Man guilty of starving dog to death (graphic image included)
MEDIA RELEASE MAY 2013
Man guilty of starving dog to death
Panmure man Howard Teao today pleaded guilty to ill-treating an animal in the Auckland District Court and was sentenced to 50 hours community work and ordered to pay reparations of $1903.63.
On 1 April 2012 an SPCA Auckland Inspector arrived at Teao’s Panmure property in response to a sighting of an emaciated dog that was having difficulty walking – and found the dog dead on a rubbish heap.
The dog – ‘Honey’, a tan coloured, female, terrier type dog – was described by the Inspector as “a skeleton with fur”. The deceased animal’s entire bone structure was highly visible and the body was still warm.
A necropsy examination by a veterinarian indicated that ‘Honey’ died from starvation and fluid deprivation. The veterinarian concluded that the deterioration in the dog’s body condition showed gross neglect and would have resulted in gross pain and suffering.
Further inspection of the property identified two tan coloured, male, terrier crossbreed type puppies tied to a fence with no access to any shelter. The Inspector gave instructions for the owner to immediately provide adequate shelter for both dogs.
On 17 April 2012 SPCA Auckland Inspectors returned to the property and found the two dogs still tied to the fence without any form of shelter. One of the dogs was without water and faecal matter littered the area. Both dogs were seized and taken into the care of SPCA Auckland.
Teao later surrendered the two dogs into the permanent care of SPCA Auckland. Both dogs have since been successfully re-homed.
“This is a shocking case that underscores the importance of maintaining zero tolerance towards the neglect and abuse of animals,” says SPCA Auckland CEO Christine Kalin.
“I would like to thank the member of public who reported Mr Teao’s abuse of these dogs. Although we were too late to save ‘Honey’, we have managed to rehabilitate and find long-term, loving homes for the remaining two dogs.
“At SPCA Auckland we do all we can to rescue animals that are neglected, abused, or abandoned in the Auckland region – but we can’t be everywhere at once. So we need members of the public to stay vigilant, be our eyes and ears, and report any situations where animals may be at risk.”