“Justice Delayed Is Justice Denied” – An Update On Patrick The Miracle Dog

Posted by Scott Heiser, Director of ALDF's Criminal Justice Program on August 5, 2013

Patrick when he first received medical treatment

Patrick when he first received medical treatment

In April of 2011 we analyzed some of the sentencing issues likely to come up in New Jersey’s case against Kisha Curtis.  Recall that Ms. Curtis was accused of starving a dog, Patrick, to the brink of death. Patrick was found wrapped in plastic and clinging to life after being thrown down an apartment building’s trash chute like a common piece of garbage.  More than two years later we have reached the point of sentencing in the case.  On Tuesday, Ms. Curtis pled guilty to animal cruelty, avoiding trial scheduled to begin on July 31 and absent any additional delays, Superior Court Judge Joseph Cassini, III will sentence her at 9:00 a.m. on August 29, 2013.

Our hats are off to David Feldman, Margarita Rivera, and Cheryl Cucinello of the Essex County Prosecutor’s office, all of whom had a hand in resolving this case after months of specious delay and gamesmanship by the defendant.  There is an old adage in the law, related to a defendant’s right to a speedy trial: “Justice delayed is justice denied.”  Only recently is that same notion—the right to a prompt resolution of a criminal case—being applied to crime victims with the enactment of state crime victims’ rights statutes.

Unfortunately, for now, New Jersey’s crime victims’ rights laws only recognize humans as victims.  But the tide might be shifting a bit, at least in Oregon and Ohio, where courts have recognized that animals owned by the defendant who abused them qualify as victims for sentencing purposes (at least as to technical issues related to merging convictions).

patrick-after-from-FB-adognamedpatrick

Patrick after treatment

Though he may not formally qualify as a crime victim entitled to invoke his rights under New Jersey’s Crime Victims’ Bill of Rights, Patrick is, in every sense of the word, a victim of abuse and we look forward to August 29th when we will learn what Judge Cassini considers to be a just sentence in a case of such protracted suffering. Don’t get your hopes up when it comes the issue of locking up Ms. Curtis—for first time offenders, New Jersey law (N.J. Stat. § 2C:44-1(e)) carries a presumption against incarceration.


50 thoughts on ““Justice Delayed Is Justice Denied” – An Update On Patrick The Miracle Dog

  1. Maria Cantwell says:

    What was done to Patrick was cruel and abusive. The person responsible for this act of cruely should be punished. Unfortunately, she will probably only get a slap on the wrist. The laws need to be tougher on animal abusers. That should include first time offenders as well.

    1. Wendy says:

      I agree one hundred percent!

  2. Jay Mac says:

    That is why Patrick’s Law is on the Governor’s Desk waiting for his signature. Future offenders will serve jail time and pay fines. Patrick is the catalyst for this law. He is happy healthy and thriving in his (for now) foster home which we hope will become his forever home very soon! We Love Patrick!!!

  3. Linda Van Jahnke says:

    Animal rights are as important as human rights… make the laws tough.

  4. Blais Nathalie says:

    Justice for Patrick !

  5. Kathy McCoy says:

    I agree the laws need to be tougher on animal abusers. That should include first time offenders as well. I seriously doubt she is a first time offender anyway — just hasn’t been caught before.

    1. Wendy says:

      I do agree!

  6. Julia M. Buxton says:

    Yay for Patrick!! I live in Oregon and I am so glad that animal laws are getting stiffer finally!! I think it’s about time all the states made their animal cruelty laws stiffer and tougher on those who abuse and mistreat animals. I hope New Jersey is one of the next ones to get the same laws passed insight of the abuse poor Patrick had to suffer from that horrid person. I think if she can afford to go away for a week she could have afforded to feed that dog to. She is one of the worst and ranks right up there with dog fighters in my book for starving him almost to death.

  7. Paula Martin says:

    This is cruelty at it’s worst. I believe people who hurt the helpless should be punished by law whether it’s an animal, child or elderly all the same.

  8. Christine Everschor says:

    Animals have souls, it´s up to us to protect them. Justice for Patrick

  9. Gail Palmer says:

    I wish the entire country had very strict aniamal protection laws because it is the only way to stop cruel people from abusing them. Punishment both monetary and confinement are all they understand.

  10. kenneth says:

    how can it be ok to hurt an animal, if nothing other than a “slap on the wrist” is the consequence that if for me the same as allowing it

    like said earlier animalr rights are important too

  11. Lyn Scoles says:

    Patrick looks wonderful now.
    Perhaps as part of her punishment, the offender should be wrapped in plastic, starved to the brink of death, and then thrown down the garbage shoot from the top of the Empire State Building.
    :)

    1. Mimi says:

      I agree with you.!!!!!!

  12. Linda Weiland says:

    This woman is a warped, evil individual. She must be made an example of. First time or not, she needs to be severely punished.

  13. Marcey Reyes says:

    This scum bag should be severely punished. She should be charged and jailed. This pig should never be allowed to possess another animal.

  14. Jacque says:

    I’ve been following Patrick’s progress. I’m so happy to see him with some meat on his bones. I cried when I first saw the pics of him and that this woman had starved him literally, almost, to death!!! I’m so happy for you Patrick!!!

  15. Margaret Goss says:

    Humans are not the only victims in life. Helpless animals need the same protections!

  16. Scott Wade says:

    I hope she gets ten years. Good boy Patrick! Woof, woof, woof!

  17. jackie bowden says:

    i cryed when i saw this dogs plight ,how anyone can be so cruel is beond me ,Patric is a very strong willed dog to survive her cruelty ,if he could speak i wounder what he would say ,maybe he would say lock her in a room with no water or food till she is almost dead ,see if her will to live is as great as mine ,i hope he has a long happy life xx

  18. Wendy says:

    face book page Animal Ambassadors wants to push animal abuse laws to the TOP Join them with me and together, the USA can beCOME a dignified place some day.

  19. Will Brown says:

    The fact that there is this kind of sick, sick evil in the world horrifies me. It also makes me wonder if the good’s struggle against evil already has two strikes against it.

  20. Heather says:

    Her punishment should be starvation to the brink of death.

  21. Inger Sandland says:

    I was so sad when I saw the first photo of him. Now I am happy for his new good life!

  22. Lisa says:

    Just tell me where this piece of trash ‘Kisha’ lives & I’ll take care of justice!

  23. Turfgal says:

    If this POS does not get jail time, she needs to have a MINIMUM of a life time ban from owning any future animals. This Keisha is a waste of skin, she doesn’t feel guilt or regret and she is wasting our air.

  24. Monic says:

    Thank you and congratulations ALDF FOR YOUR GOOD JOB.
    THIS MAN MUST BE TREATED LIKE HE TREATED THIS POOR DOG. GO JUSTICE….

  25. Lucien Kaczmarek says:

    She NEEDS to go to jail for 20 years …. the scum

  26. Jenny Boom says:

    THIS STORY IS A EVERY DAY OCCURENCE IN LIFE. A LAW NEEDS TO BE PASSED IN ALL OF OUR STATES. THIS IS AS SERIOUS AS ABUSE TO A HUMAN
    Unfortunately the animals can’t speak.

  27. christine bunton says:

    I totally agree with everyones comments.All forms of cruelty should be severely punished,at least then it may be a deterant to others who seem to think abuse is ok.

  28. terry says:

    lock that b*tch up and throw away the key. she’ll do it once and she’ll do it again. she did it to animals, she’ll do it to kids. evil people don’t change. i hope god takes care of her and the devil lets her in.

  29. penny says:

    HOPEFULLY THE SENTENCE IS A STIFF ONE!! I’M SICK AND TIRED OF ANIMAL ABUSERS GETTING OFF WITH A SLAP ON THE WRIST!!! IN ORDER TO STOP ANIMAL ABUSE,WE NEED TO START PUNISHING ABUSERS ACCORDING TO THE CRIME THAT IS COMMITTED!!!HOPE SHE GETS A STIFF PUNISHMENT!!! STOP ANIMAL ABUSE!!! STOP ANIMAL CRUELTY!!! STOP PUPPY MILLS!!!!

  30. Karen Blanchard says:

    Stiff penalty, fines, longer jail time & psychiatric treatment because she may have gotten away with it before. This applies to ALL sick abusers!! No excuse- none of the slap on the wrist any more! Animals are victs as well as human beings,too!!

  31. tina says:

    There should be more courts and judges to handle only animal cases. Anyone who abuses an animal should get 15 years no chance of parole and cannot be appealed. Also a $10,000 fine and can never have any more animals. Good job Patrick.

  32. Trudy Bendetti says:

    Start calling your local Reps. Let them know your vote will always count towards a re-election and YOU as a registered voter want something done and DONE NOW! Stiffer laws are just the beginning. Abusers need help. I would love to help them but my way would be illegal against humans. lol

  33. Debra says:

    At the very least I hope the Judge bans this “human piece of trash” from EVER EVER “owning” an animal for the rest of her stinking life.

  34. Beth says:

    I am so Joyful that Patrick is now enjoying a safe and happy life. I remember first hearing this story. It makes me so sad each time I hear about animal abuse cases not handing out serious punishment to the perpetrator. It is really quite simple… If you let them get away with it, a slap on the wrist, next time (and there will be a next time,) it will be a child perhaps your child. She needs to be mentally assessed AND given both a fine and time served Finally, she should be banned from owning or having the temporary care of any animal – period !!!
    1st time offender: 5 years jail time and $20,000.00 fine
    2nd time offender -LIFE !!! Call your Representatives!!!

  35. I believe animals of all shapes and sizes have the right to be protected as much as a child or an elderly person! We need to be their voice and protect them from abuse of every kind! These 3 types are frequently abused (in so many different ways) & neglected! I am a mother of 4 & I have worked with the elderly all my life! I have no problem protecting the defenseless! They have the right to be protected & need us as a voice! I also believe there should be laws passed every where in the US to have Animal abusers register just like sex offenders have to! If they are caught around or with an animal they need to be charged as a violator of the court and sentenced to jail.

  36. Johanna Evans says:

    YOU CAN ONLY HOPE AND PRAY THAT THE RIGHT PUNISHMENT IS DEALT OUT AND THAT IT IS THE RIGHT PUNISHMENT.
    THERE SERIOUSLY NEEDS TO BE A LANDMARK CASE WHERE SOMEONE GETS A HEFTY SENTENCE TO BE COMPLETED SO THAT THE MESSAGE GETS OUT THERE THAT ANIMAL ABUSE CRUELTY AND DEATH WILL NOT BE TOLERATED.
    YOU SEE SO MUCH ANIMAL RELATED TOPICS ON FB NOW, I THINK IT IS PRETTY CONCLUSIVE THAT PEOPLE ARE AGAINST CRUELTY TO ANIMALS AND WANT ANIMALS TO BE PROTECTED ME. SO STAND UP GOVERNMENTS AND MPS OVER THE WORLD AND DO YOU BLOODY BIT…EARN YOUR MONEY FOR ONCE!!!!!

  37. Viki says:

    The law needs to be changed on animal abuse in ALL STATES. I hear more and more about animal abuse than any thing these day’s. It is wrong and not right to abuse a voiceless animal at all. People that abuse animals are VERY SICK PEOPLE and they need about 30 years in jail, or have the same thing done to them, but oh no we CAN’T do that, because the animal abuser is human, well in my book and in my eyes they ARE NOT HUMAN AT ALL!!!!!!!!!!! They are the animals not the pets that are being abused.The animals that are being abused are going through some rough and tough times getting the help that they need and the medical that they deserves, it takes a long time for them to feel normal again and that is ABUSE.I say THROW THE BOOK AT THIS PERSON who IS THE ANIMAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  38. Kasey G says:

    How about if businesses that have Animal Loving owners get in on this too. First of all they, shop owners, have a right to deny people goods or services. Second, they have a right to PUBLICALLY shun them and thirdly, anyone else has a right to distance themselves from people and if everyone that sees her on the street starts walking around her or away from her or even avoids her then maybe just maybe she might start getting the picture. Hopefully she will have to do some time and COMMUNITY SERVICE and she should have to foot the bill for Patrick’s care for the past 2 YEARS!!! Stupid People will never be anything but TRASH!!

  39. Mark Nell says:

    Throw the book at the low life scum responsible for this. There is NO excuse EVER for this. No mercy!

  40. LisaS says:

    I’ve never seen anything like Patrick’s story. The person who did such an obscene thing to a beautiful, innocent dog should be punished as suits the crime. Thank you.

  41. Pat Hicks says:

    This cruel person should be jailed and given nothing more than bread and water. There is NO excuse for this abuse. She is a dispicable and disgusting scrap of crap.

  42. Antonella panfilio says:

    Gli animali vanno tutelati.il mondo ha il dovere di proteggerli

  43. claudia torres says:

    all these crimes against animals should be punished. At every level. Humans must educate ourselves that we are part of nature not kings of everything.

  44. francis aerts says:

    make the laws equal to the ones that judges use in child abuse cases ! Never should it be allowed to hurt some one smaller then you ! For Patrick , justice is at least 20 years in prison and a fine of 100000 $ , payable to the RSPCA !

  45. Suzanne says:

    God Help people who hurt living creatures that can’t help themselves. People should be accountable for any living creature that they mistreat! What and who gives them the right? People that hurt other living souls must live a miserable existence . Please hold this woman accountable for her actions,please!!

  46. Carla says:

    What a beautiful dog Patrick is now. The offender should be wrapped in plastic, starved to the brink of death, and then thrown down a garbage shoot.

  47. Jude says:

    Real justice for Patrick will be two-fold: A just sentence for the abuser and his present home becoming a permanent home for him.

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