Published in Opotiki News 8/11/2016
AN Opotiki man features on a list of 15 of the worst perpetrators of cruelty to animals that the SPCA has investigated and prosecuted this year.
SPCA says the Opotiki man failed to provide vet treatment for his dog when it had a fractured leg.
Even when the SPCA had offered assistance and initial treatment, it is alleged the dog’s owner had attempted to hide his injured dog from the SPCA, preventing it from being able to get further treatment and which left the dog in severe pain.
In the end, the Opotiki special breed had to be euthanised on humane grounds after it had suffered degenerative joint disease, possible ligament rupture, and ongoing chronic pain and disability.
The owner at the centre of the neglect, Anaru Tawhai, was convicted in court and sentenced to $1000 fine, ordered to pay $337.02 in reparation and $150 in legal costs.
He was also disqualified from owning companion animals for a year.
Ms Midgen said SPCA inspectors were the last hope for many of New Zealand’s abused animals, but the public’s help was needed to continue the vital work.
She said running the SPCA inspectorate cost about $9 million each year with almost no Government funding.
Ms Midgen said the funds raised during the annual appeal this year will help SPCA work towards a New Zealand in which, eventually, there will be no list of shame.
She said this year’s appeal aimed to raise awareness of animal welfare issues and the ongoing need for education to help prevent cruelty to animals with donations able to be made to street collectors or online at www.spcaannualappeal.org.nz.