Patrick the pit bull led a wretchedly tormented life. By the time his owner put him in a garbage bag and threw him down a garbage chute in his New Jersey apartment building, most other dogs would have been long dead. But Patrick lived on in this hell, in a dark garbage heap destined for a giant trash compactor.
Then just before the end, Patrick’s luck changed. From inside his sarcophagus, he probably heard the voice of the maintenance worker who was coming to put the garbage into the compactor. He moved slightly, using what little strength he had left in his emaciated, corpse-like body. It was just enough to catch the eye of the maintenance worker, who opened the bag and saw a dog who looked dead, but was not.
Workers called in the City of Newark Animal Control, and the dog was immediately transported to the Associated Humane Societies Newark Animal Care Center (AHS) for emergency help. His temperature was so low it didn’t register. Rescuers there put him on IV fluids, warmed him with blankets and heating pads. Vet tech Gina DeSalvo held him in her arms, soothing him, giving him nibbles of food. “From that moment on, he looked up with gratitude in his eyes to all of the staff,” reports an article on Care2Petition.
Patrick — named by rescuers because he was found on March 16, a day before St. Patrick’s Day — was then transported to a 24-hour emergency veterinary care center. There, he got a blood transfusion, a bath, and even a walk.
Today I spoke with Debbie Beyfus, of the AHS, a local organization which is helping put together funding for Patrick. She said he is doing very well, given his near-death condition just days ago. He is eating many small meals a day, and enjoying all the love and attention he is getting. And the boy is very well house-trained. “Believe it or not, he won’t go to the bathroom anywhere but outside,” she said. “So he goes on little short walks outside with someone to do his business.” (One can only imagine the housetraining techniques his owner used on him…)
The AHS has set up a fund for a reward leading to the arrest and conviction of the perpetrator(s). So far it has $2,000. In addition, there’s a fund to help defray the costs of Patrick’s care, which is going to be expensive and go on for a long time. You can donate to both on the AHS site, and earmark your contribution to go directly to Patrick or the reward fund. Unfortunately there have been problems with the AHS’s ResQ-fund donation pages, so Beyfus says the AHS is welcoming phone calls for donations as well. The number is (973) 824-7080. You can ask for her or anyone else who can take a donation by phone. If you prefer to send a check, you can find the address here. Feel like signing a petition to bring this to the attention of local law enforcement and politicians? Go to Patrick’s Care2Petition page.
The AHS is posting periodic updates on Patrick. Be sure to check in on how he’s coming along.
The AHS has posted a video on YouTube. You can see this beautiful boy as he’s recovering. Get your Kleenex ready, if you haven’t already gone through a box or two.
A big thank-you to Zelda Austin, who called Patrick’s story to my attention yesterday.
Sources: Care2Petition, American Humane Societies, NBC New York.