The Will to Survive - Patrick's Story, Part 3

Patrick Mahaney, VMD, CVA, CVJ
Published: February 09, 2012
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Where is Patrick Now?

Part 3

Now that you have read The Will to Survive — Patrick’s Story Part 1 and Part 2, we move on to the concluding segment of his tale of recovery.

As Patrick continues to thrive, Kisha Curtis is finally being brought to justice. In November 2011, the grand jury handed down an indictment of fourth degree animal cruelty. In January 2012, there was a pre-arraignment hearing, at which Curtis submitted a “not guilty” plea and would not accept any plea agreements. As a result, the case continues through the discovery period through February 2012, with the next court date planned for March 2012.

Not being a legal expert (I stick to the veterinary medical realm), I cannot predict if Curtis will receive a judgment that is commensurate with her alleged crimes. If convicted, she could spend up to 18 months in jail.

Is that enough of a sentence? Will the Patrick-loving public be satisfied? Regardless of the legal outcome, the fact that Patrick has recovered from his horrific state of neglect and abuse is the primary aspect of his story on which we should reflect.

Here is the final perspective from Susan Davis, Patrick’s physical therapist.

Under judge’s order, Patrick remains in the custody of the specialty animal hospital he was primarily treated at until the criminal trial is concluded. During this process, Patrick is being well cared for and receives plenty of affection from the staff. Hopefully, he will soon have the opportunity for increased socialization to become more acclimated to the world.

Having been directly involved in his care and having experienced the conflict regarding Patrick's custody, I have chosen to focus my perspective on his recovery. Most of the information about Patrick can be obtained online, so the public has been able to follow the issues surrounding him since his case began.

Opinions have been formed based on emotions and assumptions, but not necessarily on truths. It has been a learning experience to see how people react and form strong opinions based only on face value and without further inquiry. The eloquent statements and attractive photos appearing on Patrick’s Facebook page do not tell his whole story.

Providing care to Patrick amidst the battles over his custody and the ensuing publicity was a challenge. On several occasions, the pressure from all sides became nearly unbearable. Animals can sense when a human is under stress, and I did not want Patrick to experience any of my discomfort. I remained committed to seeing Patrick reach the physical therapy goals I had set for him and achieving 80 percent recovery of his strength and function. Once this level has been met, an animal can usually gain the rest without professional physical therapy intervention. I removed myself from Patrick's care once that level was reached.

All of the parties related to caring for Patrick started out with the best of intentions and, ultimately, all have done well by him despite the money and publicity issues that subsequently surfaced. In providing Patrick’s physical therapy “pro bono” (that is, without financial compensation or reimbursement for any of my expenses in his care), I was able to focus on my sole motivation of aiding in his recovery.

The experience of working with Patrick is difficult to adequately express in words. The manner in which he accepted his condition and fought for survival is inspirational. It almost seems as if Patrick saw God at the lowest point of his struggle and was given some assurance that he would be found and helped. From that point, he granted others a sense of hope and anticipation of good things to come. Patrick's recovery has brought the gift of joy to people worldwide and has increased public awareness of the plight of neglected animals, and I feel blessed to have been a part of it.

Susan Davis, Physical Therapist, with her patient, Patrick

Top Image: Patrick, July 2011 / via