Tautu Thompson

A Te Kuiti man has been banned from owning dogs for 10 years after being found guilty of badly beating his dog.

Tautu Thompson, 23, was convicted on Wednesday in the Te Kuiti District Court and sentenced to four months’ community detention, disqualified from owning dogs for 10 years, fined $1500 and ordered to pay veterinary costs of $344.84.

The judge also ordered Thompson’s dog be given to the SPCA, along with all other dogs he owns.

The man has been banned from owning a dog for ten years.
An SPCA inspector had visited the Te Kuiti Camping Ground on August 29, 2014, in response to a report of a man beating his dog inside a caravan. The incident was witness by teachers and children from Te Kuiti Primary School, which is next door to the camp.

The inspector noticed that Thompson was sweating profusely and had blood on his chin and right cheek. When asked what had happened, Thompson replied, “I didn’t beat my dog that much.” He went on to say that his dog had been fighting with another dog so he had given it a good hit.

The inspector entered the caravan and found a female white and tan pit bull-type dog cowering in the corner.  The dog had a cut to her forehead, there was blood running down her nose and she had obvious swelling above the right eye and beneath the jaw.

The dog appeared to the inspector to be very frightened and had her legs and tail tucked up under her. When the inspector commented on this to the defendant, Thompson replied, “So she should.”

The Inspector took the dog for urgent veterinary attention, which revealed the dog had a puncture wound between the eyes, bleeding from both nostrils, bleeding within her right eye, bruising and swelling around her left hind leg, swollen eyes and ears, bloody diarrhoea, and bloody urine.

The veterinarian concluded that the most likely explanation for the dog’s injuries was excessive blunt force trauma rather than dog fight injuries.

Dog fights are more likely to result in large puncture wounds, tearing between the skin and muscle layers, and lacerations.

When interviewed, the defendant insisted that the dog’s injuries were as a result of a dog fight and he denied beating her.

Thompson was charged with wilful ill-treatment of an animal, with the result that the animal was seriously injured or impaired.

“This is a horrific case of violence against a defenceless animal,” said SPCA New Zealand chief executive Ric Odom.

“We are pleased that the court has handed down a reasonably tough sentence in this case due to the violent nature of the offending and the defendant’s lack of remorse. We hope this sends a strong message to the community that it’s not okay to beat your animals under any circumstances.

“And if you see anyone mistreating an animal, please call the police or the SPCA, immediately.”

The dog has since made a full recovery