The story of Patrick, a resilient chocolate brown pitbull mix, illustrates the absolute lows that humans can sink to and the beauty of life and second chances.

On March 16, 2011, the starved, emaciated, near-death puppy was found in a trash chute in an apartment complex in Newark, N.J. The dog's owner, Kisha Curtis, left him tied to a railing for a week, but denied throwing him in the garbage. See what we mean about the depths of depravity to which humans can sink?

The pup was discovered moments before he would have been crushed by the trash compactor. Rescuers doubted he'd survive, since the canine was just 19 pounds and his temperature was so low it didn't register on the thermometer.

We're happy to report that a year later, Patrick, so-named for being found the day before St. Patrick's Day, is thriving. He became a bit of an Internet celeb, with donations coming from all over the world. His story is now part of an effort to help push for stricter legislation against animal abusers in New Jersey.

Patrick got a second chance. He is now a healthy 50 pounds and has two organizations "fighting" over him. The Associated Humane Societies seek custody of him, while the Garden State Veterinary Specialists of Tinton Falls also want him. Their hospital administrator, Patricia Smillie-Scavelli, has been taking care of Patrick and would like to keep him.

Scavelli says that Patrick is a loving creature who prefers to sit on your lap rather than the floor. He also sleeps in bed every night with his caregivers. He is somewhat timid around strangers, but if given a treat, he lets his guard down.

As for owner Curtis? She is charged with animal cruelty. She admitted to abandoning the dog and leaving him tied in a hallway of her building, but says she did not mistreat or abuse him. She was also reportedly his third owner. No one knows how Patrick got down the garbage chute or what was done to him in that time frame.

We're just glad he's now a happy and healthy dog