We like to think here in New Zealand we are clean, green, kind to animals. Sadly it isn’t alway so. The SPCA publishes each year a list of shame and this year a Katikati woman made it on to the list.
What the worst is though, is the terribly wishy washy sentences these people get. Until our courts recognise that animal cruelty must be punished accordingly I fear these types of crimes will never lessen.
So here is New Zealand’s shame list for this year…
In Woodville, Palmerston North a husband and wife kept 161 cats and 87 dogs in extreme circumstances. The dogs were kennelled and confined. Because of their vast number, it was
impossible to believe that any had adequate exercise, or socialisation. The cats were living
in filthy conditions with overflowing litter trays and unclean food and water. Around half of
the animals were euthanased as a result of their neglect. The Woodville couple were
sentenced in what has been described as New Zealand’s worst case of animal neglect, were
fined and were disqualified from owning or exercising authority over any cats, dogs,
puppies or kittens for the next 25 years. This case was first brought to court in March 2007
and sentencing finally completed in June 2012 with a cost to the SPCA National Support
office of over $50,000, in excess of the cost of trial.
• In Wellsford two men shot 33 dogs and puppies one by one. Some of the dogs died a slow
painful death, whilst others struggled to hide from the shooters. This was an horrendous
situation for the animals and many of the dogs howled in extreme pain and agony. The
men were handed sentences of 6 months home detention and 6 months community
detention, 300 hours community work and reparation.
• A 20 year old Kaikoura man who bludgeoned to death 25 seals, including newborns pups,
with a metal pipe and left several to die painfully has had his sentence overturned in the
Blenheim District Court. The original sentencing was a two year jail penalty but the man
was released on an eight month home detention when the man’s lawyer argued the
punishment was excessive. This was terrible violence towards a large number of animals
left to die over a period of several days.
• A 40 year old Waikino Farmer has been convicted over the ill treatment of dairy cows. The man was sentenced to 10 months home detention for breaking 115 of the 135 herd cow’s
tails and hitting them on the hind legs with a steel pipe causing broken legs and swollen
and infected joints in a number of the cows. The animals suffered obvious signs of physical
injuries and were in severe distress. 25 of the 135 dairy cow herd on the property were
euthanased due to the serious pain and distress they were in.
• In South Auckland an emaciated puppy was dumped in a box at the end of a drive way in
Manurewa. The puppy was unable to stand or walk and the puppy’s bones could be seen through its skin. The age of the dog was not determined due to the severe case of
malnourishment. The person responsible has not been found.
• At Great Barrier Island – 2 dogs were found in the bush chained to dilapidated kennels and left to die after a “tip off” from a member of the public. Both dogs had not been fed for
weeks. One was euthanased and “Cassie” the surviving dog is a two year old pointer cross.
It was a close call but 21 days later she was like a different dog. The owner from Great
Barrier was banned from owning a dog for 8 years, sentenced to 100 hours of community
work and ordered to pay a fine.
• In Te Kuiti a man was investigated after neighbours complained of 15 feral goats and 2
dozen poultry were kept on his property without adequate food and water. Three of the
goats, a nanny goat and her two kids were shut in the chicken coop. The man was holding
the animals for slaughter for a religious day. All but two of the goats were euthanased.
• In Te Atatu, Auckland a 3 year old silver tabby was found outside an archery club with an
arrow that had been fired into his head which went through the back of the head and out
near its eye with the arrow still protruding when found. The cat had also been shot with
slug gun pellets. The wounds were old and had become infected. An investigation is being
carried out by the SPCA.
• In Timaru a beloved family cat was found deliberately cut up outside her Waimataitai
home. The 17 year old cat was found nearby a beheaded hedgehog. Police considered the
case as being premeditated and sadistic. The maximum penalty for charges of cruelty or ill-
treatment of animals was three years in prison or a $50,000 fine.
• A Waitara man used who his backyard as a feline cemetery has been banned from owning
an animal for 5 years. The man used a wood and wire trap to catch the cats as a “hobby”
then put them into a sack and immersed them in a rubbish bin full of water until they
• A Christchurch man is facing an animal cruelty charge after allegedly feeding his 9 year
German Shepherd chicken and insecticide. He had decided to put the dog down after the
dog bit his grandson.
• In Hamilton, a farmer faces charges after filming his dogs being set on captive pigs in a
pen on his farm. The man also filmed himself holding a captive boar by its back legs as
the dogs attacked it for a period of time before it was eventually killed.
• At Te Waewae Bay, west of Invercargill two men have been fined – (one man who already
had a conviction for previous animal cruelty) for throwing rocks the size of a fist at a
protected Leopard Seal on the head. The seal appeared to lose consciousness then it was
dragged down the beach while the men posed for pictures beside it.
• In Dannevirke a man was found guilty and fined of 2 charges of trapping and painting
Harrier Hawks then releasing them. Any material such as paint that is placed on the
feathers of a bird will affect the bird’s ability to regulate their temperature and if the paint is toxic this can be ingested by the bird when preening which would result in significant
distress and health effects of the bird.
• A Christchurch man was found guilty after throwing a Jack Russell puppy outside injuring
it, then striking it over the head with an axe. The puppy would have suffered significantly.
The man was banned from owning an animal for 10 years and ordered to serve 4 months
home detention and another 6 months with special conditions imposed. However, there
are other family member’s pets on the premises.
• A woman in Kati Kati was sentenced to 75 hours community work and banned from
owning any domestic animal for 5 years after her 10 year old cat was attacked by a
neighbor’s dog and the owner failed to seek veterinary attention. The cat had suffered for
months and an x-ray revealed the cat had a broken femur and broken hip. The cat was
euthanased due to the extent of its injuries.
• At Lake Dunstan a litter of nine 5 week old puppies were dumped in a rubbish bin on a
scorching hot day. The woman who found the pups handed them into a local vet and then
onto the SPCA. After extensive searches for the owners the SPCA now believe that this was made up by the woman wanting to dispose of the pups. This was a huge waste of SPCA
time, finances and resources, but due to the media publicity the pups found homes.
• A Whakatane couple picked up a dog that was close to death on the side of the road. It
was in huge distress and the ribs of emaciated dog were evident and it appeared the dog
had head injuries. She couldn’t stand and was shaking violently. A council dog ranger
recognized the dog and the matter is now in the hands of the Police and the SPCA.
• A property in Waitati, Dunedin was described as a death camp for chickens. Most of them
were dying as a result of starvation. Six days later another complaint was laid on another
property in the region owned by the same man that was housing over 100 dead and dying
hens. The court convicted and sentenced the man to 5 months and 3 months home
detention and reparation.
• In Westport a man tried to strangle and bash a pet goat after losing his house keys. The
man was sentenced to 4 months community detention and 200 hours of community work
• In Queenstown five 18 year old teens from Rangiora were arrested on animal cruelty
charges after a live turkey was allegedly attached to the back of a Ute with tape and driven
• A man who left his dog for dead in Mangatangi, South of Auckland after it swallowed a
skewer that pierced its stomach, has been sentenced to 300 hours community work and
ordered to pay reparation. The vet concluded the dog would have endured significant pain
and suffering over an extended period.
• In Dunedin 7 newborn pups were left in a carton to die in the cold. They were less than
two days old. A member of the public found them and handed them into the SPCA.
• A West Coast Farmer has been sentenced to 350 hours of community service after 60
cattle were found dead and dying. Another 1300 other cattle were found in varying
conditions, 65 needed to be euthanased.
• Trooper, a young puppy that had its ears severed and featured in our last year’s list of
shame has been happily re-homed. A Tauranga man has been found guilty of failing to get
veterinary care and was convicted and sentenced to 100 hours of community work.
• A Dunedin farm worker has been sentenced to 120 hours of community work, 4.5 months
home detention, reparation costs, and disqualified from owning or having authority over
animals for 2 years. The man hit the calf with a steel pipe in the face. The calf was blinded
and in such severe pain it was euthanased.
• A man from Howick, Auckland is facing charges for neglecting an Airedale Terrier. The
Terrier was found lying in the garden, severely weak, dehydrated and unable to walk with
both eyes infected and a large ruptured tumor on the ear. The dog had to be euthanased.
• A young boy saved the life of a small terrier cross in Porirua, Wellington. The dog was
being held down by several boys and was being subjected to kicking by each boy; one boy
was hitting the dog with a cricket bat. Charges were unable to be laid due to the ages of
the boys. The dog suffered severe bruising and trauma.
• In Glendene, West Auckland an emaciated dog was found bleeding from her ears, with an
eye infection and was locked up in a faeces filled garage. The owner was sentenced, fined
and was disqualified from owning dogs for 2 years.
• In Rotorua the owner of a Shar Pei cross threaded a climbing carabiner through the neck of the dog, a chain was clipped to this and then attached to the dog’s kennel. The owner also
claimed he took it for walks like this. This led to a major infection, and unfortunately the
dog had extreme food aggression also, leading to the dog having to be euthanased. The
owner was prosecuted, fined and disqualified from owning a dog for a year.
• In Wellington a cat was dumped by its owners next to a rubbish skip, (where she may have
been thrown in with the rubbish) instead of walking the extra 20 metres to the SPCA. The
cat was left in the rain and went unnoticed for several hours. The cat was traumatised and
had been left without any shelter or food.
• In Rongotea a prominent farmer was fined $6,500 for failing to prevent suffering and failing to ensure the health and behavioral needs of sheep on his property. He was ordered to pay vet expenses and legal fees.
• In Greymouth 3 teenagers are facing charges of animal cruelty after stabbing a pet goat on
impulse. One man held the animal and the other stabbed it in the neck, causing it to
stagger around bleating in pain and bleeding profusely. One man has been sentenced to
community work for his part and the other two are facing charges. The teenagers act was
seen by a woman out walking. One of the men has said he is an animal lover.
• In Rotorua, a woman is convicted of reckless ill treatment after failing to seek vet care for
her dog. The three year old bull mastiff cross was left with 100% mange all over his body
and ulcerated corneas. His owner received 100 hours of community work, reparation and
banned from owning a dog for five years.
- SPCA’s ‘shocking’ list of shame (nzherald.co.nz)
- Worst animal cruelty cases revealed (stuff.co.nz)
- List of shame starts Wellington SPCA campaign (stuff.co.nz)
- It Needs Them (niruireece.wordpress.com)