NEWARK, N.J. (AP/CBSNewYork) – A New Jersey woman accused of starving a 1-year-old pit bull that was found at the bottom of a trash chute was back in court Friday.

WCBS 880’s Levon Putney With Acting Prosecutor Carolyn Murray

READ MORE: Fans Attempt To Storm Entrance Of Barclays Center In Protest Of Nets Not Allowing Kyrie Irving To Play Due To NYC Vaccine Mandate

Kisha Curtis pleaded not guilty in late March to animal abuse charges. A judge could schedule future court dates and a possible trial.

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.

Authorities say Curtis tied the dog 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 on April 8, 2011 (credit: The Patrick Miracle/Facebook)

READ MORE: NYPD: Knife Fight Spills Into Midtown Pizzeria, 2 Taken Into Custody

Doctors at the Garden State Veterinary Specialists in Tinton Falls determined the dog was severely anemic and malnourished. He received a blood transfusion and was later named Patrick because he was found the day before St. Patrick’s Day.

Thousands of e-mails, faxes, and phone calls have come into the Essex County Prosecutor’s office since March.

On Friday, about 40 people demonstrated outside the Newark courthouse to show their support for Patrick.

“We have gotten them from across the country and even some, I believe, from Canada,” acting prosecutor Carolyn Murray tells WCBS 880 reporter Levon Putney. “I do think that it’s a benefit to our society that people are concerned about cruelty in whatever form.”

She’s calling for a stiff sentence.  

MORE NEWS: With Less Than A Week Before NYC's Deadline, Municipal Workers Hold Anti-Vaccine Mandate Rally On Staten Island

(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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.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.)