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Auckland man sentenced to 160 hours’ community work following death of eight dogs

21 December 2016
Auckland man sentenced to 160 hours’ community work following death of eight dogs

An Auckland man has this week been sentenced to 160 hours’ community work, disqualified from owning animals for 10 years by the Auckland District Court following a case involving eight Dalmatians dogs who suffered from the highly infectious and usually fatal Canine Parvo Virus (CPV) and were not given appropriate medical treatment.

Xiang Max Bai was found guilty of failing to ensure the physical health and welfare needs of or obtaining vet treatment for seven Dalmatian puppies and a female adult Dalmatian, ‘Chalky’, who was the mother of the litter. Mr Bai sold two ill puppies without disclosing their condition and failed to get the required medical help for the litter and their mother who remained in his care, when he knew they were ill with this disease.

The puppies and their mother suffered from CPV, a virus that causes vomiting, diarrhoea and dehydration, all of which caused pain, distress and suffering and can result in death if untreated. All dogs in Bai’s care died from the virus.

This sentence brings to close a case that began 20 January 2014, when an SPCA Auckland Animal Welfare Inspector received complaints from two people who bought puppies off Mr Bai via TradeMe. One involved a puppy known as “Ruby” who died within 36 hours of being with her new owners. A second complaint was also submitted claiming Mr Bai sold them an ill puppy who died just 24 hours after leaving his property. The puppies were for sale on TradeMe at a reserve price of $900 each.

The Inspector attended Mr Bai’s Mt Wellington property following the complaints, where Mr Bai admitted he was the owner of the female Dalmatian and the remaining five puppies. Mr Bai confirmed the puppies had not been eating, drinking or been active and admitted he had not followed veterinary advice.

Only one of the seven puppies was ever given any treatment and that treatment was stopped when the diagnosis of CPV was made. Mr Bai said that he could not afford the immediate and intensive treatment needed to manage the disease and was advised by a vet to euthanise the puppies on welfare grounds. Mr Bai made appointments with the vet but failed to bring the puppies back to be treated and later advised all five puppies died in his care. Chalky died on 20 January 2014 and was never treated.

“The Inspector found Chalky and her puppies in a starved, dehydrated and critically ill state in desperate need of vet care,” says Andrea Midgen, CEO, SPCA Auckland. “The puppies and their mother were suffering terribly and there is no doubt that the owner understood the severity of their condition. Even though Mr Bai had been advised of how urgent treatment was, he failed to do anything including having them euthanised to end their pain and suffering.

“This is a heart-breaking and completely unacceptable example of cruelty to animals. It’s inconceivable how someone could sit by and watch a new mother and her seven puppies suffer so horribly,” says Ms Midgen. “It again highlights the reasons people should adopt from animal shelters or reputable breeders so they can be sure the animals have been treated well and received appropriate vaccinations and vet care.”

“This is the final SPCA Auckland prosecution for 2016 as we reach the end of year in which thousands of animals faced pain and suffering at the hands of humans. We are sincerely grateful for our pro-bono lawyers in helping seek justice for these innocent animals”.

Xiang Max Bai was sentenced to 160 hours’ community work, disqualified from owning animals for 10 years, ordered to forfeit any existing animals in his care and ordered to pay a total of $6,213.72 in reparation orders to SPCA Auckland and the people who bought the puppies from Mr Bai.

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