A starving, moribund dog we named Patrick captivated the hearts of thousands. He was the worst living victim of human depravity that not only shocked us, but shocked people throughout the world. Patrick's story has angered people as no other act of cruelty has done.
The Associated Humane Societies took him in and Dr. Lisa Bongiovani made the decision to try to bring life to this dog. He was as close to death as a living thing could be when he entered our shelter. The race to save his life was done with the purest of intentions.
His slow progress was followed after he made it through that first critical night ... and the next and the next. He has touched the hearts of many; to gain awareness and to make way for the changes in the manner in which people perceive animals and treat animals.
An emaciated dog named Snoopy in Wisconsin - whose picture looked exactly like Patrick - died alone. There was no fanfare, no huge outcry - so Patrick must be the one to carry the tale of animal abuse throughout the land. He has put a real face on the issue of animal abuse.
Even Sophie, (right), who is a canine companion to Marie Nolan of Minnesota, is using Patrick’s sad story to emphasize the need for stronger laws.
As we have stated before, "no good deed goes unpunished" and that holds true for the efforts of Associated Humane Societies and Patrick. We were on a quest to save this dog who had the will to survive the slow starvation and the fall from a 19th floor garbage chute. Through it all, it never seemed possible that this would have become a cause celebre -- and we ask you to understand that our goal from the very beginning was only to save him from death.
Somewhere along the way, several people have come forward to advise that Patrick was their dog -- he was stolen, ran away, etc. etc. One of them advises that they have contacted an attorney. We have not revealed this information previously, but it is a piece of information that we must deal with in the not-too-distant future.
The number of internet sites has steadily grown as are the number of people selling "Patrick" items or using it to solicit funds for their own use. We are being criticized for having to "own" Patrick's likeness by a trademark. The Society is now receiving numerous e-mails requesting permission to sell t-shirts, posters, keychains, ad nauseum, requests for adoption and more.
We are physically unable to answer the thousands of e-mails we receive, so we hope this will suffice for now. Patrick is going through surgery; When he is through with that, he needs care for demodectic mange, physical therapy for weak rear legs, perhaps some swimming therapy -- a new adventure for this dog. He cannot nor should he remain as an occupant of a veterinary hospital where he needs no more veterinary care.
Society staffers visit at least twice (and sometimes more) daily and he has formed friendships with many at the hospital and just as loving and acceptance of AHS staffers.
And what is next for Patrick?? As soon as he is completely on his feet, healthwise, we will him evaluated by our wonderful professional temperament tester that evaluates all our pit bull terriers and Rottweilers. This will help determine what kind of home Patrick will truly thrive in. Time will tell, but he is soaking up all the love, the attention ... and the treats that anyone/everyone dotes on him.
There are many websites that have lambasted us – for what? For rescuing a skeletal stray that we tried to save – not knowing if he would survive or become so popular that everyone wants a piece of him; people want to raise money in his name for whatever purpose they have – which is certainly not us. We could never have known what a symbol Patrick has become. And to tell us what to do with him.
His legacy of love goes far beyond what anyone can imagine. We are contacting the Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee to propose a stamp for Patrick. The Committee's primary goal is to select subjects of broad national interest that are interesting and educational. If approved several million stamps are printed for the public's use. This story and the legacy is bigger than t-shirts or keychains, etc.
We hope that you will understand and accept our thoughts and plans for the future.
These pictures are proprietary to the Associated Humane Societies/Popcorn Park. No one has the right to use or reproduce these pictures.