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SPCA prosecution: Man jailed after neglecting his two dogs

24 January 2019
SPCA prosecution: Man jailed after neglecting his two dogs

A Tauranga man has been jailed after his two dogs lost over 40% of their body weight and were found infected with intestinal worms and fleas.

The defendant pleaded guilty to four charges under the Animal Welfare Act 1999 relating to failing to ensure the physical, health and behavioural needs of his two dogs Tank and Sass were met.

Yesterday in the Tauranga District Court the defendant was sentenced to 4 months 2 weeks’ imprisonment, ordered to pay reparations of $455.78 and $250 contribution towards legal costs. He was also disqualified from owning or exercising authority of dogs for three years.

The case began on 13 June 2017 when an SPCA Inspector visited the defendant's property in Whanganui after receiving an animal welfare complaint.

The SPCA Inspector found Tank and Sass, two Staffordshire bull terrier dogs in extremely thin body condition. Tank was chained to a carport post and was cowering, totally exposed to the torrential rain. Sass was curled up shivering inside a kennel and run.

Both dogs were seized by the SPCA Inspector and taken for veterinary assessment.

Tank and Sass before
Tank and Sass before

Tank and Sass were found to be emaciated and had lost over 40% of their body weight. They had a body condition score of just 1 out of 9, and both dogs were infected with intestinal worms and fleas.

Tank was anaemic, likely due to parasite-related blood loss and nutritional deficiencies causing impaired red blood cell regenerating capacity. Sass’s blood tests revealed low creatinine, likely a result of malnutrition and low muscle mass, and she had dirty wounds on her ears.

In SPCA’s care, both dogs flourished. After just one month Tank gained 10.5kg and Sass gained 9.5kg. Both have been adopted to new loving families and are happy and healthy.

“Sadly, this situation of significant neglect is something we see far too often,” says SPCA CEO Andrea Midgen.

“Tank and Sass were completely reliant on their owner for food and veterinary treatment. Not only did he fail to provide them the food they needed, but he left them chained and alone in the backyard, unable to move or attempt to find food themselves. These dogs were highly vulnerable."

“The serious neglect of Tank and Sass is completely unacceptable. I’d like to remind all New Zealand animal owners – it is your legal responsibility to ensure the physical, health and behaviour needs of your pet are being met.”

Tank and Sass after
Tank and Sass after
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