Less then a month ago, we learned of a most abhorrent case of animal abuse. On March 16, 2011, a dog was discovered, wrapped in a trash bag at the bottom of a 22-story trash chute by a "maintenance man". The dog was disposed of with as much concern as household refuse.
Like a Phoenix
The dog was transported to the American Humane Society where Dr. B. intervened. She guided our boy from a dark abyss into the light of life. Through her efforts, he was readied for transport to Garden State Veterinary Services (GSVS). Within this environ, a phoenix rose above the ashes, and the phoenix was named, Patrick.
Soon thereafter, Patrick's horrific story became public. Coty and John, proactive and compassionate animal advocates, created a petition and a Facebook page named, "The Patrick Miracle". From that venue, a miracle would emerge, tens-of-thousands would gather, relationships developed, chatter was abound and prayers en masse ensued.
As Patrick was reborn, we shuddered while he bravely attempted to stand without support, praised every ounce gained, smiled as he crunched his first bone and enjoyed the first taunting of rain upon his quizzical face. We watched him enjoy a spring wind gently flap his ears, cheered as he finally began to eliminate waste and finally attempted stairs. We melted everytime he looked at us through the camera's lens. And it was a jubilant day when Patrick's abuser was apprehended by NJ SPCA's Sargent Al Peterson, after having received the abuser's exact location via one of "The Patrick Miracle's" angels. But that story will be revealed at another time. Nonetheless, it was a happy day, indeed!
Something about him embedded within us ... but why him? What was different about Patrick? I can't help but think it's because GSVS allowed Patrick to be real. He wasn't hidden away and our voyeurism was welcomed, if not encouraged. His progress was updated, the videos were posted and he drew us in further.
The donations poured in, and his medical care was fully funded by the generosity of his growing legion, but that was just the beginning..... His legion created heart-felt videos, songs and poems. Gifts of yummies, beautiful sweaters to warm his bones, fluffy beds to befit a king, toys and personalized collars to adorn his neck poured in. Even cookies were baked with his likeness etched into the delicate, sweet icing. While he was the recipient of great riches, he would ultimately give much more than received, as dogs are known to do. The gift he gave was welcomed by his legion.... the gentle reminder that for every 'one' animal abuser, there are hundreds' of thousands of us! A most wonderful gift, indeed. Thank you, Patrick!
Through all the wonderment, a simmering of emotion below the surface had begun ~ an undercurrent, of sorts, that permeated the posts and required recognition. An undercurrent to aide our Patrick and all the Patricks who've similarly suffered and address the process of amending grossly inadaquate animal cruelty laws and statutes alongside legislators. The ultimate goal will result in stringent penalities in lieu of meager fines, useless citations and inadequate incarceration. The underlying sentiment will be: When one state succeeds, so will they all ~ The undercurrent became Patrick's Movement!
Patrick's Movement is an umbrella group comprised of all 50 states. (Actually, we're missing a few states, but we're merely at our infancy at 2-weeks-old.) Our launching point and most effective tool is Facebook and the individual state Facebook pages. (See state link list to the right.) For purposes of clarity, partnerships and to attain requisite functional diversity, each of the state sites set their own agenda, assess local legislative processes and critically learn state animal abuse laws. However, in toto, our agenda is simple: work tostrengthen and reform ineffective animal abuse laws at the local and state level.
The Patrick's Movement mission is determined to reform animal cruelty laws at the municipal and state levels and urge the prosecutorial recognition of the intrinsic behavioral anomaly necessary to engage one's self. Allowing for such violent and heinous crimes to be meagerly punished, reflects poorly on our country and communities' progress, serves to desensitize our youth and shreds our moral fabric. Without more stringent laws, we're enabling a consistent onslaught of companion animal lawlessness with increasingly violent crimes committed against them. We've waited for change, but it's not materialized. The time is now to join us, raise your voice and say - no more, no how, no thank you - we're done!
As awareness, educational and grassroots movements go, criteria tends to vary in agenda, passion and labor. It's necessary, if not critical, that the diligent efforts of thousands of volunteers of an emerging movement be lauded, their endeavors shared and information be appropriately disseminated, and that's the sole purpose of "The Patrick Movement" blog.