SPCA New Zealand

SPCA prosecutes woman who threw dog so hard his lung collapsed

02 November 2023

A woman who kicked her small dog and threw him against a wall in a fit of rage, fracturing multiple bones and causing a lung to collapse, has been sentenced to one month community detention and six months supervision.

SPCA prosecutes woman who threw dog so hard his lung collapsed

The defendant pleaded guilty to a charge of reckless ill-treatment of an animal, brought by SPCA, and was sentenced at Porirua District Court.

The incident happened in April 2022. SPCA was called to the property where an Inspector discovered ‘Mister’, a white, terrier breed dog, lying on his left side. He was tethered to an outdoor stair rail at the back of the property and did not move when he was approached. His left eye was swollen and red.

The Inspector was so concerned for Mister, she took him directly to the nearest veterinary clinic for emergency treatment, before transferring him to SPCA’s Wellington Centre.

A veterinarian who assessed Mister declared that he appeared to be in immense pain, particularly on his ribs, abdomen and left shoulder, which made a “crunching” noise when moved. X-rays showed Mister had multiple fractured ribs and a collapsed lung. He also had a severely fractured scapula in two places, and some of the rib fractures appeared to be between two and four weeks old. The vet concluded that the current injuries were caused by blunt force trauma.

SPCA Chief Executive Todd Westwood says this was horrific abuse and violence towards animals is unacceptable.

“It’s sickening to think of the fear, pain and distress this helpless family pet endured at the hands of the person who was meant to care for him,” says Mr Westwood. “Mister did not deserve any of this, and I’m so grateful that SPCA was alerted to this abuse before it could continue.”

The defendant told SPCA Inspectors that the night before, Mister had woken her and her sleeping children after getting his claw caught in a rug. When she went to help him, he had gone to the toilet inside and she’d stepped in it, trampling it throughout the house. She said this had made her angry.

The following day, the defendant decided to punish Mister by putting him on a leash outside. But when she did this, Mister tried to bite her. She told Inspectors, “I just grabbed him by his collar, pulled him up, put it on and I just went boot, and then just threw him”. She stated that she’d kicked Mister to discipline him, and that despite throwing the small dog against a wall, hadn’t intended to hurt him.

Mister spent several weeks receiving care at SPCA’s Wellington Centre and eventually made a full recovery. He has since been adopted.

As well as a sentence of community detention and supervision, , the defendant was disqualified from owning dogs for three years and ordered to pay reparations of $598.17

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