SPCA New Zealand

Pomeranian breeder prosecuted by SPCA for failing to care for injured animal

01 May 2023

A woman who breeds Pomeranian dogs has faced court action after failing to provide appropriate care for her dog’s injured leg, resulting in ongoing pain and deformity.

Pomeranian breeder prosecuted by SPCA for failing to care for injured animal

The defendant was sentenced in Nelson District Court on Friday 28 April and fined $300, payable to SPCA, and ordered to pay $1001 reparations.

Two-year old Pomeranian ‘Joy’ who had recently had puppies, was taken for a veterinary examination by the breeder, after it was requested from a prospective puppy purchaser.

The veterinarian found the lower leg had a healing fracture, which the defendant said had happened while jumping off a chair three weeks earlier. Instead of seeking instant veterinary treatment, the woman applied a ‘toilet roll’ splint to Joy’s leg.

The veterinarian provided Joy pain relief and instructions to return for re-examination two weeks later. The breeder did not return with Joy and a subsequent complaint was made to SPCA, which resulted in Joy being seized following a search warrant.

When interviewed, the defendant said that she thought Joy had sprained or bruised the bone badly and acknowledged that she would have been in pain. Joy had three-week-old puppies at the time of the injury, so she had been kept in her crate with her puppies. She admitted she had not sought veterinary treatment and had instead splinted Joy’s leg by putting a bandage and toilet roll firmly around it.

“Joy’s pain and incorrect healing of the joint was completely avoidable” says SPCA Interim CEO, Robyn Kiddle. “She was found to have lameness and an abnormal gait – likely due to the pain she was in – and a deformity at the wrist where the bone had formed a callus.

“This is unacceptable and any animal owner – breeder or not – should seek appropriate health care for their animal in accordance with veterinary advice. In this instance, the advice was clear and it was ignored, causing ongoing suffering.”

“SPCA continues to advocate for independent regulation and inspection of all breeding establishments and that, where possible for that species, all animals should be microchipped prior to sale or rehoming and microchips registered.”

There is no specific piece of legislation that deals with the activity of either dog breeders or cat breeders.

“SPCA advocates for independent regulation and inspection of all breeding establishments. The national charity also encourages prospective animal owners to acquire their companion animal from SPCA Centres or other reputable animal rescue organisations, where possible.”

The defendant was also ordered to pay $150 contribution to SPCA legal fees.

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