SPCA New Zealand

SPCA prosecutes man for failing to treat puppy with multiple fractures

08 February 2023

A man whose puppy had such severe injuries to its leg it needed amputating, has been prosecuted by SPCA for failing to treat an injured animal.

SPCA prosecutes man for failing to treat puppy with multiple fractures

On 7 February 2023, the defendant appeared at the Hamilton District court and was sentenced to 200 hours of community work, ordered to pay reparations of $1,250.00 and disqualified from owning animals for a period of five years.

In August 2022, SPCA Inspectors attended the defendant’s property following calls of concern, where they found a puppy on the deck who wasn’t bearing any weight on his hind right leg. He appeared fearful, and wet himself when one of the inspectors picked him up.

“Knuckles” was seized by SPCA and immediately taken to a veterinarian who said the puppy’s injuries were chronic in nature and had occurred some time ago. X-Rays revealed multiple fractures to the spine, his right hind leg was broken in two places along with broken ribs. All of the fractures appeared to have happened at different times.

The defendant claimed Knuckles had always had problems with his back leg and that he’d dropped Knuckles three times due to him wriggling whilst being carried.

He also claimed the numerous fractures were the result of a neighbour who “accidentally stood on him” and Knuckles ran away limping. He said the limp began to improve for about a week before Knuckles was dropped again.

The defendant told inspectors he tried to care for Knuckles by providing massages and cuddles, but could not afford veterinary treatment.

The veterinarian said the injuries were the result of “some kind of blunt force”, from anything to being hit by a car, to being struck by a heavy object or a hard kick, with the injuries obvious to anyone observing the puppy.

Due to the severity of injury to Knuckle’s hind right leg, it had to be amputated.

SPCA CEO Gabby Clezy said the level of cruelty displayed towards the puppy was sickening.

“No animal - no matter how great or small - deserves the level of pain and cruelty that Knuckles was forced to endure,” says Ms Clezy. “We are grateful to the member of the public who called with obvious concern about the welfare of this puppy.”

“If your pet is injured, it is absolutely vital that you contact your veterinarian. We understand cost of living is affecting many New Zealand families at this time, but many vets’ have payment plans and financial options so they can help your pet. SPCA is always available to offer advice and assistance where needed too.”

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