton, CT left his dog in a crate with no water during this recent heatwave . the dog died a tortuous death- and the bum is out on a thousand dollar bond. the law has not caught up with animal cruelty yet. please, animal defense league- work your magic & get the penalties more in line with the misery these dopes create.

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