Owner of cat with untreated dental disease prosecuted by SPCA
Failing to seek veterinary help for his cat’s severe dental issues has seen a North Shore man prosecuted by SPCA.
The defendant was yesterday sentenced in the Auckland District Court to 100 hours’ community work, ordered to pay reparations of $365.62 and disqualified from owning animals for 5 years with the exception of the two cats he currently owns.
The defendant’s cat was taken to a veterinarian by a rescue organisation in November 2018 after a complaint by a member of the public who had observed the cat had obvious dental problems.
The vet noted the cat was very thin with chronic poor nutrition with lesions on its nose and severe periodontal disease. The vet gave the cat antibiotics and pain relief, and advised the rescue organisation to inform the owner he should return with the cat for dental treatment. The cat was returned to the owner with encouragement to seek further medical treatment.
In January 2019, an SPCA Inspector visited the defendant’s address to check on the cat and noted no treatment had been sought. The cat was seized by the Inspector and taken for immediate vet treatment.
The vet found the cat had severe issues in its mouth including broken teeth and exposed tooth roots and ulceration at the corners of his mouth. It was the vet’s opinion that pain and disease would have been present for at least four months. After eight days of care, including steroids and pain relief, the vet recommended euthanasia as the most humane treatment.
SPCA CEO Andrea Midgen says that as part of responsible pet ownership, people must seek veterinary treatment for their animals if they require it.