Patrick captured headlines across the country when he was found abused, malnourished and near death. Today, he's happy and healthy under the supervision of a loving caretaker -- but his story is far from over. Tom Llamas reports.
Frolicking in the grass with his foster mom and his favorite rope toy, Patrick the pit bull has come a long way from the 19-pound shell of a dog he was 17 months ago.
Now a healthy 51 pounds, the dog that gained nationwide attention and sparked a movement against animal cruelty is happy in his Monmouth County home.
”He’s doing wonderful these days,” said Patricia Smillie-Scavelli, an administrator at the Garden State Vet Specialists who has been fostering him since June of last year. “He’s just a normal dog.”
Patrick, named for being discovered the day before St. Patrick’s Day in 2011, was starved and stuffed down a trash chute of a Newark high-rise building. His saga quickly became a national story as concerned dog-lovers everywhere rallied around the abandoned pup.
Patrick was brought to Garden State Veterinary Specialists in Tinton Falls, N.J., for emergency care and spent the next several months recovering from his grave injuries. Now he's a beautiful, healthy, loveable dog who exhibits few emotional traces of his traumatic past.
“From the very beginning he was a fighter, he was not giving up,” said Scavelli, “He seemed to appreciate the fact that people were trying to help him.”
Other than some external scars Patrick has no lasting effects from his injuries and he is no longer fearful of strangers. He spends his days playing with his favorite rope toy.. Smillie-Scavellie says the once starved pup doesn't scarf down his food but approaches it patiently. His favorite game is tug of war, she added.
Patrick’s former owner Kisha Curtis has been charged with animal cruelty. She claims she tied Patrick to a stairwell in a hallway, but that someone else threw him down the garbage chute. She's next due in court Aug. 27.
While Patrick enjoys cuddling under the covers with his foster mom, the status of his adoption won’t be decided until the court case has come to a close.
“We love Patrick very much, it would be like losing a member of our family if it was decided he had to go elsewhere,” Scavelli said.
Get the latest from NBC 4 New York's weather team anytime, anywhere. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Google+. Get our apps here and sign up for email newsletters here. Get breaking news delivered right to your phone -- just text NYBREAKING to 639710. For more info, text HELP. To end, text STOP. Message and data rates may apply.