SPCA New Zealand

SPCA prosecutes man for failing to feed his dog

28 August 2020
SPCA prosecutes man for failing to feed his dog

A Waikato man has been prosecuted by SPCA for failing to feed and care for his dog, resulting in her becoming emaciated and near death.

The defendant who had earlier entered a guilty plea, was today sentenced to 80 hours’ community work, ordered to pay to SPCA a $400 fine and $130 court costs. He was also disqualified from owning dogs for 5 years.

An SPCA Inspector conducted a welfare check on a tan dog named Girl Girl in September 2019. When the Inspector saw Girl Girl, she was extremely thin, tethered to a kennel and curled into a ball, unwilling to stand.

The defendant told the Inspector that he thought Girl Girl must have something wrong with her and he surrendered her to SPCA.

A vet found that Girl Girl weighed 9.5kg and was emaciated. She had pressure sores over her hip bones, was not bearing weight on her right hind leg, and the lymph node behind her right knee was enlarged, likely due to inflammation and infection in three of her toes. Girl Girl was also anaemic likely due to a very high strongyle worm burden in her intestines.

The vet concluded that the main cause of her emaciation was most likely inadequate nutrition, although the strongyle worm burden would have also contributed to it. Due to her condition, there was concern that she would not survive.

SPCA chief executive Andrea Midgen says this case is particularly devastating because the owner knew his dog was suffering but took no effective action to remedy the situation

“This otherwise healthy dog was put in an unimaginable situation, being left to decline over a period of months.”

Girl Girl was subsequently hospitalised and put on an IV drip, vitamin medication, and iron supplements. Under SPCA’s care, Girl Girl gained 6.8kg by November 2019. Girl Girl has since been rehomed to a loving family.

When interviewed, the defendant said that Girl Girl’s condition had been poor for a few months, and that he had sought no treatment other than to give her worm tablets. He said he was feeding her a quarter of a dog roll twice daily, and cat and dog biscuits.

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