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Stark Reality Of Animal Abuse Detailed In SPCA’s Annual List Of Shame

A dog found in a heart-breaking condition has served as a stark reminder of the appalling animal abuse that takes place in New Zealand every day. Louie, who is the face of this year’s campaign, was found with matted fur, rotten teeth and a partially degloved leg.

He is sadly just one of many animals to be profiled on this year’s List of Shame.

Each year, SPCA releases the List of Shame to remind New Zealanders of the worst cases of animal abuse, neglect, and abandonment to come through SPCA doors over the past year.

Some of the other harrowing stories from this year’s list include: a dog that was left emaciated beyond belief, a duffle bag full of puppies bound with tape and deliberately dumped in a river and a number of horses and sheep left emaciated, in pain and covered in maggots.

The List of Shame has been released ahead of SPCA’s Annual Appeal – its largest fundraising event of the year - which takes place from March 1 to 7. The Annual Appeal encourages funding to support the 35,000 animals rescued by SPCA every year.

SPCA’s CEO, Andrea Midgen, says, “Our organisation works incredibly hard to protect our nation’s most vulnerable animals from abuse, neglect and abandonment. However, the release of the List of Shame makes it clear that violence towards animals continues to prevail across the country. The horrific cases from this year’s list reminds us that there is still much to be done to tackle the issue of animal abuse and we’re determined to give these animals the life they so desperately need and deserve.”

As a charitable organisation, SPCA requires $47 million each year to operate – this includes more than $10 million to run the Inspectorate programme which involves rescuing animals and prosecuting offenders. With minimal government funding, SPCA relies on the public for the majority of its donations.

While the List of Shame details some stories where animals were lucky enough to be rescued and placed in their forever homes, the list also demonstrates the shocking reality and heart-breaking decisions facing SPCA every day.

Louie, who fronts this year’s Annual Appeal, was thankfully able to be rescued and fostered into a loving home. For the seven weeks following Louie’s rescue, despite his injuries, he was living his best life and experienced unconditional love and care. Unfortunately, due to the extent of his injuries – Louie suffered multiple seizures which led to further injuries – and the heart-breaking decision was made to put him to sleep. 2

“Euthanasia is the absolute last resort and we will do everything in our power to avoid euthanising an animal when there is a chance of survival, rehabilitation and adoption. Unfortunately, Louie’s case confronts us with the fact that despite our best efforts, sometimes the extent of the abuse is just too extreme, and we must make a heart-breaking decision for the greater good of the animal.

“We appreciate that the list can be deeply distressing, but this shows the harsh reality of what our resilient SPCA Inspectors go through every day. We need to detail these cases to raise awareness of the devastating animal abuse we continue to see in New Zealand,” says Midgen.

SPCA work incredibly hard to protect the nation’s most vulnerable animals, but it is only possible for the charity to continue its fight for justice, on behalf of these animals, with the ongoing public support.

You can get involved in this year’s SPCA Annual Appeal by donating to street collectors across the country from Monday 1st - Sunday 7th March, or online at: www.spca.nz

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