Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Justice catches up with people who neglect their dogs

Justice catches up with people who neglect their dogs

Two men were handed stiff penalties for neglecting dogs in their care this week in two different Auckland courts but the message was the same: if you fail to look after your pets SPCA Auckland will prosecute you – and win.

In the Waitakere District Court on 8 March 2012 Harley Love, 21, Glen Eden, entered a plea of guilty to a charge of keeping an “animal alive when it is in such a condition that it is suffering unreasonable or unnecessary pain or distress”.

Love’s court appearance resulted from events in January 2011. At that time an SPCA Auckland Inspector, acting on a tip-off, visited a Glen Eden property and discovered a 17-year-old German Shepherd type dog collapsed on the back deck. The dog, named “Troy”, was in very thin body condition and covered in patches of live fleas and maggots. Troy was extremely lethargic and was lying in his own excrement.

“The owner told the Inspector that Troy hadn’t walked for a week or eaten for three days,” says SPCA CEO Christine Kalin. “Unsurprisingly, the Inspector expressed his disgust that the dog had been left in this condition.”

The Inspector loaded the dog into his vehicle while the owner signed a surrender form giving ownership of the dog to the Auckland SPCA. When the Inspector returned to the vehicle he checked on the dog to find that he had died.

A veterinary pathologist found that the dog was also suffering from chronic heart disease, arthritis, dehydration, lung and liver congestion, and pressure sores. The pathologist commented that the dog would have been in pain from the above conditions.

In court Judge Sinclair sentenced Love to 150 hours community work, disqualified him from owning an animal for a period of ten years, and ordered him to pay reparations of $822.48.

“The period of disqualification the judge ordered in this case is a pleasing result that sends a clear message to people who fail to care for their dogs,” says Kalin. “No animal deserves to suffer like Troy did. We feel justice has been served in this case.”

Meanwhile, more than four years after neglecting two dogs in his care, Mangere man Marely Tosala, 24, has finally been brought to justice.

He entered a plea of guilty on 7 March 2012 in the Manukau District Court to a charge of failing to provide two dogs “with proper and sufficient food and water” and “failing to ensure the animals received treatment that alleviated any unreasonable or unnecessary pain or distress”.

But the story began in August 2007 when an SPCA Auckland Inspector visited a property in Vickers Crescent, Mangere and found a female, pit bull type dog chained to a kennel.

The dog was very thin with ribs, spine, and hip bones clearly visible, and had patches of hair loss and scabs over most of her body. Her nails were long and there was discharge around both of her eyes. The owner was not home. The dog was removed and taken for veterinary attention.

On a follow-up visit a few days later, another dog was discovered – a male pit bull type dog this time and in much the same condition as the female. Again, the owner was not home and the male dog was removed and taken for veterinary attention.

The veterinarian found both dogs weighed only 18.5kg when removed and had severe skin infections. The veterinarian concluded that any lay person would have realised both dogs were underweight and had a severe skin problem that needed veterinary attention.

In court Judge Moses sentenced Tosala to 100 hours community work, reparations of $3500 (payable at $20 per week), and disqualified him from owning dogs for a period of three years.

Judge Moses said in his closing that “it was clear to me that these dogs were in very poor condition and you failed to give them adequate care and attention. The law takes these matters very seriously.”

In both these cases, the level of neglect shows a callous disregard for the suffering of the animals involved, says Kalin.

“We want people out there with dogs and other animals in their care to think very hard about their responsibilities,” she says.

“The bottom line is: we are watching. If you fail to provide your animals with basic care like food, water, shelter, and adequate vet care, we will prosecute you. And we will win.”


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Saudi Oil Refinery Crisis

So the US and the Saudis claim to have credible evidence that those Weapons of Oil Destruction came from Iran, their current bogey now that Saddam Hussein is no longer available.

Evidently, the world has learned nothing from the invasion of Iraq in 2003 when dodgy US intel was wheeled out to justify the invasion of Iraq, thereby giving birth to ISIS and causing the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people. More>>


PM To Japan, New York: Ardern To Meet Trump During UN Trip

“I’m looking forward to discussing a wide range of international and regional issues with President Trump, including our cooperation in the Pacific and the trade relationship between our countries." More>>

PM's Post-Cab: "A Way Forward"

At Monday's post-cabinet press conference, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced a number of actions in response to the Labour Party's mishandling of sexual assault complaints. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Allegations Of Left Wing Media Bias

“Left wing bias” accusations date back at least to the mid 1990s... The charge of left wing bias was ridiculous then, and is ridiculous now. More>>

Next Wave Of Reforms: Gun Registration And Licensing Changes Announced

“The Bill includes a register to track firearms and new offences and penalties that can be applied extraterritorially for illegal manufacture, trafficking, and for falsifying, removing, or altering markings – which are a new requirement under the Firearms Protocol.” More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Labour’s Mishandling Of The Alleged Sexual Assault

The focus of Labour’s alleged sexual assault scandal has now shifted from the party organisation to the Beehive... This is now a crisis of Beehive management and response, not something occurring at a distance within the party organisation. More>>


'History Rectified': Rua Kēnana To Be Pardoned

An official pardon for Tūhoe prophet and leader Rua Kēnana is one step closer after the Te Pire kia Unuhia te Hara kai Runga i a Rua Kēnana: Rua Kēnana Pardon Bill was read in Parliament for the first time today. More>>


Mental Health: Initial Mental Health And Wellbeing Commission Appointed

The Government has announced details of the initial Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission which will play a key role in driving better mental health in New Zealand. More>>


people outside the meeting house at WaitangiEducation: NZ History To Be Taught In All Schools

“We have listened carefully to the growing calls from New Zealanders to know more about our own history and identity. With this in mind it makes sense for the National Curriculum to make clear the expectation that our history is part of the local curriculum and marau ā kura in every school and kura,” Jacinda Ardern said. More>>


Sexual Assault Claims Mishandled: Labour Party President Resigns

Jacinda Ardern: “This morning I was provided some of the correspondence from complainants written to the party several months ago. It confirms that the allegations made were extremely serious, that the process caused complainants additional distress, and that ultimately, in my view, the party was never equipped to appropriately deal with the issue…" More>>





InfoPages News Channels