New Jersey woman gets probation in trash-chute dog case

August 29, 2013 3:26:06 PM PDT
A New Jersey woman who admitted to leaving her dog tied to a railing for a week without food will not go to prison.

Kisha Curtis pleaded guilty to animal cruelty in July and was sentenced Thursday to 18 months probation.

The dog was found near death in 2011 in a plastic bag at the bottom of a trash chute at Curtis' apartment building in Newark.

Nicknamed Patrick when he was brought in around St. Patrick's Day, the pit bull mix was nursed back to health at an animal hospital. The dog also attracted hundreds of online followers around the world.

Curtis' guilty plea to fourth-degree animal cruelty came on the eve of her trial. The charge carried a maximum 18-month sentence, but she received a lighter term as a first offender.

She was not accused of placing the dog in the trash chute, but prosecutors said she was responsible for abandoning and starving the dog, resulting in his "torment and torture."

She was previously denied entry into a pre-trial program that could have kept her record clean.

Patrick has been living with a foster family after being cared for initially by the Associated Humane Societies and then Garden State Veterinary Specialists in Tinton Falls.

It is unclear if the judge ruled on permanent custody for the dog.