Will You Support Harsher Penalties For Animal Abuse?
  • Petitioned New Jersey State House

This petition was delivered to:

New Jersey State House
New Jersey State Senate

Will You Support Harsher Penalties For Animal Abuse?

    1. Keith Stoeckeler
    2. Petition by

      Keith Stoeckeler

      New York, NY

I'm sure by now you've heard the story of Patrick the pit bull in NJ:

"A Newark woman was arrested and charged with torture Tuesday in the case of a starved pit bull puppy allegedly thrown 19 stories into a garbage chute and left for dead. 

Kisha Curtis, the 27-year-old owner, was charged Tuesday with "torture and torment of a living creature," said Matthew Stanton, a spokesman for the New Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. 

The fourth-degree criminal charge was upgraded from previously filed animal cruelty charges, Stanton said. Curtis faces 18 months in jail or a $3,000 fine if convicted." 


It hurts to read something like Patrick's story, and see photos of Patrick when he was initially rescued, but once you get past that you hope punishment will be severe. Unfortunately that isn't the case. 18-months or a $3,000 fine if convicted is nowhere close to the penalty that should be given, and New Jersey needs to be held accountable for increasing their animal abuse penalties for those convicted.

*UPDATE* -- Following nationwide backlash against these minimal charges, the charges have been upgraded. Now she faces two charges for the torture and torment of a living creature instead of two charges of failure to provide proper sustenance. The new charges have a penalty of up to 18 months in jail and up to a $10,000 fine. Two charges of abandonment still stand.

Animal Legal Defense Fund has recognized NJ to be in the bottom tier of states and territories for animal protection laws. See here, listing NJ as 47th.

This petition will start with NJ Senators and Representatives, asking for the maximum sentence for the abuser in Patrick's case and to start a bill to change the law in favor of more strict sentencing.

Frank R. Lautenberg (D - NJ) // 202.224.3224 // email

Robert Menendez (D - NJ) // 202.224.4744 // email


 I sent the prosecutor the full list of signatures (120 pages worth!) before Kisha Curtis appeared in court on May 6 (photo).

Essex County: Prosecutor’s Office
Carolyn A. Murray, Acting Essex County Prosecutor
50 W Market St # 3
Newark, NJ 07102-1690
(973) 621-4700

Thank you in advance for signing this.

 And please share this link so others can sign their name and join this movement. 

Recent signatures


    1. Recent photo of Patrick

      Keith Stoeckeler
      Petition Organizer

      Such a wonderful night and day change. Gives such hope for rehabilitation & re-homing. Patrick was thrown away, literally, and look at him now. Awesome. Thanks again for your support of Patrick.

    2. Thank you.

      Keith Stoeckeler
      Petition Organizer

      Thank you for signing and supporting this. I sent a 2nd package to the D - she has over 9,500 names of people who want Kisha Curtis to receive the harshest penalty NJ can provide. We helped give Patrick justice regardless of the outcome in his case.

    3. Reached 9 signatures
    4. Keith Stoeckeler
      Petition Organizer

      "As expected, Ms. Curtis pleaded “not guilty.” Her grand jury trial is set for June 2, 2011."

    5. Reached 8 signatures
    6. Keith Stoeckeler
      Petition Organizer

      The petition printed. 120 pages! Off to mail it to the prosecutor. THANK YOU! -->

    7. Keith Stoeckeler
      Petition Organizer

      Mayor Booker's proposed shelter: <a href='http://www.change.org/petitions/ask-newark-mayor-cory-booker-for-programs-to-prevent-animal-abuse'; rel='nofollow' target='blank'>a petition that impacts NJ animal abuse laws</a>

    8. Keith Stoeckeler
      Petition Organizer

      Dog Files details their new partnership with Tonic.com, and why this petition was chosen as their first Good Deed:

    9. Reached 7 signatures
    10. Keith Stoeckeler
      Petition Organizer

      features the petition on their homepage in a push to get to 10,000 signatures by the trial:

    11. Reached 6 signatures
    12. Stephanie Feldstein
      Petition Organizer

      Eva Longoria and Julie Benz Put a Twitter Smackdown on Animal Abusers (via Tonic):

    13. Keith Stoeckeler
      Petition Organizer

      5,000 signatures was the goal all along, and it's so amazing to see it realized. Knowing we're going to be sending over 5,000 names to the prosecutor in this case showing support for the maximum penalty is tremendous. We are absolutely going to make a difference because we will be so hard to ignore. THANK YOU.

    14. Reached 5 signatures
    15. Keith Stoeckeler
      Petition Organizer

      <b>The Village Voice</b> runs a story on Patrick, and features the petition:

    16. Keith Stoeckeler
      Petition Organizer

      <b>Eliza Dushku</b> supports the petition:

    17. Keith Stoeckeler
      Petition Organizer

      <b>Nathan Fillion</b> supports the petition:

    18. Keith Stoeckeler
      Petition Organizer

      <b>Eva Longoria</b> supports the petition:

    19. Keith Stoeckeler
      Petition Organizer

      <b>Julie Benz</b> supports the petition: , , and

    20. Keith Stoeckeler
      Petition Organizer

      <b>Alyssa Milano</b> supports the petition:

    21. Stephanie Feldstein
      Petition Organizer

      Thanks to all the celebrities who tweeted about this petition: @NathanFillion @JamesGunn @juliebenz @elizadushku @EvaLongoria

    22. Reached 4 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Marisol Angulo SAN JOSE, CA
      • over 3 years ago

      Uh , YES mothafuckin please! I wanna see this bitch on death row! No exaggeration intended. That's how I really feel.

    • linda jetter WEBSTER CITY, IA
      • over 3 years ago

      yes yes yes i would like to see fines in excess of 5000.00 dollars for mills and breeders .jail time .be barred from ever owning a pet . strict rules apply make them pay for what they do shut everyone down now

    • sheliah miller BRIGHTON, TN
      • over 3 years ago

      people that abuse animals disgusts me to my soul.. They need to be off the streets just as someone who commits murder..

    • julie from nz NEW ZEALAND, NEW ZEALAND
      • over 3 years ago

      Enough is enough, leave these poor animals in peace, they deserve to have a life as well. Is this the thanks some of us humans give to our fury friends for all the kindness and loyality they give us?, Shame on those inhuman scums who mistreat our fury friend's. Let's put an end to this sick unwanted treatment towards our fury friend's once and for all. HOPE karma get's those scums back BIG TIME!!, Thank you tothose out there who DO care for our fury friend's you're all legends! :)

    • Judy David DALLAS, TX
      • over 3 years ago

      ABSOLUTELY - putnthose guys in cages and beat and starve them.


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