Last month, a severely emaciated, abused and neglected pit bull was found in the trash at a New Jersey housing complex. A janitor heard his cries and called for help. The dog had been put in a garbage bag and thrown 19 stories down a trash chute.
The dog was taken to Associated Humane Societies, and then transferred to Garden State Veterinary Specialists, an emergency veterinary hospital. It was the night before St. Patrick’s Day, and the doctors and staff named him Patrick.
This is a photo of Patrick on the night he was brought in. (I struggled with posting this photo on my blog. I know it is graphic in nature, but I figure if Patrick can live through what he did, we can all handle seeing this photo.)
I was working and on my computer a few days after this had happened, and someone on Facebook shared the story. When I clicked the link, the horror of the picture above and other pictures included took my breath away. My husband asked repeatedly, “What’s wrong? Honey, what is it?” before I could even say anything. I was crying before I knew it. I could not believe this dog was even alive.
Here is one of the most recent photos of him. Look at the difference a few weeks makes—under excellent care!
I have seen and heard countless stories of animal abuse and neglect, but because of the extreme nature of this case, I was even more distraught than usual. Stories like this, and stories of child abuse, can get me to a place where I am sick with disgust, and can’t get the victims out of my mind. Apparently, I am not alone.
The good news in this case is that so many people have seen these pictures and are equally appalled. Facebook pages in Patrick’s honor have quickly counted thousands of “likes”. Newspapers all over the world are covering this case, and the Garden State Veterinary Specialists hospital has been almost overwhelmed by concerned callers, emails, and gifts sent to Patrick. Very quickly, all of Patrick’s medical care was covered (and then some)—and GSVS actually put out a notice asking people to donate to the Associated Humane Societies, or their local shelters.
I believe this little being’s legacy will be the awareness that has come about because of his suffering. I know there are people out there who were truly unaware that anyone could do such a thing to an animal, or that the laws are so slight regarding animal abuse.
The sad and horrible truth is that this kind of thing happens all the time. More than we can imagine. Most cases go almost unnoticed, or the animals die and no one ever knows the truth.
I am sure that thousands of people have applied to adopt Patrick, and as part of his legacy, I hope these people and thousands of others go to a shelter and rescue one of the other Patricks out there. I love thinking that hundreds or thousands of animals will be saved because of one pup’s fight to stay alive, against the odds.
I struggle all the time to think of ways I can help more. For now, I am just giving all my rescue animals—Lilly, Lucy, Baxter, and Bear-- all the love they can handle.
Here are links to recent articles:
And a link to The GSVS Animal Hospital’s Facebook Page, who have provided such amazing care for Patrick (you can follow their updates on his care).