Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray announced that this afternoon Kisha Curtis, 29, of Irvington, pled guilty before the Honorable Joseph Cassini, III, J.S.C., to the indictment which charges her with one count of 4th degree animal cruelty.
The case was scheduled to go to trial tomorrow.
Back in March of 2011 Curtis was charged with animal cruelty for abandoning and starving the dog now known as Patrick resulting in his torment and torture. The animal was found inside a plastic bag at the bottom of a trash chute of a high-rise Newark apartment building. The dog was discovered emaciated, malnourished and near death. Rescuers named the dog Patrick because the incident occurred just before Saint Patrick’s Day.
After he was discovered, the dog was first taken to the Associated Humane Societies who stabilized the animal and facilitated his transfer to a veterinary facility in Tinton Falls, where he was nursed back to health.
Today the dog is healthy and living with a foster family. During her plea Curtis gave up all legal rights to the dog. At sentencing, Judge Cassini will decide who will retain final custody of Patrick.
Assistant Prosecutor Margarita R. Rivera who handled the case with Assistant Prosecutor David Feldman said, “Today the defendant pled guilty to the charge in the indictment. We could not ask for a better result. She has taken responsibility for abusing Patrick and we hope this result will serve as a deterrent to other people who think they can mistreat animals without any repercussions.’’
Sentencing in the case is scheduled for Aug. 29 before Judge Cassini. Curtis faces up to 18 months in prison but there is a presumption of non-incarceration for a first offender. Curtis has no prior convictions.