SPCA New Zealand

Man sentenced after hitting dog with baseball bat

28 July 2023

A man who told SPCA Inspectors he struck his dog with a baseball bat because he was sick of him eating his clothes and shoes, has today been sentenced to 50 hours of community work.

Man sentenced after hitting dog with baseball bat

The defendant appeared in the Hutt Valley District Court after he pleaded guilty to ill-treating his dog. As well as a sentence of community work, he was disqualified from owning dogs for five years.

In January 2022, a witness saw the defendant beating his dog, Boy, with a baseball bat and captured the attack on their cellphone. The blows were described as ‘medium force’ by the witness.

After being hit for the fourth time, Boy ran from the defendant towards a gap between the garage and fence line, but the defendant followed and continued to hit the dog with the bat twice. Boy was witnessed vocalising in distress and running inside the house.

The defendant chased him back outside, where Boy ran into his kennel and was forcefully poked with the end of the bat.

SPCA Inspectors were alerted to the footage and executed a search warrant at the address. They seized Boy, along with a baseball bat.

Upon viewing the footage, a veterinarian said the incident was likely to have caused significant trauma to Boy’s body, resulting in immediate pain. The veterinarian also said that even if the bat didn’t strike Boy every time, the threat of such harm could cause the dog unreasonable and unnecessary psychological distress.

When spoken to by SPCA Inspectors, the defendant said he had hit Boy with the baseball bat because he had been eating his clothes and jandals, and had been digging holes in the lawn. He said he’d “had enough and he was angry”. Usually, he’d hit Boy with rolled up newspaper, but this time used a baseball bat, because he wanted to hurt him.

SPCA Chief Executive Robyn Kiddle says the defendant’s behaviour was unacceptable and Boy did not deserve such unnecessary and brutal treatment.

“There are plenty of things the defendant could have done to address this, but beating his dog is certainly not one of them,” says Ms Kiddle. “It is unacceptable under any circumstances. This experience would have caused immense distress to Boy, not only to his physical state, but his mental wellbeing as well.

“Too often we see this lack of compassion and terrible behaviour from people who’re meant to be the animal’s family. It is heartbreaking. We are particularly grateful to the member of the public who captured the footage and came forward to SPCA. If it wasn’t for this act of bravery, Boy could still be suffering today.”

The defendant was also ordered to pay reparations of $664 and court costs of $750 to SPCA.

Boy was surrendered to SPCA and has since been rehomed, with his new owners describing him as a “happy and playful dog”.

Hello! Choose your nearest SPCA Centre and see content specific to your location:
Hit enter to submit