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SPCA issues annual list of animal abuse cases


For release: 19 October 2006


SPCA issues annual list of animal abuse cases


The Royal New Zealand SPCA has issued its fourth annual 'List of Shame', citing 50 examples of animal abuse occurring in the first nine months of 2006.

"The list is not a comprehensive account of all the many ways in which animals suffer as a result of human cruelty or indifference. It does, however, include some of the worst cases that have come to our attention, as well as a representative sample of the types of incident with which we deal regularly," says the Royal New Zealand SPCA's National Chief Executive, Robyn Kippenberger.

"Every year the SPCA receives over eleven thousand complaints of animal abuse and neglect and this year has been no exception. In addition to those reported to ourselves, there are many cases reported to other agencies, such as MAF and the New Zealand Police," she adds.

Amongst the cases cited on the list are those of a litter of kittens from Lower Hutt with the ends of their tails cut off, allegedly by a child, three Whangarei cats who suffered slow and painful deaths from poisoning, an elderly cockatoo, beaten with a dog chain and stomped to death by Masterton teenagers, a puppy beaten and dumped in a Motueka rubbish bin and a Northland colt that died after being castrated without anaesthetic.

Compared with previous years, the list also contains a large number of cases in which animals have been harmed by airguns or more powerful weapons. Two cats and a dog in Greymouth were wounded with slug gun pellets and an Auckland cat, dying from cancer, was shot in the head with a slug gun.

"The slug gun and air rifle incidents are of particular concern as these types of weapons are often used by children or teenagers", says Ms Kippenberger.

Along with these and similar examples of deliberate cruelty, the list cites many animal victims of callous neglect, including a large number involving sick and emaciated dogs and cats. However, some of the worse cases of neglect this year have concerned farm animals, with cases by no means limited to areas affected by extremely cold winter weather.

"Deaths of animals from dehydration and slow starvation are no less distressing for them than wanton abuse and the effects are often more protracted and cruel. We expect farm animals to be well cared for in New Zealand. Yet, this year, the many cases of on farm neglect indicate we have a long way to go for that to be a reality", says Ms Kippenberger.



(January- September 2006)


- In Porirua, nine puppies are found tied in a sack and thrown in a gully. The following day, a cat and four kittens are found tied up in a box and dumped at a Porirua school

- A Wainuiomata horse suffers severe shotgun wounds and needs to be humanely euthanised

- At Otaika in Northland, three cats are poisoned. Whangarei SPCA says the cats would have suffered kidney failure and died a slow and horrible death

- The Rotorua District Court begins the trial of a leading figure in New Zealand dog fighting. The court hears SPCA evidence of several dozen dogs destroyed as a result of fighting activities, including at least one dog shot for losing a fight


- In Flat Bush, South Auckland, a mixed-breed dog requires surgery to remove an injured eye, after her head is riddled with air gun pellets

- In Auckland’s East Tamaki, a tethered dog is shot in the groin by intruders onto his owners’ property

- A Whangarei pup is found dehydrated and emaciated in an abandoned car

- A Waipukurau cat is shot in the eye by a man driving round the town with a slug gun


- In Masterton, a 35-year old cockatoo is beaten with a dog chain and stomped to death by local youths

- Rotorua hotel staff notice a bull terrier and 10 pups left without air or water in an illegally parked car. An SPCA officer needs to smash the car’s rear window, to rescue the dogs from what could have become a death trap

- At Onerahi near Whangarei, four puppies are left in a box on the foreshore waiting for the tide to come in

- At Red Beach, to the north of Auckland, a cat’s leg requires amputation, after being caught in a steel-jawed possum trap

- A litter of kittens is brought to the Wellington SPCA from Lower Hutt. The ends of the kittens’ tails have been cut-off, allegedly by a child

- A dog with a broken spine is found on a property in the Auckland suburb of Howick. The dog’s owner does not appear to have arranged treatment for the injury

- A severely emaciated Pit Bull Terrier is discovered with her pup on a Paihia property. The mother dog is tied up amongst rubbish, without water and dependent on the remains of an old table top for shelter

- Two dogs are found in an emaciated condition on a Lower Hutt property


- In Christchurch’s Avonside, a kitten is discovered tied up in a pillowcase and wrapped in a plastic bag on the banks of a creek

- A German Shepherd is found in a neglected condition on a central Auckland property. The dog has spent six months confined in a crate and has been left out in the pouring rain

- A severely emaciated bull mastiff cross is found on a Gisborne property, with no water or food and only a small shrub for shelter. A veterinarian describes the dog as virtually without muscle tissue

- A kitten from Kaiapoi is killed by a close-range air rifle shot, fired by intruders just outside her owner’s home

- Five young pups are found abandoned in a ‘Chrisco’ box in Paramata. Wellington SPCA checks out the address on the box and finds the pup’s mother in an emaciated condition, along with another pup

- A Christchurch street cleaner comes across two tiny battered kittens in an alley. The kittens require treatment for hypothermia and are described as almost frozen solid. However, they survive their ordeal


- In the Auckland suburb of Mission Bay, a cat, who is dying from cancer, is shot in the head with a slug gun

- 21 cats and 23 dogs are found in a diseased state on a property near Hawera. A judge in the New Plymouth District Court subsequently likens the house to ‘some kind of animal concentration camp’

- Two Greymouth cats and a dog are wounded by slug gun pellets

- In Whangarei, a three month old puppy requires major surgery, after being discovered with a wire lead embedded in his neck


- In Rotorua, a dog is found to have multiple puss-oozing wounds, the result of a fight with another dog on their owner’s property. One dog died as a result of the fight and the owner waited approximately a week before seeking veterinary help for the surviving animal

- A puppy is hit on the head and dumped in a Motueka rubbish bin

- Teenage members of the Kapiti Pony Club find what look like cigarette burns on their horses. Other local horse owners find their animals sweating heavily, apparently after being chased. Some horses are found to have dog bite marks

- An underweight dog with a skin condition is discovered on a Lower Hutt property

- In Alexandra, a dog is killed by his owner, who slits the dog’s throat with a boning knife. The owner says the dog was barking and annoying him

- On a farm near Christchurch, an SPCA inspector finds seven dead sheep and a number of others in very poor health. Post mortems reveal obvious signs of starvation as well as worms and pneumonia

- A chestnut colt is discovered in a severely emaciated condition on a gorse-covered property near Kaikohe. The colt is so weak, it can barely walk

- Six goats with foot rot and an unshorn sheep are found on an empty section south-west of Auckland, where they are being used as ‘live lawn-mowers’


- A Dunedin dog is severely beaten by a man who claims that it attacked his own two dogs. The beaten animal has a punctured lung, severe bruising, lacerations and puncture wounds

- Auckland SPCA finds an extremely thin dog, tethered in wet and muddy conditions in the rear of a Manurewa property. The dog has a tail injury, resulting from constant, boredom-induced chewing

- Canterbury SPCA uplifts four calves from a bare track of rural land. All four calves are emaciated and suffering from dehydration and scouring

- In the rural Western Bay of Plenty, a passer-by discovers an injured Cattle Dog cowering at the bottom of a driveway. The dog had been shot twice, once in the shoulder and once between the eyes, the bullet missing her brain by millimetres

- In the South Auckland suburb of Weymouth, two extremely thin puppies are found confined in a faeces-littered conservatory, with no food or water


- Approximately 600 stock are discovered in various stages of starvation on a Northland property. Approximately 60 require euthanising

- Eleven underweight deer are found dead near Kaiapoi. A further six are in an emaciated condition and need to be humanely euthanised

- At Tapuhi in Northland, 17 cattle are found in an emaciated state, bellowing with distress from lack of food. Four dead cattle are also found on the property, including a young calf that had become stuck in a ditch and had insufficient strength to get out

- Manawatu SPCA rescues a pig kept in a waterlogged pen. The pen is filled with faeces and mud to a depth of about 15 cm

- In Dunedin, four pet rats are left locked in a car for four days without access to food and water. Two of the rats perish and the remaining two are severely dehydrated.

- A Blenheim man is charged with kicking his dog and biting its ear

- In Whangarei, two dogs are found in an emaciated condition, with chains embedded in their necks

- In Manurewa, Auckland SPCA finds a small pup abandoned by squatters in a house. There are no signs of food or water


- The Kaikohe District Court hears how a Northland man castrated his son’s colt by cutting off the horse’s testicles with a knife. The procedure was performed without anaesthetic. The horse subsequently perished, apparently as a result of bleeding to death

- A Whangarei horse is found with a severed tendon. The injury is seven months old but the horse has not received veterinary treatment. One of its hooves has fallen away and it is walking on a callous

- A malnourished dog and pup are discovered in squalid conditions on a Waikanae property. The adult dog is on a very short chain and has no water. The pup’s growth has been stunted, he cannot walk and is only half the size appropriate for his age.


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