The Newark woman who allegedly starved her 1-year-old pit bull dog and then cruelly tossing his body down a trash compacter in her apartment building is facing a felony charge.
Cheryl Moses, a clerk for Essex County Prosecutor's Office Public Affairs Director, said Kisha Curtis's arraignment date is set for Thursday and she has been given a $10,000 bond.
"We expect her to be transferred from the Passaic County jail where she is being held on an unrelated charge, either today or Thursday," Moses told the New Jersey Newsroom. "Her arraignment date is set for Thursday at the Essex Courthouse on the Fifth floor."
According to the Star-Ledger, Curtis allegedly left the dog tied to a railing while she left New Jersey for more than a week. As far as Frank Rizzo, superintendent of the New Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is concerned, that’s not just cruelty to an animal, its torture.
That factor and the way that Patrick was found prompted his agency to ask that Curtis be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. "Somebody discarded him while he was still alive. That’s what makes it of much more concern," Rizzo said.
Mark A. Ortman, the employee at the Garden Spires apartment complex who found Patrick in the trash compactor, told the Examiner prior to finding Patrick in the trash compactor, he found the dog on the building's 19th floor, tethered to a stairwell. He later learned the owner of the dog was Kisha "Red" Curtis. She allegedly told Ortman that she tied the dog up because he had repeatedly bitten her.
According to the Examiner, Ortman said Patrick was thin and very docile, but playful. Ortman described Curtis' living conditions as "subhuman," and added that the front door of the apartment was "barely on its hinges." He said while the apartment appeared "unlivable" and it "hardly made sense" Curtis would have been taking care of the dog, there were no legal ground for him to do anything.
"I never forgot the look in that puppy's face when I left," said Ortman.
Initially, Curtis, 27, was charged with four counts of animal cruelty. The fourth-degree criminal charge was upgraded from previously filed animal cruelty charges. If convicted of the felony charge, she could face up to 18 months in jail and a $3,000 fine.
Curtis is in the Passaic County jail on a receiving stolen goods charge. Jail records show an April 5 court date for Curtis on that charge at the Wayne Municipal Court.
Patrick, who got his name from hospital staff, was brought to the Garden State Veterinary Specialists in Tinton Falls after Ortman found him at the bottom of the trash compactor March 16.
Doctors at GSVS say that while Patrick is improving and has gained a little over two pounds, a foreign object lodged in his intestines is causing them concern. The object does not seem to be hindering Patrick’s progress, but doctors told the Examiner that if Patrick does not pass the object, they will have to remove it, and right now, the pup is not strong enough for anesthesia. The next step, according to the article, would be to use an endoscope to determine what the object is and finally, to decide if surgery is necessary.
Donations for Patrick are still being accepted, but now you can make them directly to the Associated Humane Society.
If you would like to keep up with Patrick's daily progression, do so by joining the GSVS Facebook page and click on “The Patrick Miracle.”