A Waharoa woman was disqualified from owning animals for 5 years by the Hamilton District Court last week for failing to treat the obvious injuries and ailments affecting a range of animals in her care.
Lai Toy was found guilty on several counts of failing to ensure animals in her care received treatment and was sentenced to 300 hours community work and 9 months supervision, including attendance of any programmes recommended by probation. Toy was ordered to pay $2000 reparations, $500 towards legal costs and to forfeit ownership of the two cats currently in the care of SPCA Waikato.
The charges relate to a number of animals examined by SPCA Inspectors and veterinarians at Toy’s Waharoa property between 8 July and 3 August 2015. Several of the animals had to be euthanased to alleviate their suffering. One goat had allegedly been hit by a car and was found by a veterinarian to have a fracture near its front right elbow. Euthanasia was recommended due to the nature of the fracture ruling out the option of treatment, and also in order to address the severe pain being suffered by the goat.
Toy requested and was granted a second veterinary opinion. The second vet agreed with the initial diagnosis and also recommended euthanasia. At this point Toy became uncooperative and hostile, demanded a third veterinary opinion, and ordered the Inspectors to leave. The situation quickly escalated. Due to the behaviour of Toy and her associates, the Inspectors and vet left the property and requested police assistance. When police assistance arrived, the goat was euthanased without further incident.
A cow with an eye injury was also found on Toy’s property but was identified as belonging to Toy’s associate, Billy Tui. Tui was convicted of failing to provide veterinary treatment that alleviated pain or distress being suffered by the cow on September 25, 2017.
Veterinary examination revealed that the cow had a tumorous growth, consistent with a sun-induced cancer, affecting the lower eyelid, with severe inflammation and infection of the upper and lower eyelids. The vet concluded that the cow would have been in severe pain for weeks. She added that irritation from pain, discharging fluid, and insects would have caused additional distress, and that the poor body condition of the cow indicated prolonged stress. Euthanasia was recommended, as the cow was not a surgical candidate due to the severe tissue damage and poor prognosis.
A black and white domestic short hair cat seized under a search warrant was found by a veterinarian to be underweight and dehydrated, suffering from kidney disease and severe painful dental disease, and displayed obvious lameness when walking. X-rays confirmed two untreated fractures to the right hind leg estimated to have been present for at least eight weeks, possibly longer. The pain experienced by an animal with a limb fracture would be a level of 3–4 out of 4 on the Colorado State University Feline Acute Pain Scale. When the fracture occurred, it would have been obvious that the cat had a serious injury and veterinary treatment should have been provided immediately. Despite every effort, the cat had to be euthanased due to its declining health associated with the kidney disease.
Further cats were seized, three of which were found to be suffering from two forms of oral disease – periodontal (gum) disease and tooth resorption. Since treatment, two of the cats have been under the care of SPCA Waikato and are now available for adoption.
SPCA CEO Andrea Midgen says she is pleased that the sentence includes appropriate treatment and supervision to prevent reoffending.
“With some offenders education doesn’t work and reoffending is highly likely, and we’re pleased this sentence recognises this and is tailored to the offender with the aim of effectively reducing reoffending,” says Ms Midgen.
“Our challenge is securing meaningful sentences for offenders who have unacceptable attitudes or misguided beliefs regarding animal welfare. At the end of the day, we support any measures that give offenders access to appropriate treatment and supervision to prevent reoffending and save innocent animals from harm.”
Sean Taylor was installing an ATM at New World Ferry Rd last year when he saw a black three-legged dog being photographed outside. “I saw him out there where I was inside working and I went over and said to them I’d quite like that dog. They took it with a grain of salt but then said he may be up for adoption in a month,” he said.
Buddy the labrador-cross had been living at the SPCA for about a year, and was being photographed as part of a promotion for its annual Cupcake appeal. A year earlier the then five-month-old puppy was brutally beaten by his former owner who was later sentenced to 10 months in jail. Buddy’s leg was broken, and he suffered internal bleeding and bruised lungs in the attack which was recorded by neighbours. Buddy later had his left rear leg amputated.
It was one of 10 animal abuse, neglect and cruelty cases to make the SPCA’s List of Shame on Tuesday. Mr Taylor, a project manager for MTR, said he and wife Chrissy had talked about adopting a dog. It was Buddy’s eyes and gentle nature that drew them in.“You take one look at his eyes and you see right through him,” Mr Taylor said.
Although they knew Buddy was beaten and lost his leg, they avoided the details until his original owner was sentenced. He said it was upsetting to hear. “It added to the overall amazement at just how good he was with people. It just pointed him out to be such a forgiving animal.” In spite of missing a leg, Buddy still walks up to 7km every day, and enjoys the Port Hills and Sumner beach.
Mr Taylor said every now and then he makes Buddy a special meal where he mixes boiled rice, oil, eggs and fresh meat. “He gets to lick the bowl when I’m finished.”PCA Canterbury chief executive Barry Helem said Buddy’s case was “harrowing”, but it had a fantastic outcome. He said the List of Shame raised awareness of what the SPCA dealt with, and a good way to help prevent animal abuse.
Mr Taylor still takes Buddy back to the SPCA to visit. “I called by on Tuesday and Buddy got out of the car and ran 100m because he saw the two girls out the back. He remembers the life he had there.”
Click here to see the full 2017 List of Shame, or read the full article here.
PHOTO: MARTIN HUNTER
Remember, remember the fifth of November- it’s Guy Fawkes and time to take extra care of your furry companions.
While most humans enjoy the fireworks festivities, many pets unfortunately become highly distressed by fireworks, says SPCA CEO Andrea Midgen. The SPCA receives dozens of calls at this time of year relating to fireworks issues including; animal injuries, frightened animals, missing pets and occasionally, abuse of animals.
“The loud noises and bright flashes of light can be very frightening to animals and many animals become highly stressed by them,” Ms Midgen says.
“This can sadly lead to animals running away and going missing, injuring themselves or becoming susceptible to traffic accidents. We urge pet owners to keep their pets inside and safe on Guy Fawkes night.”
Planning ahead for Guy Fawkes is key, Ms Midgen says: “Be aware of Guy Fawkes Night and create a strategy for your animals. Making sure your pet has company, is kept inside and has proper identification are just a few easy ways that you can ensure the safety and happiness of your pet.”
While the SPCA does not support the private sale and use of fireworks and has long called for a ban on the sale of fireworks to the public, those planning to set off fireworks in their homes should consider speaking to their neighbours, or leaving a note in their letterbox, so that those with pets can prepare accordingly.
“We ask people without pets to be aware of the stress their use of fireworks can cause others in their neighbourhood and act considerately,” Ms Midgen says. She also encourages people to attend controlled public fireworks displays rather than using fireworks at home.
Unfortunately the public sale of fireworks ensures that there is no 'set' day for fireworks to be used and therefore pet owners must remain vigilant at all times.
SPCA’s Top Tips for Animals and Guy Fawkes:
- Never let fireworks off close to animals.
- Stay home with your pet – they will be less stressed with someone they trust close by.
- Keep them indoors – they won’t see the flashes and the bangs will be muffled. Close doors and windows and draw the curtains. Turn up the volume on your radio or TV to help drown out loud bangs with familiar sounds.
- Make sure that your cat or dog has somewhere comforting to hide such as an igloo, box, crate or somewhere they feel safe to retreat to.
- Both cats and dogs should be microchipped and have a collar and identification tag with your contact details on it. If your pet panics and runs away, it will help rescuers reunite you.
- Comfort your pet – This could mean cuddling them if it helps or giving them space, depending on what your pet needs. Try to behave in a calm and reassuring manner. Take special care of elderly or nervous pets.
- Move horses and farm animals away from fireworks – and make sure all fences are secure. Stable horses where possible.
- Never punish your pets when they are scared. This will only make their fear and stress levels worse.
- Try a compression wrap for dogs, like a thunder shirt.
- Exercise your dog early in the day to avoid being out in the dusk when fireworks could be set off.
- Don’t forget small pets like rabbits, guinea pigs or chickens. Have them tucked away or even inside for the night.
- Keep in mind that for some animals, fireworks can be a real phobia and should be treated with medication. Speak with your vet for options before the fireworks start.
This tiny little kitten's story starts at the dump – he was alone, and scared, in a water-filled rubbish pit. At just two weeks old, he was far too young to be on his own. How he came to be there we don't know, reads a post on the SPCA Tauranga Facebook page.
He might have been a stray who lost his mum, he might have been abandoned by someone who couldn't care for him. Whatever his past, he owes his future to an amazing man, Nigel, who works at the refuse centre. Nigel somehow spotted the tiny kitten in freezing cold water, desperately trying to stay afloat – he was alarmingly close to going under the wheel of a huge rubbish truck.
His rescuer ran toward him and scooped up the little bedraggled kitten. He then took him to his office and held him up under the heat pump. Once he was warmed up, Nigel tucked the kitten under his jacket and raced up the road to the SPCA so that we could take care of him. He had lots of cuddles from a teddy bear who acted as a surrogate mum and was bottle fed every few hours. It was touch and go for a while, but he pulled through. The team named him Liger. When he was big enough, Liger went to a foster family where he lived with two big dogs and a couple of cats, spending many happy hours snuggled up with the dogs.
One of his foster mum's friends fell head over heels for little Liger and decided to adopt him. He is now living a wonderful life in Wellington, under the new name of Luigi. Our days are sometimes tough but we love nothing more than finding a happy home for an animal in need.
Help the SPCA give animals a second chance by donating today
See the full SunLive article here
A Labrador puppy beaten so badly it was left with two leg fractures, a dog hit three times on the head with a hammer and a cat with the tips of its ears cut off are just a few of the horrific stories which makes up the SPCA List of Shame this year.
The SPCA's annual list gives an unrelenting look into the horrific stories of animal abuse across New Zealand. "We dealt with close to 15,000 welfare complaints in 2016," SPCA chief executive Andrea Midgen says. "The List of Shame will shock people." Ms Midgen told 1 NEWS. "At the SPCA, we are seeing an increase in abuse - so people consciously doing bad things to animals".
One story of violence and neglect includes a Labrador-cross named Maggie, who is this year's ambassador for the SPCA Annual Appeal. "To think a human being can do something like that to any other being whether it's human or animal, it's unthinkable in my world."
Maggie had been tied up for weeks by a chain that was deeply embedded into her neck. The owner had tied her up away from the house, saying it was to hide her horrific injuries from his children. The SPCA had to remove the chain with bolt cutters, revealing pus-filled wounds up to 7cm wide and 4cm deep around the dog's neck. Having been rescued and treated by the SPCA, Maggie recovered from her injuries and was re-homed to a new loving family in Gordonton, near Hamilton. Her new owner Vaugh Kestel says seeing Maggie for the first time nearly brought a tear to his eye.
"She just had the saddest of eyes. She was just bouncing off the walls when we first saw her. I think she needed to have somebody there."
The SPCA's Annual Appeal fundraising drive to help animals like Maggie will run from November 10-12. Ms Midgen says the appeal for public help and funding is vital for keeping up the work of the organisation. "We receive almost no government funding to run the SPCA Inspectorate, which costs approximately $9 million every year. "The Annual Appeal aims to raise much-needed funds, which will be used to care for abused animals and educating to help prevent cruelty."
Watch the full story on 1 NEWS.