IS JUSTICE BEING SERVED? ... the ongoing story of Patrick
This emaciated dog had been slowly starved & was found after he had been tossed down the garbage chute of a 22 story apartment building in Newark. Society Chief Veterinarian, Dr Lisa Bongiovanni, elected to try and save the moribund dog whose temperature was so low, it did not register on the thermometer.
The delay in bringing Kisha Curtis to justice is actually a mounted campaign to deny justice to AHS. In fact, numerous posts on Facebook pages by certain animal protection/veterinary businesses seem determined to simply drag AHS through the mud.
Because of their manipulation of the judicial system & those who have tried to destroy us at the expense of our hard work -- they have effectively kept Patrick away from AHS.
We have been silent too long at the advice of others but to you, our loyal supporters, we owe an explanation of our position in this situation. Untrue statements on the internet and Facebook pages as well as backdoor dealings have effectively kept Patrick away from AHS as soon as he had recovered from his surgery and was otherwise physically well enough to be released. Facebook pages have been started and their popularity and sales expanded by taking advantage of Patrick’s story. Vitriolic comments about AHS have been posted and encouraged. The AHS did nothing wrong from the moment Patrick came into our hands and we decided to save his life, not knowing what the expense of his medical care would be nor how his story would go viral on the internet. AHS’ role in saving Patrick’s life has largely been buried at the expense of our reputation, our life-saving efforts and our attempts to get every new message out there.
As you can see by the HUMANE NEWS and our website, www.ahscares.org, we have continued to make a difference in the life of every animal that comes through our doors. Whether they be sick, injured, stressed and homeless and/or unwanted, we do the very best we can. The AHS is an inner city shelter and deals with heartache on an everyday basis.
There are those who would want you to believe that the AHS wants to make money on Patrick but that was never our intention. From the moment that Patrick arrived as a moribund stray, the Society made Herculean attempts to stabilize him so that he could be moved to a critical care facility. We didn't know the cost of care but we guaranteed that we would honor payment for whatever it took to save Patrick's life, as we have with so many other animals we brought to this hospital. We also sent out a reward offer for the name of Patrick’s owner, if followed by an arrest and conviction.
From that time, we have been kept at bay. While at the vet facility, multiple restrictions were put on AHS visits to see Patrick. Other groups sold t-shirts, calendars, and prints of Patrick, starting in April 2011. It was months later that the Society made up two t-shirts with important messages about prevention of animal abuse and with proceeds exclusively to benefit our Res-Q fund for animals in need of specialized or emergency care.
We have been criticized for trying to get Patrick to Popcorn Park, the broad name that includes our Forked River shelter as well as our wildlife sanctuary, using the rumor that he would live his life there. However, it was to be the place where he would have been kept temporarily in accordance with the prosecutor's request. He would not have been caged or on display as some have imagined.
And yet, the so-called "animal lovers and protectionists" have gone out of their way to ensure that Patrick stays where he is while they take and post follow-up photographs, promote their efforts as beacons of hope, and do what they can to destroy the Society's efforts.
As for Kisha Curtis, the woman who allegedly starved Patrick and threw him down the garbage chute, she had been indicted in November with one count of animal cruelty. In her most recent court appearance, she was offered a plea bargain and has until January 20, 2012 to decide whether or not she will accept. The details of the plea bargain were not made public.
So once again, a court date set for Kisha Curtis was delayed. Because of political pressures and malfeasance and an atmosphere manufactured by some animal groups/businesses to keep Patrick so that everyone involved may personally profit, the Society has been vilified. We … who elected to save him and a non-profit who saves over 10,000 animals annually .... we are being made out to be the bad guy.
It’s also important to note that this case is not just about Patrick. The AHS has filed a lawsuit - not just about Patrick, but to protect every animal control facility in New Jersey who takes in animals for cities or towns and wishes to maintain their legal right to adopt, keep, or euthanize them after 7 days.
Patrick's case is the first time that a veterinary facility has refused to return a client’s animal sent to them only for treatment, and that this refusal to return the animal was supported by a city mayor and judge. Shelters need to be aware that the right to make decisions about the animals legally in their care also hangs in the balance.
Due to the horrific animal cruelty that he endured and survived, Patrick has become a representative and a voice for stronger laws against animal abuse as well as a teacher from whom children and adults can learn the importance of kindness and compassion for all animals. His message and the one we have tried to impart are serious ones that should not be cavalierly pushed aside so he can be used as a shill to promote and solicit money as he has been used by a local animal protection group and a veterinary hospital for the past 8+ months.