A New Jersey woman has pleaded not guilty to charges of starving a 1-year-old pit bull that was found at the bottom of a trash chute.
Kisha Curtis is charged with two fourth-degree offenses for "tormenting and torturing" an animal. She also faces two abandonment charges that are punishable by up to six months in jail.
Assistant Essex County Cheryl Cucinello said she would present an evaluation of the evidence to a grand jury within two weeks.
Dozens of people demonstrated outside the Newark courthouse Friday to show their support for the dog.
Prosecutors say Curtis tied the dog to a railing at her Newark apartment building and left town for a week.
The dog was found emaciated and unable to stand.
He has since recovered at an animal hospital and was named Patrick because he was found the day before St. Patrick's Day.