SPCA New Zealand

SPCA prosecutes after man stabs elderly dog

15 February 2019
SPCA prosecutes after man stabs elderly dog

​A Canterbury man has been sentenced after stabbing his friend’s elderly dog with a filleting knife, causing him significant injury.

On May 7 2018, the defendant pleaded guilty in the Christchurch District Court to one charge of ill-treating an animal under the Animal Welfare Act 1999. Today the defendant was sentenced to ten months’ supervision, 140 hours’ community work, and disqualified from owning dogs for five years.

The case began on the evening of 13 July 2017, when the defendant was at his friend’s house. The defendant and his friend were drinking alcohol together. His friend owns a Jack Russell dog called Skipper whom the pair had been joking about euthanising due to his age and health.

At approximately 11:50pm, Skipper’s owner heard him yelp and found Mr Kilgour bent over Skipper holding a filleting knife. Skipper had been stabbed in the right side of his neck and shoulder region, and blood was pooling on the floor.

The defendant left and Skipper was taken to an after-hours vet, who found Skipper showed signs of considerable pain and distress and appeared to be in shock. There was a single large linear wound extending down from Skipper’s neck down through the muscles of his shoulder and reaching to cranial ribs.

Skipper was required to undergo surgery to repair the wound. He was placed on pain relief and antibiotics for 14 days.

In a victim impact statement Skipper’s owner said that he still has clear images of the sight of Skipper with blood spurting from his neck. He recalled the noises and the yelping. He went on to say that Skipper is now very wary around other dogs, and does not socialise like he used to.

An SPCA inspector visited the victim’s address the day after the offence and noted that Skipper appeared to be uncomfortable and was vocalising and shaking.

Thanks to the care and dedication of his owner, Skipper made a full physical recovery.

“This is a mindless act of violence against an innocent animal,” says SPCA CEO Andrea Midgen.

“It is extremely lucky that Skipper did not die from this incident. And while he has physically recovered, the emotional trauma he has suffered will no doubt stay with him for a long time.

“Not only is it against the Animal Welfare Act to cause unnecessary pain and suffering to an animal, it is disgusting that someone would commit such a heinous attack on a friend’s much-loved pet. We sincerely hope this sentence allows the defendant to acknowledge the pain he has caused, and provides a sense of justice for Skipper and his owner.”

In explanation the defendant said his friend had asked him to euthanise Skipper. He said he did not want to but after some persuasion he attempted it by stabbing him, and felt really bad afterwards. Skipper’s owner disputes this, and said that they were laughing and joking, and at no point did he seriously request that the defendant stab his dog.

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