TRENTON - "Patrick the pit bull" captured the attention of animal lovers across the Garden State and worldwide. Now, the once abused and starving dog might have a New Jersey law named after him.

Patrick was found last March in a trash bag at the bottom of a garbage chute in a Newark apartment building. The dog was severely anemic and malnourished, with his bones protruding from his fur. Patrick has since made a miraculous full recovery, and his case has captured worldwide attention.

His owner, Kisha Curtis, was charged with animal cruelty for allegedly abandoning the dog on the verge of death. The newly proposed 'Patrick's Law' would impose stiffer penalties on people who abuse animals.

The bill must still pass the full Senate and Assembly.