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Senseless Violence And Wilful Neglect Top Spca’s Annual List Of Shame

A puppy beaten while witnesses stood by is just one of the harrowing cases of animal abuse on SPCA’s List of Shame this year.

The full list, released today ahead of SPCA’s Annual Appeal, reveals the details of the 12 worst cases of abuse, abandonment and neglect seen by SPCA in the last 12 months.

Cases include a dog blinded from being thrown against a wall, an animal hoarder who kept 32 cats in squalid conditions, a neglected pony left to become lame in both front feet, a starved horse close to death, a dog stabbed by the owner’s intoxicated friend, and multiple home surgery jobs gone wrong.

SPCA’s CEO, Andrea Midgen, says, “Every year, we release this list and every year we are confronted by the sad truth that animal abuse is still a big problem in our society. A tremendous amount of work still needs to be done to protect our precious animals and educate the public. This year’s list includes many instances of neglect and senseless violence, with owners failing to show the care and kindness their animals deserve.”

Every year, over 40,000 animals come through SPCA’s doors, most with sad tales of abuse, neglect and abandonment. As a charity, SPCA needs $43million annually to operate and with little government funding, SPCA receives most of these funds through public donations. As SPCA’s largest fundraiser approaches, the organisation is encouraging New Zealanders to get behind them during Annual Appeal week from March 2 to 8.

“We rely on the generous donations of the public to keep doing what we do. No matter how small your donation, every dollar makes a difference to the lives of thousands of animals who deserve a second chance. Every New Zealander who offers their support is helping us in our fight for justice,” says Midgen.

The face of this year’s Annual Appeal is Cooper, a puppy beaten by his owner repeatedly for nine minutes in front of children. He was thrown against a wall and beaten so hard with a broom that the handle broke. The attack was caught on CCTV video footage and the owner was charged with ill-treatment of his dog and disqualified from owning animals.

The Inspector who rescued Cooper said that her ‘heart hurt’ when she saw the footage.

“It was such a brutal and prolonged beating, and there seemed to be no reason for it. We decided the best way to remove Cooper from that situation was with a search warrant issued by the courts. We got the case across the line using the footage and managed to take Cooper away from the awful situation he was in,” says the Inspector.

Cooper was surrendered to SPCA’s Tauranga Centre and subsequently adopted to a loving family.

“The best part about this case is that Cooper now lives with people who love and cherish him, which is everything that he deserves,” says the Inspector.

Midgen says, “The violence towards animals we see every year in communities across New Zealand is abhorrent and must not be tolerated. Through the incredible work of our Inspectors, we can save animals and educate Kiwis, but we do need help. This is our biggest annual fundraiser and we’re hopeful that a significant portion of our financial need will be met through this year’s Annual Appeal.”

You can get involved in this year’s SPCA Annual Appeal by donating to street collectors around the country from Friday 6th to Sunday 8th March 2020, or online at:

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