Published on www.newshub.co.nz on 24/01/2019
A Tauranga man has been sent to prison after he subjected his two dogs to horrific neglect.
Louis Delves pleaded guilty to four charges under the Animal Welfare Act 1999 relating to failing to ensure the physical, health and behavioural needs of his two dogs.
He was sentenced to four months two weeks’ imprisonment and ordered to pay reparations of $455.78 and $250 contribution towards legal costs.
An SPCA inspector discovered the Staffordshire bull terriers Tank and Sass in a dreadful condition when visiting Delves’ property in June 2017, after receiving a complaint from a neighbour.
Both dogs were trapped without access to food, Tank vulnerable to the elements while chained to a carport post and Sass curled up and shivering in a kennel.
The inspector seized both dogs and they were taken for veterinary assessment. They were found to have a body condition of one out of nine and to be infected with worms and fleas.
Tank was anaemic, most likely due to the parasite-related blood loss and a lack of nutrition-impairing red blood cell regeneration. Sass had low creatinine, likely due to malnutrition and low muscle mass. She also had dirty wounds on her ears.
Both dogs were found to have lost over 40 percent of their body weight.
SPCA chief executive Andrea Midgen said Delves’ treatment of Tank and Sass was unacceptable.
“Tank and Sass were completely reliant on their owner for food and veterinary treatment. Not only did he fail to provide them the food they needed, but he left them chained and alone in the backyard, unable to move or attempt to find food themselves. These dogs were highly vulnerable,” she said in a statement.
“The serious neglect of Tank and Sass is completely unacceptable. I’d like to remind all New Zealand animal owners – it is your legal responsibility to ensure the physical, health and behaviour needs of your pet are being met.”
Both dogs flourished under SPCA care. After one month Tank gained 10.5kg and Sass gained 9.5kg. They have now been adopted into new families and are happy and healthy.
As well as his prison sentence and fines, Delves will not be able to own or exercise authority of dogs for three years.