Patrick the dog, once considered a piece of trash by a woman who allegedly threw him down a garbage chute, is now a thriving, loving pooch. His plight put the spotlight not just on abused animals everywhere, but on their rescuers.
After his rescue in March, Patrick came to the loving arms of Bruce Sanchez and his dedicated staff at the Tinton Falls location of the Associated Humane Societies of Monmouth County.
Since then, Patrick has captured the hearts of animal lovers from Monmouth County to San Francisco to Athens, and even Australia. “There are three famous dogs, the first is Rin Tin Tin, the second is Lassie, and the third is Patrick,” said Sanchez, director of the Associated Humane Societies of Monmouth County.
The Associated Humane Societies, founded in 1906, is the largest animal sheltering system in New Jersey, with shelter locations in Newark and Forked River as well.
A young dog, he was found March 16, starved and emaciated, after apparently being thrown down a 19-story garbage chute in Newark, where a maintenance worker found him inside a garbage bag.
According to Sanchez, Patrick, named after St. Patrick’s Day for the day he survived, was just a skeleton of a dog. He was unable to even move at the time he was brought into the veterinary hospital, where he has made a tremendous recovery.
The Patrick buzz has led to countless Facebook pages where fans receive updates on Patrick’s health, as well as news on other animal cruelty stories. Sanchez finds the world-wide ground swell of support for Patrick unbelievable, but feels it is, "more amazing what one horribly deranged person can do."
Treating Patrick has been a unique pleasure for Sanchez. After saving Patrick from death, Sanchez has marveled at the dog's rebound, fondly recalling Patrick "trying to communicate with the trees" while filming for NJ News Channel 12.
Patrick is now resting comfortably, gaining weight and getting healthy at the Garden State Veterinary Specialists (GSVS) in Tinton Falls. You can visit the GSVS to hear more about his story and see his progress in pictures.
Follow the web of Patrick fans and you will find yourself aware of countless other shelters, rescues, and even more stories of abused and homeless animals looking for their "furever" home.
Unfortunately, since Patrick’s rescue, many people have begun to take advantage of Patrick’s fame as well as the support of his fans. The Associated Humane Societies released a press release on April 6 to inform Patrick’s supporters that scammers are setting up false organizations to collect money that never helps any homeless animal or shelter, let alone Patrick.
According to the society, groups and individuals have been selling T-shirts and artwork with Patrick’s likeness and using the funds for their own benefit.
"The story of Patrick alone is heartbreaking, but the fact that people are trying to profit from this travesty is just despicable," said Associated Humane Societies Executive Director Roseann Trezza.
For those who feel helpless in a situation that may seem overwhelming, there are plenty of things that can be done for Patrick, as well as the hundreds of thousands of other homeless pets in shelters all over the globe, according to the Humane Society.
In Tinton Falls, the Associated Humane Societies serves 32 municipalities in Monmouth County and houses over 150 cats, 100 dogs, 2 pigs, 100 birds, and even a few pheasants and roosters. As a nonprofit organization, it operates on a tight budget anything people can give, from blankets and sheets to food, cleaning supplies and monetary donations, is appreciated.
Sanchez gushes about his staff while petting Calypso, an aging parrot. "Everyone is needed at the shelter," he said. "This job is selfless and hard. There are just so many wonderful animals that are in need of help." Not only are there so many animals in need of help, but they are also in need of a home, something his staff works on every day.
To find your next best furry or feathery friend or to offer help to those who care for the animals, go to http://www.ahscares.org/ or visit the facility on Shafto Road, and tell them Patrick sent you.