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SPCA's List of Shame cites 45 cruelty cases

Tuesday, 26 October, 2010

The case of a Gisborne man who fed five live kittens to his dog is amongst those cited in SPCA New Zealand’s eighth annual List of Shame, released today.

The 45 listed cases of cruelty also include those of a Pukekohe man who tore the head off a kitten in front of his family, a Southland dog found burnt, bloodied and peeling after being doused in solvent, a Red Bill Gull tortured in a Dunedin supermarket trolley, a Whangarei cat scorched with boiling water, a rabbit swung by its ears in central Auckland and twelve pregnant ewes killed and others badly wounded when vandals drove a vehicle round a South Canterbury farm paddock.

Also on the list are a disturbingly large number of cases involving young offenders, including a Dunedin primary school student caught torturing his neighbour’s hens, an Alexandra eighteen-year-old found shooting a ‘BB’ gun at his dog, a Christchurch youth who committed bestiality with a donkey, two Kaikoura youths who bludgeoned seals to death and four South Auckland boys who repeatedly kicked and punched a puppy and threw it through a basketball hoop.

In addition, the List of Shame contains several cases of serious neglect, such those of the 40 sheep, goats, lambs and kids discovered in a poor condition on a Central North Island farm, the Tauranga dog left without veterinary treatment for two to three months after being hit and wounded by a car and the guinea pig from the Nelson area who died from suspected pneumonia and starvation, after being left out in a cage without food, shelter or water.

"Our List of Shame is not a comprehensive account of every act of cruelty, callousness or unmitigated sadism committed against New Zealand’s animals. But it does contain many of the worst cases committed between October 2009 and September 2010 and provides us with a reminder of the challenges we face in reducing and eventually, we hope, eliminating the abuse of animals," says the Royal New Zealand SPCA’s National Chief Executive, Robyn Kippenberger.

"Unfortunately, once again, young people figure prominently amongst those committing some of the most horrendous acts against animals. The most disturbing aspect of this youth behaviour is that we know there is a link between cruelty to animals and violence and abuse towards other humans.

"The SPCA is working to break this cycle through our One of the Family education programme, which goes into schools around New Zealand, helping young people to empathise with animals and to take a caring and responsible approach towards them. In the process, the young people typically also learn to empathise better with their human friends and families.

"At the same time, the SPCA’s inspectorate is becoming a highly skilled and capable body and, each year, is able to bring to justice a larger percentage of those responsible for the acts of cruelty detailed on the List of Shame. Along with the substantial increase in sentencing provided for by this year’s Animal Welfare Amendment Act, we believe the increased chance of detection will lead many people to think twice before abusing animals," she says.

The SPCA’s Annual Appeal Week takes place this year between Saturday 6th November and Friday 12th November.

"Our work is almost entirely funded by donations, sponsorships and legacies provided by generous New Zealanders and not by government. Please help us to continue our work of making New Zealand a cruelty free zone," Robyn Kippenberger adds.