Man sentenced over horrific backyard castration of pet dog
SPCA has prosecuted a man over a botched castration attempt on his dog that went horribly wrong, leaving the animal suffering in excruciating pain for weeks.
The defendant was sentenced at Manukau District Court in Auckland on September 19, after being charged with the ill-treatment of an animal. He was sentenced to 160 hours of community work.
SPCA was first notified about the injured dog by police, after two officers visited the man’s property on an unrelated matter in May 2022. They were greeted by a child, who told them their dad had hurt their eight-month-old mixed breed dog by “chopping off his balls”. They found the dog, named Buck, and noticed his testicles were raw and exposed.
Police contacted SPCA and made arrangements for both agencies to return to the property later that morning. Buck was taken into possession of SPCA and emergency veterinary treatment was sought.
Upon examination, the vet noticed some tissue protruding from a wound around Buck’s scrotum. The injury was consistent with a deliberate attempt to perform castration. The tissue was red and inflamed and had some material stuck to the surface that appeared to be plant material.
The veterinarian concluded that Buck would have suffered significant pain as a consequence of this injury, and the initial trauma that had caused his testicle to come out of the body would have been incredibly painful. He would have serious ongoing pain associated with the protruding tissue and skin wound.
When interviewed by SPCA, the defendant said he had been told by a friend that having Buck neutered would cost $50-$100. He was told that it was possible to neuter a dog by placing a rubber band around the testicles as tightly as possible, and that it would be swollen for two or three days, then after a week the testicles would fall off.
About a month before SPCA became involved, the defendant decided to try the rubber band method and placed a band around Buck’s testicles. He noticed a couple of days afterwards Buck’s testicles were swollen, and he noticed a cut. Buck also stopped eating for a few days, then started again.
In the second week the defendant noticed a smell similar to that of a dead rat. He also said there were blood marks in places where Buck had lay down. In the third week, the defendant thought that the rubber band didn’t seem to be holding, so he tied a small piece of rope around Buck’s testicles. Buck cried when he did this.
The defendant said he knew that he was hurting Buck, but he was trying to fix his mistake. However, he was making it much worse. He didn’t call for help because he thought he’d get into trouble. He said he had no idea what the rules were in New Zealand when it came to castration, and where he was from, people just did it themselves. The defendant told SPCA he was regretful of his actions and knew Buck was in pain.
SPCA Chief Executive Robyn Kiddle says it’s difficult to imagine the unnecessary and unacceptable level of pain and distress Buck was put through.
“It is illegal to perform castration on any animal in New Zealand unless carried out by the right people with the right skills such as a veterinarian. Buck would have been in excruciating pain, yet nothing was done to alleviate this,” says Ms Kiddle.
“At SPCA, we understand the importance of desexing more than anyone and there are ways we can help people to desex their pet. We recently launched a campaign to desex 600 animals in Northland (300 cats and 300 dogs) as well as having other desexing initiatives across the country at different times of the year. If people are struggling to afford to desex their pet or need advice, help is available and I would strongly encourage them to contact SPCA or their local vet clinic to discuss what options are available.”
The defendant was also ordered to pay reparation costs of $1,142.18 to SPCA.