When the AHS took in a starved skeleton of a dog that had been thrown down a garbage chute, it shocked even those of us who have seen the worst cases of animal abuse.
Patrick was discovered after someone had slowly starved this dog to near death, put it in a garbage bag and threw it down the garbage chute in the 22 story Newark apartment building. A maintenance worker cleans out the bins every few days. The container was being put directly into a trash compactor when the bag moved a little. The worker, thinking it might be baby, opened it to find a moribund dog inside – pathetically thin, cold and near death. They contacted Newark Animal Control & an ACO brought the dog to the Society’s Newark facility where Dr. Lisa Bongiovani, immediately started working on the dog. He was immediately put on intravenous fluid. His temperature was so low, it didn’t register on the thermometer. He was covered with heating pads, blankets & cuddled in the arms of a vet tech who gave him warmth, comfort & from that moment on, he looked up with gratitude in his eyes.
When he was finally stabilized & his temperature registered at 96 degrees, he was immediately ambulanced to GSVS, a critical care facility where he needed 24/7 care. On March 17th, he survived the night and we named him “Patrick”. During his time at the vet hospital, he received blood transfusions, intravenous fluid & it was discovered that the male pit bull had a mass in his stomach. When he was physically strong enough, the hardened mass was removed by endoscopy & he was also neutered & given a dental.
During his entire stay, Society Tinton Falls General Manager Bruce Sanchez visited twice and sometimes three times a day. Also John Bergmann, Popcorn Park Manager, visited several times. As he improved, Patrick was taken outside by Bruce for walks, playtime, given toys. He loved to sit up & look at the trees … truly engrossed by them as if he had never seen or enjoyed them before. He was fascinated by them!
Not only was he visited by Bruce Sanchez, additionally, AHS made arrangements for Sue Davis, a licensed Physical Therapist to meet and work with Patrick to slowly improve the use of his weakened limbs. Also “visiting” Patrick were two animal communicators to keep in touch with him -- Colleen Nicholson, well known author & animal communicator, and Oephebia, animal communicator & holistic healer, who resides in England. Both have soothed his spirits … and soothed our hearts.
Sue Davis, Colleen Nicholson and Oephebia sent lengthy reports and their writings, along with Society updates, were published on our website (www.ahscares.org). Also visiting Patrick were two animal behaviorists who wrote reports to the Society & were posted.
During his medical stay at GSVS, he had a visit from actress Julie Benz who autographed some t-shirts, etc. for one of our auctions.
Kisha Curtis is the alleged perpetrator of animal cruelty and the matter is to be heard in Essex County Superior Court in early June.
Sadly, the Patrick’s plight has become a viral debate -- played out with many groups selling t-shirts, keychains, etc. Several groups/websites contacted the AHS requesting to partner with them to sell items with Patrick’s face on it. There are groups that have been created just to market his image to make money and accusing AHS of financially profiting from the effort to save Patrick. It was the AHS that made the decision to save Patrick. We could have easily euthanized Patrick due to his emaciated condition and the thought of the financial costs … but this has been forgotten on most Facebooks. The Society found it necessary to trademark Patrick to protect him from the groups who are exploiting his fame.
Patrick has been an inspiration for abused animals everywhere but our voice has been stilled until the legal actions that loom ahead are over.
To that end, and because Patrick has touched people worldwide, we are sending a letter to the U. S. Postal Service Stamp Advisory Commission in the hope that Patrick’s likeness may one day be on a postage stamp to “speak” for abused animals everywhere.
We loved Patrick from the very beginning ... Patrick the dog …. not the media sensation.
The above originally appeared in the June 2011 Humane News. For additional photos of Patrick that accompanied the article, please see our Humane News, June 2011, Volume 42, No. 3, Pages 6 and 7.