Worst animal abuse cases revealed

A puppy who suffered 11 fractures, endured massive swelling to her face and could not open her jaw following a brutal beating by her owner is just one of the horrific cases included in this year's SPCA List of Shame.

The annual list highlights New Zealand's shameful animal abuse track record and is being released ahead of the 2016 SPCA Annual Appeal, the organisation's biggest fundraising event.

Running between Monday, November 7, and Sunday, November 13, the appeal aims to raise awareness of animal welfare issues and the ongoing need for education to help prevent cruelty to animals.

SPCA acting chief executive Andrea Midgen says the List of Shame highlights some of the worst animal abuse offences, but it's still only the tip of the iceberg.

“Our SPCA Inspectors investigated a record 15,219 animal welfare complaints last year. This List of Shame is the culmination of these – the very worst cases of horrible animal abuse, neglect and cruelty.”

This year's list includes heartbreaking and cowardly animal abuse acts including a Horowhenua woman whose horse had collapsed and was so malnourished it had to be euthanised; a Hamilton woman who failed to seek vet treatment for a large, painful open wound on her cat's shoulder and an Auckland dog owner whose dog was discovered chained up, emaciated and suffering from mange, ringworm, chronic ear infections and anaemia.

“SPCA Inspectors are the last hope for many of New Zealand's abused animals, but we need the public's help to continue this vital work.

"Running the SPCA Inspectorate costs approximately $9 million each year, and we receive no direct government funding. The funds raised during the Annual Appeal help us work towards a New Zealand in which there's no List of Shame."

Thanks to the work of SPCA Inspectors, some of the animals on this year's List of Shame survived to have a second chance at a happy, healthy life.

This was the case for Selena, a nine-year-old Samoyed and face of this year's Annual Appeal.

Selena was rescued by an SPCA Inspector after she was discovered starving and living in an Auckland garage.

She had never spent any time outdoors and was just eight kilos - half of what a healthy Samoyed should have weighed. After being rescued by an SPCA Inspector, Selena was nursed back to health while in the care of the SPCA and eventually found their forever homes with a new adoptive families.

Today Selena's days are spent playing at the beach and enjoying cuddles from her loving family.

The 2016 List of Shame:

- A Christchurch man who injured his puppy over six weeks, causing more than 11 fractures including to her lower jaw and thigh bones, was convicted of wilfully ill-treating his six month old puppy and sentenced to 15 months imprisonment and disqualified from owning any animals for life. The puppy was also emaciated and had to be euthanised.

- A Te Kuiti man was seen beating his dog. The dog was found in a state of mild shock, bleeding from both nostrils, with swollen eyes and ears, a puncture wound on her forehead, and bloody diarrhoea and urine. She has recovered and has a new home. The man was convicted of wilfully ill-treating his dog and sentenced to 4 months community detention, fined $1,500.00, ordered to pay reparations of $344.84 and disqualified from owning dogs for a period of 10 years.

- A Horowhenua woman's horse collapsed due to malnourishment. The horse was euthanised and found to be suffering from malnutrition, parasites, and gastric inflammation. She was convicted of ill-treating her horse and sentenced to 120 hours community work, ordered to pay reparations of $492.50 and disqualified from owning horses for a period of 2 years

- A Shannon man allowed his two bull calves to become emaciated with a severe internal parasite burden. One had already died when inspectors arrived. He was convicted of recklessly ill-treating two bull calves and sentenced to 200 hours community work, ordered to pay $712.40 in reparations and $750.00 in solicitor costs and disqualified from owning production animals for a period of 5 years

- A stray puppy brought into the Rotorua SPCA. The puppy could not stand and was unresponsive, covered in severe mange, emaciated, and suffering from parvovirus. The puppy had to be euthanised. The person responsible was never found.

- An Auckland woman's dog was found chained up, emaciated, suffering from demodectic mange, ringworm, bi-lateral chronic ear infections, and chronic anaemia. The dog has now made a full recovery. She was convicted of wilfully ill-treating her dog and sentenced to 120 hours community work, ordered to pay $1000.00 in reparations and disqualified from owning animals for a period of 10 years.

- A Christchurch man who got drunk and hit his dog with a spade, breaking her leg. He did not take her to the vet as he feared repercussions. The dog's leg had to be amputated. He was convicted of ill-treating his dog and sentenced to 200 hours community work, ordered to pay reparations of $626.00 and disqualified from owning dogs for a period of 5 years.

- A Waikanae man deserted four young kittens on the side of the road, mid-winter. The kittens have now been given new homes. He was convicted of deserting four young kittens in which no provision was made for their physical, health and behavioural needs. The kittens were deserted on the side of the road in mid-winter. He was sentenced to 80 hours community work, ordered to pay $614.52 in reparations and $100 in legal costs. He was disqualified from owning felines for a period of 5 years.

- An Auckland woman's two dogs were found living in a garage, thin, dehydrated, and with significant muscle atrophy. Her two cats were confined in a single crate in "filthy conditions" with no food or water. All four animals have new homes. The woman has been charged and is currently awaiting sentencing.

- A Hamilton woman who deserted an adult cat and seven kittens. Two kittens were euthanised. She was convicted of deserting an adult cat and 7 kittens in circumstances in which no provision was made to meet their physical, health and behavioural needs and sentenced to 120 hours community work, ordered to pay $157.03 in reparations and $200.00 in court costs and disqualified from owning animals for 2 years.

- An Ashhurst man who noticed fly eggs on his elderly working dog and used disinfectant to kill them, then didn't check to see if it worked. Two days later, inspectors found the dog unresponsive, suffering from a severe maggot infestation from the base of his tail to his shoulder blades, and the skin along his back oozing a bloody discharge. The dog had to be euthanised. The man was convicted of ill-treating his dog and sentenced to a fine of $1,875.00, ordered to pay $162.50 in reparations, $130.00 court costs and $300.00 solicitor costs.

- A Hamilton woman who failed to provide veterinary treatment for a large open wound on her cat's shoulders, which required surgery and antibiotics. The cat has been rehomed. The woman was convicted of failing to ensure that the physical health and behavioural needs of her cat were met and sentenced to a fine of $200.00, ordered to pay $558.46 in reparations, legal costs of $200.00 and disqualified from owning animals for a period of 5 years.

- A case in Canterbury where two emaciated dogs were found eating the body of another dog that had recently died of starvation. Nobody responsible was ever found.

- An Opotiki man who failed to provide veterinary treatment for his dog's fractured leg. When the SPCA offered assistance and provided initial treatment, the man hid the dog until it was eventually found and taken into SPCA care. The dog was suffering degenerative joint disease, possible ligament rupture, chronic pain and disability. The dog had to be euthanised. He was convicted of failing to provide veterinary treatment for his dog and sentenced to a $1000.00 fine, ordered to pay $337.02 in reparations and $150.00 in solicitor costs and disqualified from owning companion animals for a period of 1 year.

- A Palmerston North man who used a prohibited long spring leg hold trap on his property to capture roaming cats. He caught his neighbours cat, causing two fractures in its paw. The cat has made a full recovery. The man was convicted of using a prohibited trap for the purpose of capturing an animal and sentenced to a $500.00 fine, ordered to pay court costs of $130.00 and solicitor costs of $250.00.