Published on tvnz.co.nz on 26/09/2019
Dad prosecuted for beating dog with bat, leaving its eye a ‘bloody pulp’, after child attacked
After a seven-year-old girl was rushed to hospital upon being bitten by a dog badly enough that she needed surgery, her dad took a baseball bat and hit the dog multiple times – rupturing the animal’s eye.
Sean Landy, who pleaded guilty at an earlier appearance, was yesterday sentenced in the Porirua District Court to five months of community detention and ordered to pay a $1000 fine to SPCA, and a contribution of $150 towards legal costs.
On November 26, 2017, Mr Landy left his daughter in the care of friends who were also looking after Patch – a male Staffordshire bull terrier – for another friend. Patch was chained up at the rear of the property.
About half an hour into the visit, Mr Landy received a phone call from his friends, telling him that Patch had bitten his daughter on the lips. He drove straight back, and took an aluminium baseball bat from his car and went straight to where Patch was chained up.
He hit Patch four times on the head with the bat, which caused Patch’s left eye to rupture, the SPCA said in a statement today. He then took his daughter to hospital. She was admitted overnight for surgery on her lips and also had claw marks on her leg and arm.
Mr Landy said that he regretted his actions, that he was “seeing red” and he wanted Patch to feel pain like his daughter had. He admitted to hitting Patch pretty hard because he did not want Patch to be put down nicely, but he did not intend on killing him.
Patch’s owners took him to an after-hours’ veterinarian clinic where the vet found Patch’s left eye was severely damaged, to the point of being a bloody pulp. The vet said Patch would have suffered a great deal of pain as a result of the beating.
The dog’s owners elected to have him euthanised as they did not want to risk him attacking someone else.
SPCA chief executive Andrea Midgen said the case was a reminder that children’s interactions with dogs should always be supervised.
“It is important that parents and caregivers educate their children about how to behave around dogs,” she said. “Feelings were clearly running high, but violence towards animals is never okay.”
Ms Midgen said the SPCA sympathises with the victims of dog bites and acknowledges that dog attacks are a major societal problem that require a serious and effective long-term solution.
“But beating an animal blind in a violent manner is horrific and absolutely not the answer to this issue.”