The dog who came back from the dead:Amazing recovery of Patrick the pit bull after he was dumped in a trash chute
An emaciated Pit Bull discovered at the bottom of a trash chute in Newark last year moments before the trash compactor would have killed him, has made a miraculous recovery and now weighs a healthy 50lbs.
Rescued the day before St Patrick”s Day in 2011, Patrick as he was quickly named, weighed a shocking 19lbs and was on death”s doorstep when volunteers from the Associated Humane Societies took him to the emergency room at Garden State Veterinary Specialists.
Now after a year of round-the -lock care, volunteers and doctors are all vying to remain a part of his life as they begin to look for a home for the brave pooch.
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Then and now: An emaciated Patrick shortly after he was found in a trash chute in Newark a year ago and today (right) as a healthy, strapping Pit Bull weighing in at 50lbs
While the trauma of being tied to a railing for seven days and then dumped in a bin has inevitably left emotional and physical scarring, those who know Patrick talk only of how loving and trusting he is.
“He is a tremendous fighter,” said Dr Thomas Scavelli, the director and founder of the Garden State Veterinary Specialists, the pet hospital in Tinton Falls where Patrick has been treated.
Wife, Patricia Smillie-Scavelli, who is also the hospital administrator, told Irish Central: “He really gives love. He climbs into your lap, he would prefer to sit in your lap than lay on the floor. He also sleeps in our bed at night, along with the cat.”
Though understandably Patrick remains nervous around strangers, reported NBC, a treat or two quickly remedies his fear.
Heartbreaking: Patrick was at death”s door when he was taken to the emergency room at Garden State Veterinary Specialists in Tinton Fall, New Jersey and few thought he would survive
Miraculous: A year later, his carer and hospital administrator Patricia Smillie-Scavelli says he gives enormous love and sleeps in bed with her, her husband and their cat
“There are very few animals, or any life form, that could have gone through and survived what he has, and really never looked back,” said Dr Scavelli of his courageous recovery.
And few who have simultaneously become so much of a celebrity.
Hospital staffers have chronicled his progress on their website and a Facebook page has garnered fans from around the world.
He”s received hundreds of emails, donations, gifts and letters from those inspired by his tale of survival.
Ready for my close up: Patrick has received hundreds of emails, donations, gifts and letters from those inspired by his tale of survival
Devoted: Patricia Smillie-Scavelli holds a 1-year-old Patrick in April last year at the hospital where she is an administrator and her husband, Dr Thomas Scavelli is director
The hospital ordered 500 thank-you cards with Patrick”s picture to mail to those who have sent collars, dog shirts, toys, scrapbook pages or dog blankets embroidered with Patrick”s name, and they are fast running out.
When Patrick, who is thought to be around a year old, was brought to the hospital after being rescued by officials at the Associated Humane Societies, he was so starved, emaciated and dehydrated he was curled into a ball, unable to walk or stand.
His ribcage protruded, he weighed about 20 pounds – roughly 30 pounds less than average – and was covered in sores with parts of skin hanging off him, according to Patricia Smillie-Scavelli, Dr Scavelli”s wife and the administrator of the hospital.
Peace: Patrick is still nervous around strangers but a treat helps earn his trust
Happy holidays! While the Associated Humane Societies are fighting for custody to find Patrick a home, the Scavellis are hoping to be considered as his permanent future owners
Frail: Patrick”s owner Kisha Curtis of Newark left the dog tied to a railing for seven days before someone dumped his dying body in the garbage
Horrifying: When he was first brought in Patrick was starving and had been subjected to months, possibly a life time of horrific abuse
“Everyone thought that, you bring in an animal like that, that looks like it”s really just a corpse, you put it to sleep,” Mrs Smillie-Scavelli said.
“Butof course, he looked up at you with those eyes, and you say: How can you give up on this dog How can you, when he”s not giving up on life So, we gave him that second chance, and he has just run with it, and thrived.”
After weeks of emergency measures thatincluded a transfusion of three pints of dog blood, a special diet, medicine and physical therapy, Patrick began to gain weight and eat solid food.
Kisha Curtis of Newark, has been charged with two fourth-degree offences for “tormenting and torturing” an animal
He also started to enjoy taking outdoor walks in the sun and playing with the many toys that well-wishers had sent him.
“Thisis not a month of starvation,” Dr Scavelli said soon after his rescue. “This is a lifetime probably, or at least months and months of neglect, and to see the way he cares for people and trusts people, that”s really been the most interesting and rewarding thing to see about the canine spirit.”
Kisha Curtis of Newark, is scheduled to appear in court on charges of neglect and abandonment – fourth-degree offences for “tormenting and torturing” an animal by failing to provide food and water, prosecutors said.
The charges could carry a maximum jail sentence of 18 months and a fine of up to $10,000. She also faces two abandonment charges punishable by up to six months in jail with a $1,000 fine.
Authorities said Curtis tied the dog to a railing in her Newark apartment building and left the state for more than a week. A janitor later found the emaciated dog in a trash bin.
Curtis has pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Her mother told reporters at her daughter”s court hearing that the dog had been given to Kisha but she could not take care of it, so she”d tied it up outside hoping somebody else would take it.
The Essex County courthouse has also received more than 600 letters and faxes from around the world expressing concern for the dog and urging swift and harsh punishment for Curtis.
“In the 17 years we”ve been here we”ve never seen this type of response to an animal,” Patricia Smillie-Scavelli said.
“There”s something about Patrick that has really sparked interest, honestly, from throughout the entire world.”
She hopes to keep and care for Patrick herself.
VIDEO: Watch a happy, healthy Patrick at play!DM.has(“rcpv1849911758001″,”BCVideo”);