NEWARK - In an exclusive interview with News 12 New Jersey, Patrick the pit bull's owner says she never harmed the dog and was set up by the security guard in her apartment building.

Kisha Curtis, 27, is accused of abusing and starving the dog, then throwing him down her apartment's garbage chute, where he was found emaciated and near death just before St. Patrick's Day. Curtis claims she left Patrick with food and water and tied to an exit door on the 19th floor of the building, telling a security guard she couldn't take the dog with her when she moved to Albany.

She said she only had the dog for two days when she left, and didn't know what happened to him after. Curtis insists she never threw Patrick down the garbage chute or hurt him in any way, and says the security guard set her up in order to claim reward money.

Due in court tomorrow, Curtis says she fears for her safety and has received death threats since Patrick's story broke.

"It's all over Facebook. It's nationwide. I have people harassing me and my family and friends about the whole Patrick thing," said Curtis.

The ?Justice for Patrick? group plans to hold a rally outside the courthouse tomorrow.

Patrick is also currently at the center of a custody battle between Associated Humane Society and the veterinary hospital that's been taking care of him.

Patrick the Dog gains worldwide followingAlleged pit bull abuser free on bailNewark woman pleads not guilty to pit bull abuse chargesDog thrown down garbage chute recovering in Tinton FallsWoman accused of dumping dog down trash chute