NEWARK - A woman has pleaded not guilty to charges of abandoning and 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. In light of the fact that the case has sparked outrage all over the world, Essex County Superior Court Judge Cassini felt compelled to make it clear during the hearing that Curtis is "presumed to be innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt."

About 40 people demonstrated outside the Newark courthouse to show their support for the Patrick the dog.

In an interview seen only on News 12 New Jersey, Curtis admitted she tied Patrick to a door in her building and then moved to Albany. Curtis claimed she did not put the dog in the garbage chute and she says she told a security guard she had to leave him behind. The dog was found emaciated and unable to stand in a trash bin behind the building.

The dog has since recovered at an Garden State Veterinary Specialists in Tinton Falls and was named Patrick because he was found the day before St. Patrick's Day.

AP: Custody fight over 'Patrick' the dog'Patrick' the pit bull's owner says she never harmed himPatrick 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