Published on nzherald.co.nz 08/05/2019
The owner of a West Auckland doggy daycare has been disqualified from working with animals for five years after a much-loved pet died at her facility and led to the first SPCA prosecution of its kind.
Wilson, a 17-month-old huntaway-doberman cross, was found dead with several bite wounds at Valley Dog Daycare in May 2017.
Valley Dog Daycare owner Trudi Jan Hewett was later charged over Wilson’s death and was today sentenced in the Waitākere District Court.
The 61-year-old, who operated the Henderson Valley centre for about 10 years, faced two charges relating to the ill-treatment of animals under the Animal Welfare Act.
A charge of recklessly ill-treating an animal was withdrawn today, leaving the single charge of ill-treating an animal for sentencing by Judge Noel Sainsbury.
Wilson had been left to roam with some 13 dogs in one of six paddocks at Hewett’s 4.4ha property, the court heard.
When Wilson’s owner arrived just before 6pm, however, their pet could not be found.
Hewett told them she didn’t know where he was and had not seen him for about six hours.
A short time later, Wilson was found dead and partially submerged in a pond with several bite wounds.
Further details about Wilson’s death have been suppressed to protect the identities of other dogs at the daycare.