The whole world has been watching as a pathetic, skeletal dog in Newark was starved, thrown down a garbage chute from what is believed to be the 19th floor of an apartment building. Associated Humane Societies veterinarian, Dr Lisa Bongiovani made the decision to try to bring life back to this dog and was successful in her efforts. After several hours of working to stabilize him, the dog was sent for critical care to GSVS with confirmation to that facility that AHS was indeed responsible for any medical bills incurred. GSVS will be paid for the care and time they have spent on Patrick as they have for many animals sent to them by AHS over the years. GSVS is a business and rightfully expects to be paid for the services they render. With or without donations, with or without publicity, AHS decided that Patrick was worth saving when so many other shelters would have immediately euthanized im. This is what AHS does and what we have been doing for over 100 years.
Although the lines of ownership and communication have become somewhat blurred, there has always been an agreement that Patrick would be returned to AHS when he had recovered sufficiently to begin the next part of life's journey. Patrick has always been the responsibility of the Associated Humane Societies, his health and recuperation has been provided by GSVS at the direction of the AHS. While many people have taken an interest in Patrick, a lot of misinformation has been put on the internet which has caused confusion and conflict. It has turned an inspiring story of a rescue into a competition for who is right or wrong and who gets the most credit or media exposure and who can create the most shirts and pictures and make the most money without any accountability for where that money goes.
Sadly, the Society has been lambasted because Patrick has attached himself to various members of the GSVS staff resulting in assumptions regarding his placement without even considering input from AHS. The fact is that Patrick has been starved and mistreated for months; It is not surprising that this dog would become devoted to the people who have shown him kindness and comfort and to be carried about in someone's arms. Patrick's caretakers genuinely cared about him -- but his reactions are also those of a dog who has finally felt safe enough to slowly come out of his shell -- out of a womb that had been a living hell. He has suffered enough trauma in life. He has only known two places -- one with his previous owner and now with GSVS. He deserves a loving home, even if he can't fathom now what that would be like.
We must now make plans for the brightest future possible for him. His muscles are weak and he will need physical therapy for several weeks. He needs to gain strength and be behaviorally evaluated. Over the last few days, he has displayed some bad behavior that should be corrected before it worsens.
Despite his being a cause for wonderful movements such as strengthening anti-cruelty laws, he has also become a pawn -- his story is being misused by some without his ultimate best future in mind. The Society has had only the purest of intentions of rescuing Patrick and ensuring that his life would be saved and improved. It saddens us that this seems to have gotten lost in this issue.
We cannot respond to each and every e-mail, call, etc., but invite you to visit our website and we will keep you informed about Patrick's progress and new experiences. With rescuing and placing dogs such as Patrick, we ask that you trust us to do the very best we can do for him, regardless of whether it is the most "popular" choice or not.
We look forward to updating you about the next steps in Patrick's Journey. Today: He is now at 35.8 pounds.
These pictures are proprietary to the Associated Humane Societies/Popcorn Park. No one has the right to use or reproduce these pictures.