On May 24, 2013, Kisha Curtis, 29, of Newark, appeared with her attorney, Mark Rojas, in Essex County Superior Court in Newark, NJ. and rejected the state’s plea offer of 18 months in prison, forfeiture of the dog and fees in exchange for pleading guilty to one count of fourth-degree animal cruelty. Ms. Curtis will go on trial on July 9, 2013. If she is convicted, she faces up to 18 months in prison. There is a possibility, however, that, under a fourth-degree charge, she may not be incarcerated.
Ms. Curtis claims that she did not abuse the dog, who is now known as Patrick and is in a loving home. Patrick was found emaciated and near death in a garbage chute inside a plastic garbage bag. He was thrown down the chute from the 19th floor and miraculously survived the fall. He was rescued the day before 2011’s St. Patrick’s Day. He was taken to the Garden State Veterinary Specialists where he received great care and has now fully recovered.
Hearing for the pretrial motions is set for June 28. There is also an ongoing civil suit between the city of Newark and Associated Humane Societies (AHS). AHS claims custody of Patrick. However, Patrick is currently in a loving home. He is content with his current family. The civil suit, which is currently on hold, will resume after the criminal trial is resolved.