Woman Gets 18 Months Probation after Abusing Pit Bull

A New Jersey woman who abandoned her dog in a trash chute in 2011 has received 18 months of probation, a sentence animal rights activists are lambasting as too light. 29-year-old Kisha Curtis left her young pit bull, nicknamed Patrick by caretakers, tied outside her apartment building for a week while she left town, then threw the dog into the building’s trash chute on her return.

Residents found the dog and brought him to a veterinary hospital, where he was fed and received medical treatment. News of Patrick’s situation, which spread virally in the weeks after he was found, unleashed a flood of letters and emails from people across the country. The overwhelming support even brought about landmark legislation in New Jersey, which will increase fines and prison sentences for crimes of animal cruelty.

Judge Joseph Cassini III justified his sentence to those in the courtroom, calling the case much less serious than others he would hear later in the day.

“In this case, fortunately, no one was killed,” Cassini said. “Patrick survived and is thriving. We have to put things in perspective.”

Curtis received probation because she had no prior criminal record. Officials said she has complied with court-ordered mental health and drug-abuse counseling.

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