Judge Denies Request To Move Starved Pit Bull ‘Patrick’ To Shelter Near Zoo

NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — If they had tails, the staff at Garden State Veterinary Specialists would be wagging them.

A judge awarded custody Thursday to the Tinton Falls hospital and its staff members who had been caring for a 1-year-old pit bull that was found starving in a Newark trash chute in March. 

The dog was named Patrick because he was found near death the day before St. Patrick’s Day.

Patrick was at the center of a dispute between the animal hospital and Associated Humane Societies, the organization that initially discovered him. The humane society wanted to move Patrick to a shelter in Forked River that shares property with the AHS Popcorn Park Zoo to await his final adoption decision.  

The hospital, who nursed him back to health, wanted to keep him until he’s ready for adoption.

According to a Facebook post from NJ SPCA, “Judge Joseph C. Cassini of Superior Court of NJ in Essex rendered the verdict that Patrick is a victim and evidence, so he stays with GSVS pending criminal charges of Kisha Curtis.”

Authorities say Curtis tied Patrick to a railing in her Newark apartment building and left the state for more than a week. A janitor later found the emaciated dog in a trash bin.

Patrick’s story received worldwide attention when he was rescued in March, with hundreds of donations pouring in since then for his medical care.

Curtis is charged with two fourth-degree offenses for “tormenting and torturing” an animal. She also faces two abandonment charges that are punishable by up to six months in jail.

Are you happy with the judge’s decision? Sound off below in our comments section.

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

  • Madeline Carlisle

    It’s easy for all you losers to sit at home behind your computers and pass judgment on those of us who can see beyond Patrick’s ugly, disgusting pit bull face. If any of you were truly interested in doing anything for abused and neglected animals, you’d be out in the “projects” helping all the other starved and abused pets. You’re just a bunch of hypocrites!

  • Madeline Carlisle

    I am tired of reading about this mutt which is no different than others I see every time I drive through the “projects.” Most of the people commenting on this site have not even bothered to find out what really happened. The dog was tied up in a common area where other residents, security personnel, maintenance personnel and any visitors to the building saw it — some on a daily basis — yet, not one of them gave it a bite of food, called animal control or the police, or even untied it so it fend for itself. If any of you were really interested in helping animals, instead of spouting ignorance on this website, you’d be out in Section 8 housing rescuing all the other “Patricks.”

  • Susan

    I think the judge made a good decision for NOW. Now I have lived in Monmouth County where Tinton Falls is located. I would say it is a suburban, family oriented area where people usually don’t get pitbulls as family pets.

    They can continue to care for him until the case is pending and he is completely feeling better.

    But eventually, Northern Jersey people are more open minded about adopting pitbulls as pets. I now live in Hudson County, Jersey City, and I see alot of yuppies adopting pitbulls in North Jersey.

    Eventually I believe Patrick will find a home in North Jersey as they are accepting statewide applications right???

  • brooklyn4ever

    People Suck! Too bad you can’t do to them what they do to poor, defenseless animals. The true animals have 2 legs and not 4.

  • Jane

    I’m so glad that they were actually able to find the .. ‘thing’ who was so brutal towards this poor small animal. If one understands and has experience with this breed they can be FINE as pets. If not, it’s a real good idea to consult a certified trainer who has experience with the breed and KNOW what you are getting into. They CAN be wonderful dogs, but just as with ANY dog, you need to make a commitment to follow thru on how to handle them, how to train them.
    You do NOT need pain as a motivator; BAD idea. I’m sure that the people who have this pup now are going to make certain he has lots of attention and that he will go to the right person or people. NO ONE can make a certain statement that this dog will or will not attack!

    • wendy

      NO one can ever make any definitive statement regarding whether something will or will not happen but an educated,informed opinion based on logic and the species as a whole is pretty good place to start. Anything with teeth CAN bite.Statistically pit bulls are not “more likely” than any other breed to be aggressive.In fact they score better in temperment tests than bearded collies, and several other breeds not considered “dangerous”.The determining factor in dog bite cases is the situation and previous treatment/behavior modification of each dog, regardless of its “breed”..Starvation does not necessarily cause aggression and if the people caring for Patrick have not witnesses aggression, you can be pretty sure his temperment is sound.


    I don’t trust Patrick.

  • Vindi

    Probably thought it would be cool to have a “Pit”, then the novelty wore off. Wasn’t as cool as Kisha thought it was gonna be….a dog is a dog. They take a lot of patience & care…you have to train them, too!! Lord only knows what she had in mind for this poor animal, but we ALL how it turned out!! Ms Kisha isn’t fit to own ANY kind of animal….ever. She’s proved she can’t be trusted with an animals life.

    • Phyllis Sorrentino

      she shouldn’t even e allowed to own a geril

    • Zebula

      Hope they tie the sista’s tubes.

  • Vindi

    How could anyone just take off, leaving an animal tied up, knowing the animal can’t get food & water for themselves??? The person that did this needs to be tied to a railing, and starved almost to death…get some of her own medicine!! What’s 6 months in jail? She’ll get 3 squares a day and a place to sleep. No, let her sit it out in a med tank (jail talk for isolation) with only water for a week, then bread & water after that for a month (or longer). Just keep her barely alive, and alone!! What a piece a work!!

  • Sharon

    I have been following this since it started I also sent money for Patricks care. So, I do not want him going to the zoo…Let him stay with the care
    -givers at the medical center and let them find him a home with a family.
    If necessary we can all pool our resources and help pay for what is needed at the hospital in the way of food and shelter. He is loved and that is what he needs. Do not put him in harms way.

    • Vindi

      I agree. These folks care about Patrick, giving him his life back. He needs to be with his rescuers. He knows they love him.

  • John Smith

    The Humane Society really wanted him back so he could be an attraction and they could use him to get donations.

    Thank God the Judge saw through that.

    Don’t donate to that humane group-

  • zarthanian

    The human species is God’s feces.

  • Truth & Beauty

    As long as Patrick has a comfortable place to sleep, proper nutrition and lots of companions who enjoy his company, does it really matter where he stays?

    As for Ms. Curtis, let the punishment fit the crime. Put her in a jail cell and tie her to the bars for a couple of weeks without food and water and see how she likes it.

    I think there should be much harsher punishments for people who abuse animals. As it turns out, most animals are much nicer than most people, but they’re the ones who are always victimized.

    It is also speculated that people who are cruel to animals are sociopaths.

    • Jennifer S. Smith

      Agreed! I have seen two pit bull puppies dropped off at the Norfolk VA SPCA by three guys in a truck from NC. They were laughing and smoking cigarettes while surrending the two puppies. The puppies died from Parvo within 48 hours. To me, those men got away with murder.

    • Vindi

      I agree. This is a real “hot button” with me!!!
      Anyone who could walk away from an animal, knowing they have no way to obtain food & water (being left to die) could do that same thing to a humnan being.
      Psychologist once told me that kids who hurt animals, will also grow up to hurt humans. Makes me sick to think about this person having a child to care for, when she can’t even board the dog for a week, or have someone babysit him till she got back. If I hafta be gone for 4 to 5 hours, I have one of my friends stop over & feed my 2 dogs….and just let them know they haven’t been abandoned. What this woman did was senseless……

  • lynn

    FYI Popcorn Parkis not a “zoo”. It may be called that but it is actually a llike a sanctuary. I lived right by there in NJ so I have seen it. Plus, bless all of you good people but in the words of a WWII veteran that used to leave biscuits for my dogs every day, “I’ll take a dog over a human any day”. I couldn’t agree more. Good luck, Patrick!

  • my dog is cute

    My West Highland Terrier sleeps next to me on my bed.

    • MIKE


  • Jennifer S. Smith

    Good news!!!!

  • Jennifer S. Smith

    I have a brother who has severe Downs Syndrome. His name is Patrick. He was attacked in 1990 while being placed in a NJ state hospital by a schizophrenic. He was stabbed in the neck with a butter knife. He has survived and is living in an amazing home in NJ run by a non-profit. I would recommend that pit bull, Patrick, be placed with a non-profit agency and not in a zoo aka “state hospital.” Just so everyone understands, I am also a pit bull activist with much love, care, concern and understanding of these dogs to include potential dog aggression issues. I love my brother and I love pit bulls because they need to be protected by people that have the potential for doing harm to them. God bless Patrick and I hope that if you have the chance to be around a pit bull, you will see that they are very wonderful given the chance. And follow Cesar Millan’s “boundaries and limitations” along with “exercise, discipline and affection in that order.”

    • Vindi

      My brother has the sweetest female Pit (Lucy). What a big baby. She looks intimidating, although she’s anything but agrressive. Lap dog!!! I feel badly for Pits, as your get these “thugs” that think dog fighting is cool, and they torture these poor animals in & out of the ring…no food to increase their appetite for blood, then they beat on them to make them even more viscious. GOD gave us these wonderful animals to love & care for them….the people that harm these creatures will have to answer for their deeds.

  • Donna

    Mike & Jason would make a great couple…both a**holes. The life of any dog on this earth is worth more than either of you!!!!

    • Laura

      Please add Madeline pole-up-her-keister to Mike & Jason

  • warrior-woman

    Why on earth would they even consider sending this – or any – dog to a zoo? He needs to be somewhere people can come to adopt it rather than being put on display. Shame on the Associated Humane Society, which usually dose such good work, for trying to grab Patrick in the hopes of getting money and publicity.

  • Joe the Do

    Jason Frazier is a no-brain idiot.

  • Denise

    You know very little of the nature of abused dogs obviously. Shelter dogs make some of the very most loving pets one could ever ask for. Maybe they know what its like to not even have the necessities of every day existence. In our own family this has been demonstrated not once but 3 different times. Its almost as if they are just so grateful to have a family and a home.

    • Vindi

      Very loving dogs & cats from the shelters. I’ve had a few over the last 45 yrs!!
      The are extremely loving & gentle natured creatures. Wish more folks gave the shelter dogs & cats a chance, before running out to purchase a special breed.
      No difference….in fact, the shelter dogs seem to have a better temperment.

  • JMS

    shameful comment sir.

  • Jason Frazier

    Enough time and money have been wasted on this fleagab that should have been euthanized when it was found. Go to any Section 8 housing in the US and you can find dozens of “Patricks.” If all these people going on ad nauseum about this mutt were really interested in helping abused and neglected pets, they would be lobbying their elected officials to prohibit pets in Section 8 housing.

    • Donna

      You are a heartless moron. Maybe someone should euthanize you!!

      • Madeline Carlisle

        Maybe YOU should get a life and stop judging others!

      • Laura

        Madeline pole-up-her-keister, your facts are so-called insights are completely inaccurate. The 99% statistic is something you made up to make yourself feel better and, for the love of God, please stop posting about how often you are driving through the “projects”, you are making yourself out to be something far more superior than you are.

    • Sue Horn

      How dare you make a comment like this Jason! Patrick is the miracle of having the inner strength to come back from the almost dead body that was found in the trash. The animal rescue world is very proud of this beautiful boy, because so many like him do not survive. He is not a mutt by the way; he is the most beautiful boy with the biggest loving heart in the world. Just because a person lives in Section 8 does not make them an animal abuser/or neglectful to animals. Your comment to prohibit pets in Section 8 is ridiculous. A person of any weath and stature can be an abuser and neglectufl to an animal. You are stereotyping and that is wrong. And by the way, we rescuers are always lobbying for strickter animal abuse/neglect/cruelty laws across America.

      • Madeline Carlisle

        I agree with Jason. Patrick should have been euthanized when he was found. There are too many people in this country who need help to be wasting money on some worthless dog. If YOU were really concerned about abused animals, you would not approve of pets in Section 8 housing, Read the reports of abused, neglected dogs in the papers and you will see that 99% of them occur in government subsidized housing or the abuser gets some sort of assistance. YOU should know what you’re talking about before you start judging others!

    • JMS

      if patrick’s story and the subsequent prosecution of his owner bring national attention to the growing problem of animal abuse then i don’t care how much money is spent on this dog. every cause needs a face and if you saw what this dog looked like when he was first resued i doubt you”d be making such thoughtless remarks.

      • Madeline Carlisle

        I saw what the the mutt looked like when he was first rescued and I agree with Jason. I see dogs that look like that every time I drive through the “projects.”

    • George Daker

      f u

  • JIM


    • JMS

      well said sir. i could think of no better result and i’m an attorney

  • bullett

    I say that Patrick should be left at the animal hospital until he is ready for adoption. As for Ms. Curtis, she should never be allowed to own another pet for as long as she lives, and this includes pet rocks.

  • Angela

    If all of you followed Patrick’s story you will be sick!! When he was found he looked like a corpse.. Patrick deserves to stay with the people who took care of him all these months.. This animal deserves everything but the best!! If you cant wish Patrick good.. dont comment and mind your own business!

    • Jason Frazier

      Well, Boo-Hoo!

      • angela


      • To The Dogs

        Hey Jason, let’s tie you up for a month and see how you feel?
        Sound good to ya little buddy?I’ll personally do it if that helps.
        J E R K

  • Tracie

    Humans know right from wrong. Dogs are loyal companions who love their owners no matter what. This dog was chained up, beaten, and starved BY A HUMAN who knows right from wrong. And this dog STILL stayed by his owner’s side through all this torture. In this case, I would say this particular dog’s life is much more valuable than the piece of trash that did it to him.

    Maybe you’ve just never had that kind of connection with an animal before. Or maybe you just don’t feel bad for animals that this is done to. People cause all the pain in the world, not animals. They are there to make our lives better and happier.

    • Jason Frazier

      NOT TRUE! Dogs do what is necessary to be fed and cared for and if that means dancing around and pretending to “love” their owners, that is what they do. If you think your dog is all that loyal, have a neighbor feed him steak for a few days instead of the processed dog food you feed him, and see how fast he becomes the neighbor’s “loyal companion.”

      • Alice

        Jason obviously knows nothing about animals. These threads always have ay least one troll whose entire purpose in life is to provoke people who are compassionate.

  • R

    The only person that should be put in the zoo is the low life that tied him up.

    Hopefully Patrick lives a happy loving life. Beautiful dog.

  • mike

    @Bridget. Im an animal lover, Im just tired of these animals getting more attention than humans. Dogs have their place in society and they should stay in their place. We have come to believe that a dog is like a family member…kissing in the face, sleeping in your bed…thats just plain ol nasty!

    Dogs are dogs…humans ar humans..two different species.

    I would figure youre single…need a man, but you sleep eith your dog, kiss it in its face and before you know it.. a law will be passed so that you can marry your dog!!!

    • Bridget

      @Mike, sorry wrong again fool, married 27 years and my dog sleeps in his own bed. I guess that law was passed if a woman was actually stupid enough to married you. You are a first class idiot.

      • Don't Mess With It

        So, at 27 years, what your saying is your a bitter dude in a dead end life
        who can’t get it up and takes out your control issues on your dog. How lovely.
        And how utterly pathetic you must be. Fat, too?

      • MIKE



    • Clay Hund

      Who dictates a dog’s life in society? Doesn’t everyone have the right to place anything they want on their own hierarchical scale. Look at the many, many folks that put inanimate possessions before people. Look at all of the sorry people that leech from the hard working, decent part of society. Sorry, but I like dogs better than most people.

    • Smarter Than U

      oh mike – you’re ‘one of those’.
      so sorry for you.

      • MIKE

        LICK BAWLZ!!!!

  • Bridget

    @mike, not sure who you are responding to . No where in my comment did I indicate that a dogs life is more valuable than human. Judging from the way you respond I would think that you don’t like animals very much and would be okay with throwing an animal down a trash shoot. I am thinking, SINGLE, LIVING AT HOME WITH MOM and staying there.

  • Bridget

    Why would they want to put a dog in a zoo? If the dog has be temperment tested and it fit for adoptability why not put him in a good home?

  • mike

    r u kidding me??? a freakin dogggg!!!\\

    booooyyyy you pepole kill me..a dogs life is more valuable than a human life…only in America!!

    • Stevis


    • Jason Frazier

      Amen! Just wait until “Patrick” regains his health and attacks and badly injures or kills someone. All dogs are sweet and docile when they’re starving or ill and need help. It’s only when they’re strong and healthy that they show their true colors and I can’t wait for “Patrick” to show his!

      • Zebula

        Oh, you mean like people.

    • sherri

      You are heartless. I’d rather share my life with dogs than someone like you, that is for sure!

      • MIKE


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