NEWARK — The woman who allegedly abandoned Patrick the pit bull which led to his starvation and near-death has been indicted by a grand jury on one count of fourth-degree cruelty to an animal.
Kisha Curtis, 27, could face up to 18 months in jail if found guilty, acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray said yesterday.
Curtis, of Albany, N.Y., is to be arraigned to hear the fourth-degree charge against her on December 3, Murray said.
After Curtis’ initial court hearing in April, her mother said her daughter left the dog, whose rescuers named Patrick, tethered at the 22-story Garden Spires apartments and went to Albany.
“Anybody would take that dog,” Tammie Curtis said. “If she tied the dog, she didn’t leave the dog to die.”
Patrick weighed just 19 pounds when he was discovered by a maintenance worker who was startled when a trash bag suddenly moved.
Yesterday, the brown-and-white pit bull weighed 51 pounds and was happy and healthy, said Pat Scavelli, the administrator at the Garden State Veterinary Specialists in Tinton Falls.
The plight of the emaciated puppy launched national anti-cruelty movements, protests, prayer vigils, T-shirt sales and hundreds of Facebook fan groups worldwide.
It also triggered attempts to capitalize on the flood of donations as well as a court custody battle between the city of Newark and two veterinary hospitals.
Patrick is now being cared for by a foster family in Monmouth County until the completion of the court case, Scavelli said.