It’s the seventh day of recovery for Patrick, the emaciated Pit bull who was shoved into a trash bag and thrown down the garbage chute of a 22 story apartment building in Newark, New Jersey.
The dog was rescued just minutes before being hurdled into the building’s trash compactor by a maintenance worker who noticed the bag moving.
When the worker ripped open the plastic bag, the young red pit bull terrier inside was a mere skeleton of a dog. He was cold and near death. Someone had starved him and thrown him out with the garbage.
The dog was rushed by animal control officers to the Associated Humane Societies and Popcorn Park Zoo where his rescuers named him Patrick, because he was found the day before St. Patrick’s Day.
Soon after, Patrick was transferred to nearby Garden State Veterinary Specialties where he is currently receiving intensive care.
Chief Bruce Sanchez of Associated Humane Societies graciously gave an interview updating Patrick’s recovery and how close police are to apprehending the dog’s abuser.
Chief Sanchez said, “Patrick cried and moaned the entire ride in the ambulance when he was rescued. He had hypothermia and his body was so cold, it wouldn’t register on the thermometer.”
“But Patrick was lucky because the trash bag he was in broke his fall in the garbage chute. The bag filled with air and cushioned the fall. It saved his life.”
During the first few days at the veterinary hospital, Patrick received blood transfusions to help him restore a protein called Albumin to his body. Pressure sores covered his thin body.
Sanchez speculated the sores were there because Patrick had become too weak to stand by himself — after his owner deprived him of food.
Now nearly a week later Sanchez said, “Patrick’s recovery is going slow. Today was an easy-going day for him. He’s eating a bit and has normal bowel and urine movements. The veterinary hospital has him up and walking for a while. And Patrick is responding to all of the kindness he is receiving.”
“He refuses to urinate in his cage, so the techs gently carry him outside and hold him upright until he goes.”
Although veterinarians are cautiously optimistic about Patrick’s recovery, today they hit a bump that may complicate things. A “foreign body” was found in the dog’s intestines.
“An x-ray showed some sort of foreign body. It could be a sock or part of a blanket. It’s not uncommon to find something like this in dogs that are starved. Patrick was so hungry he might have eaten anything to fill his stomach,” said Sanchez.
“They may use a scope in a couple of days to see what is inside him, but Patrick is too weak for surgery.”
Chief Sanchez believes Patrick is 2 years-old or younger. He said it was hard to tell because the poor nutrition the dog received has turned his teeth into those of a much older animal.
On a good note, Sanchez said that police have several solid leads about the identity of Patrick’s owner. He hopes to make an announcement very soon.
Chief Sanchez also warned that after 25 years in animal rescue he is seeing an increase in this type of extreme animal abuse and it worries him. Earlier this year a Pit bull dog was impaled and killed by its owner.
Sanchez may be right because during the writing of this story, the starved body of a female Pit bull terrier stuffed inside a garbage bag and left on the side of the road was found in Lake County, IL.
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Associated Humane Societies has daily pictures of Patrick’s recovery. They are also collecting donations for his care.
Photo from Associated Humane Societies