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A Dog, A Miracle and An Animal Cruelty Law

A rescue dog and a community determined to make history

animal rights

Patrick’s law was undoubtedly a breakthrough for animal rights and one of the first examples of social media being used to shape our reality.



Patrick’s Law was approved by the New Jersey Senate and charges any person who fails to satisfy animals’ basic needs and provide them with good living conditions . It can result in sentences ranging from fines to the imprisonment of animal abusers.

This video documents Patrick’s condition and recovery. 

Warning: the video below contains disturbing and graphic images that may be upsetting to some viewers

The Rescue

On March 16, 2011, Patrick was found miraculously alive inside a plastic bag in a dumpster in Newark, New Jersey. A maintenance man who found him took him to the to Humane Society and the starved dog was sent to the Garden State Veterinary, where the efforts to save his life started. The pooch was found on St. Patrick’s eve and because he survived the night against all odds, he was named Patrick.

At that moment, the absence of laws addressing domestic animal cruelty in New Jersey as well as in the rest of the country would result in only a mild sentence for the offenders.

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Since then, two fights started: one for Patrick’s life, and another for the establishment for a new law that could prevent future cases of animal cruelty by giving the judges the tools they needed to treat animal abuse as a felony and strengthen the punishment, both in terms of prison and fines.

While Patrick struggled to survive and recover, a movement called Patrick’s Law was founded to raise awareness about animal abuse, bring about State and Federal laws for animal welfare, and create an Animal Abuser Registry.

Woman petting Golden Retriever dogAnimal cruelty is a felony in all 50 states of the United States. However, thanks to the Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture (PACT) Act, heinous and sadistic acts of cruelty against living non-human mammals, birds, reptiles, or amphibians are a federal felony, punishable by a fine, up to seven years in prison or both. Animal Cruelty State Laws Reach National Level

A World Movement

The news reached millions of people worldwide who joined the movement and helped bring about Patrick’s Law, a bill that was approved on September 13th by the Senate Economic Growth Committee and became a law on October 26th when the New Jersey Senate unanimously passed S1303. Patrick’s Law considers cruelty and neglect as a fourth-degree crime or a third-degree crime if the animal dies.

Dog in front of cosmetics and mirror

livekindly.co

Animal rights is a movement that knows no geographical barriers. The European Parliament, representing the 27 member nations of the European Union, passed new regulations that bans animal testing on cosmetics, after decades of advocacy work. Animal Testing Ban Goes Into Effect In The European Union

Civil penalties from $1,000 to $3,000 for a first offense, and $3,000 to $5,000 for a second offense also apply. This law also increased criminal and civil penalties, charges aggressors with imprisonment for a term up to six months, or both, for cruelty upon any living creature by any means, either for not providing them with proper food, drink, shelter and protection from the weather, or for leaving them unattended in a vehicle.

The First Step

Animal cruelty is a problem with a broad range of complex issues that arise from abuse, neglect, animal fighting, slaughtering, farming methods, etc.

The story of Patrick would have never been told if he had ended in a pile of garbage without ever being noticed. However, he struggled for survival and became an evidence of the worst and also the best sides to humanity.

Patrick the pit bull dog recovered and adopted

advocacy.britannica.com

After a full recovery, Patrick got a new home and a foster mum, Patricia Smillie-Scavelli. Patricia took care of him until a permanent home for the pitbull could be decided between the City of Newark or the Human Society, which both claim Patrick’s custody. Patrick’s Miracle – Three Years Later

Patrick’s Law movement was the starting line for a better world that assures the welfare of any living creature. 

He took the first step towards raising awareness and now it is our job to continue it.

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7 Comments on A Dog, A Miracle and An Animal Cruelty Law

  1. It's wonderful to hear this sort of news!

  2. It is! No living creature deserves what he was put through and, hopefully, Patrick's law will help make a difference in the lives of many more!

  3. that first view of him on the table is SO appalling!! it is good to see him later with his little sweaters/coats, warm blankies and soft toys. i am delighted to know he recovered and very encouraged by the passing of Patrick's law.

  4. Thank you very much for your comment Denise! Indeed, this is amazing news. Animal cruelty is a very serious issue and we strongly believe that creating awareness is the first step to take in order to put an end to it. We are sending CosmoDoggyHugs your way!

  5. amazing that there is only one comment…… this is good news for all animals. I'm very happy and I hope Patrick is doing well! many hugs from Holland!

  6. Thank you. We are glad you enjoyed reading our article. It is a wonderful story!

  7. I didn't take the chance of watching the video but the article impressed me !

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