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Published on 6/11/2018


Whangarei woman guilty of neglecting dog that was sick, emaciated and in pain

A Whangarei woman has been prosecuted by the SPCA after her dog Goliath was found emaciated, with protruding ribs, vertebrae, pelvis bones and a loss of muscle mass while in her care.

A statement released by the SPCA today says Iris Riki, 55, was found guilty in the Whangarei District Court of failing to ensure the physical health and behavioural needs of an animal were being met.

Ms Riki was sentenced to 150 hours of community work and ordered to pay $780 reparations and $300 court costs. She was also disqualified from owning dogs for three years, says the SPCA.

The case began when SPCA inspectors visited the defendant’s property and found her Neapolitan mastiff cross Goliath chained to a running wire. The yard was very overgrown and Goliath had a picnic table tilted on its side for shelter.

The SPCA says the animal also had no access to water.

SPCA inspectors advised the defendant that Goliath had lost too much weight and to provide him with adequate shelter and treatment for his skin.

Goliath in poor condition. Source: Supplied

The inspectors followed up with the defendant twice and on the second visit found Goliath tangled around his running wire, unable to reach his shelter. He had lost a significant amount of weight and his left eye appeared to be infected.

Goliath was later seized by the SPCA during a follow up visit, and they took him for veterinary care.

Their examination revealed that he was emaciated, had hair loss consistent with sarcoptic mange, conjunctivitis in both eyes and pressure sores on his elbows, hocks and pin bones.

The veterinarian concluded that Goliath was in pain and discomfort due to malnutrition, and it was likely he had been suffering for several weeks.

In SPCA’s care, Goliath was fed four meals a day and in five weeks had reached his ideal body weight. Goliath was a “staff favourite” and received a lot of extra attention and treats, the organisation said.

However, after a year in the SPCA’s care he developed several malignant tumours throughout his body. On a veterinarian’s recommendation, Goliath was euthanised.

“SPCA believes that no dog should spend their life on a chain. We take some comfort in the fact in Goliath’s last year of life he was given the very best care and unconditional love from the SPCA team,” says SPCA CEO Andrea Midgen.

“Pets rely on us to provide their basic needs – food, water, shelter and veterinary treatment. Goliath was let down by his owner and for that, he deserves justice.”