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
Thank you in advance for signing this.
And please share this link so others can sign their name and join this movement.
Keith Stoeckeler started this petition with a single signature, and now has 9,531 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.