Authorities believe that in 2011, a New Jersey woman wrapped her one-year-old Pit Bull in a plastic bag and threw him down a garbage chute into the trash compactor. He was alive. By the time rescuers found him, he was near death. In fact, it was astonishing that he was still breathing. The dog was a skeleton, his emaciated, corpse-like body shriveled and lifeless. The dog had moved just enough for a maintenance worker to notice the bag moving and save him.
After that, Patrick, so named because he was rescued around St. Patrick’s Day, pulled off one of the greatest recoveries we’ve ever seen, going from this:
We’ve written about the story a lot over the years: here, here, here, and here. Now, Patrick is finally getting some justice. The woman who was accused of throwing her dog down the chute, Kisha Curtis, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to fourth-degree animal cruelty, according to Essex County Prosecutor’s Office.
According to CBS News, Curtis was accused of tying the Pit Bull to the railing in her former Newark apartment building, then leaving the state for more than a week in 2011. Prosecutors said she was responsible for the dog’s “torment and torture,” by abandoning and starving the dog.
Curtis has denied putting the dog in the trash chute, and she was set to go to trial on Wednesday. Instead, on Tuesday, she plead guilty to animal cruelty for tying up the dog and leaving him without food or water. She also gave up ownership of the dog.
According to News 12 New Jersey, the surprise guilty plea was not part of the plea deal, and the prosecutors handling the case say they will seek the maximum penalty of 18 months in jail, though authorities say that she might not serve any time because she has no prior convictions.
“Miss Curtis obviously committed an act, and now she’s paying the consequences for it,” Assistant Essex County Prosecutor David Feldman told News 12 New Jersey.
State Superior Court Judge Joseph Cassini III is scheduled to sentence Curtis on Aug. 29 and also rule on the custody of Patrick. The dog is in a custody dispute with Associated Humane Societies and Garden State Veterinary Specialists, the groups who nursed Patrick back to health, along with the City of Newark, according to NJ.com.
Currently, Patrick lives with Patricia Smillie-Scavelli, hospital administrator at Garden State Veterinary Specialists.
Patrick’s story has received intense public interest throughout the years, and we encourage you to follow the Patrick Miracle Facebook page for daily updates. We’ll return to the story once the sentencing his handed down and Patrick’s custody is determined.
Via NJ.com, CBS News, and News 12 New Jersey; photos via the Patrick Miracle Facebook page unless otherwise noted