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:
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.
"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.