NJ Lawmakers Petitioned for Harsher Animal Abuse Laws After Pit Bull Found in Trash Chute
We have a rather serious adorable animals in trouble for you today. Did you hear about the 1-year-old pit bull, now named Patrick, who was cruelly thrown 19 stories down an apartment trash chute in Newark and left for dead? He was rescued by Humane Society workers the day before St. Patrick's Day, and thanks to the Garden State Veterinary Specialists in Tinton Falls, has been recovering daily. The outpouring of public support for Patrick has been huge, which in some way mediates the truly disgusting behavior of his onetime owner, 27-year-old Kisha Curtis.
CBS News reports:
When Patrick was brought to the hospital after being rescued by officials at the Associated Humane Societies, he was so starved, emaciated and dehydrated he was curled into a ball, unable to walk or stand. His ribcage protruded, he weighed about 20 pounds -- roughly 30 pounds less than average -- and was covered in sores with parts of skin hanging off him, according to Patricia Smillie-Scavelli, Thomas Scavelli's wife and the administrator of the hospital.
Curtis was charged Tuesday with "torture and torment of a living creature," according to the New Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, which upgrades previously filed animal cruelty charges. According to CBS, the charges could carry a maximum jail sentence of 18 months and a fine of up to $10,000.
To many, that still seems like too little. A petition circulating on the Internet (find it here at Change.org), started by Keith Stoeckeler, is asking for harsher penalties for animal abuse in New Jersey, which is ranked 47th with regard to punishment for animal abusers. As it states,
This petition will start with NJ Senators and Representatives, asking for the maximum sentence for the abuser in Patrick's case and to start a bill to change the law in favor of more strict sentencing.
It currently has more than 1,800 signatures. Stoeckeler told us, "This is in the hands of those who feel the same way I do about animals."
Meanwhile, be wary of scammers who are apparently trying to make money on Patrick. Clearly, there are bad people everywhere. Fortunately, there are good ones, too.
Here's a clip of Patrick, who is slowly recovering (and will have a new animal shelter in New Jersey named after him).
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