Kisha Curtis, the woman who put an emaciated dog (now known as Patrick) in a garbage bag and threw him down the garbage chute in her apartment complex, faces a charge of 4th-degree felony animal cruelty for the torture and torment of a living creature.
New Jersey is not known for their animal cruelty laws. If found guilty of this charge, Ms. Curtis faces 18 months of jail time and a $10,000 fine. The reality is that she will likely not be sentenced to this maximum.
Thousands of people have already called and wrote to Essex County expressing their concern for Patrick and the sentencing his abuser may receive if found guilty. Send a letter to Essex County courts and the prosecutor, letting them know you want to see a strong sentence for Ms. Curtis.
Photo Credit: The Patrick Miracle
Ms. Curtis chose to starve Patrick for at least a month and leave him tied to a railing for a week while she went out of town. These are the actions of someone who knowingly disregards the life of a pet dependent upon her for basic needs of food, water and shelter.
If that was not enough, Ms. Curtis then proceeded to put Patrick in a garbage bag and throw him away down a garbage chute.
New Jersey ranks in the bottom ten states for animal protection laws by the Animal Legal Defense Fund (see http://www.aldf.org/article.php?id=1548 for more information). This means that not only are the charges against Ms. Curtis not nearly as severe as they would be if her actions had taken place in other states, but the sentencing that corresponds with the charges are minimal in comparison to the vicious and inhumane nature of her crime.
Patrick’s fight for life has inspired people from across the world to be more compassionate toward animals. Essex County is in a position to set a strong example for Newark as well as New Jersey (and beyond) in terms of how cases of animal abuse are handled.
Though I understand that Essex County must operate within the laws available on charges and sentencing for animal cruelty cases, I urge you to seek the maximum sentence allowed by law.