Irvington Woman Sentenced In Patrick The Pit Bull Cruelty Case
An Irvington woman who admitted tying her pet pit bull Patrick to a railing and leaving it for a week is not going to prison.
Essex County Superior Court Judge Joseph Cassini on Thursday sentenced Kisha Curtis to 18 months' probation. The judge says Curtis is unlikely to do the same thing again. The judge also pointed out the dog survived and the case led to tougher penalties for animal cruelty.
Cassini also ordered that Curtis give up ownershp of Patrick and to pass her equiavelency test according to the Star Ledger.
Patricia Smillie-Scavelli, an administrator at Garden State Veterinary Specialists in Tinton Falls, will become Patrick's new owner.
Curtis pleaded guilty last month to fourth-degree animal cruelty.
Cassini also acknowledged what he called “hundreds and hundreds” of messages from supporters of Patrick that urged him to give Curtis jail time. But he asked them to put the case in perspective when compared to another case being decided today: the trial of a Newark cop killer, calling Curtis' crime a "three or four" when compared to the murder of cop, which he rated a 10.
"A wife was left without a husband, children were left without a father. We do not have that in Miss Curtis’ case. We have to put this in perspective. I’ve been at this a long time," explained Cassini.
Supporters writing on the Sammy The Cocker Spaniel Facebook page, which expressed its support for Patrick in its profile page, disagreed with Cassini's conclusion, hoping the judge would have made an example out of the case with a tough penatlty.
"NO JAIL time is unacceptable. That stinks. That just is another way of saying what she did is "OK." posted a woman named Rhona. Another poster named Tricia wrote, It sickens me that they get off so easy. The people who decide the "punishment" should be ashamed of themselves."
The emaciated dog was found near death in 2011 in a plastic bag at the bottom of a trash chute in Curtis' Newark apartment building. Nicknamed Patrick when he was brought in to the Tinton Falls animal hospital around St. Patrick's Day and nursed back to health.
The Associated Press contributed to this report