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Steel pipe dog beating earns prison sentence

Monday, 13 October, 2014

A Dannevirke man who beat his dog to death with a steel pipe has been sentenced to prison.

Perry Pepere Mason, 45, was today convicted in the Wairoa District Court of wilful ill treatment of an animal with the result that the animal died. He was sentenced to 12 months in prison and disqualified from owning dogs for three years.

On 12 June 2013 the Tararua District Council received two telephone calls. In the first, a member of the public reported a man in Dannevirke beating a dog with a weapon as if he was “chopping wood”. In the second phone call nine minutes later, the caller advised the council that the dog was dead.

The General Inspector from Tararua District Council drove past the property and saw a dog’s body in a sack. He reported the incident to the Police and SPCA Dannevirke.

An SPCA Inspector visited the property. There was nobody home. The Inspector found a dead, cream-coloured dog in a sack at the back of the property. Beside the sack was a blood-stained metal pipe, 1m long and 5cm in diameter, with short cream-coloured hairs stuck in the blood.

The body of the dog and the metal pipe were removed from the property to preserve evidence. The dog was taken to a veterinary clinic for an autopsy.

The Veterinarian concluded that the dog had received more than one blow to the head and body and was alive during the beating. Death had occurred shortly after the beating due to head injuries, trauma to the chest, and severe shock from bleeding.

The catalogue of injuries suffered by the dog included multiple fractures to the head, a broken left eye socket, a broken upper jaw, severe bruising on the left side of the head and neck, and a broken right hind leg.

The Veterinarian found that the dog had suffered significant, unnecessary, and unreasonable pain and distress as a result of the beating it had received.

When questioned by Police, Mason admitted hitting the dog with the pipe but claimed he did so only once in retaliation for being bitten and “didn’t mean it”.

Mason has extensive previous criminal convictions – many of a violent nature – but has not previously been prosecuted by the SPCA for animal welfare matters.

“Due to the Defendant’s history of violent, anti-social behaviour we asked for a sentence of imprisonment to hold him properly accountable for this deliberate act of cruelty,” says Ric Odom, CEO of SPCA New Zealand.

“We’re very pleased that the Judge has agreed with us and handed down a strong sentence. We can only hope that this acts as a deterrent to this kind of offending.”