Newark, NJ — A New Jersey woman accused of “trashing” her dog pleaded guilty to animal cruelty charges Tuesday.
According to the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, 29-year-old Kisha Curtis pleaded guilty to fourth-degree animal cruelty. She also gave up custody of the dog. She was scheduled to go on trial Wednesday.
Curtis was accused of tying her dog to the railing of her former Newark apartment for more than a week in 2011. He was found emaciated and starved nearly to death after being wrapped in plastic and thrown down the apartment building’s garbage chute. Rescuers named the dog Patrick since the incident occurred just before Saint Patrick’s Day.
Patrick was first taken to the Associated Human Societies, which stabilized the canine and facilitated his transfer to Garden State Veterinary Specialists in Tinton Falls. Patrick is now living with a foster family.
According to AZ Central, Curtis was not accused of putting Patrick in the garbage chute, but prosecutors said she was responsible for starving and abandoning the dog, which resulted in his “torment and torture.”
Judge Joseph Cassini III will decide who gets final custody of Patrick at Curtis’ sentencing on August 29. The Irvington resident faces up to 18 months in prison, but may not face time as a first offender.
“Today the defendant pled guilty to the charge in the indictment. We could not ask for a better result,” said Assistant Prosecutor Margarita Rivera. “She has taken responsibility for abusing Patrick and we hope this result will serve as a deterrent to other people who think they can mistreat animals without any repercussions.”
Patrick has been hailed as a “miracle dog” and has gained quite a following on Facebook from those following his rescue and recovery. At the time of this writing, the “Patrick Miracle Dog” Facebook page had over 5,700 likes. Another Facebook page, “The Patrick Miracle,” has over 270,000 likes.
[Photo credit: The Patrick Miracle Dog / Facebook]