top donate button

New Zealand's shameful cruelty record

Monday, 29 October, 2007

SPCA New Zealand has issued its fifth annual 'List of Shame', detailing 50 cases of the abuse of animals by humans.

Amongst the victims listed are a litter of puppies and a kitten found pickled in jars in a Dunedin flat, a fatally-stabbed Central North Island goat and eight Southland puppies beaten to death with a tyre brace.

As in previous years, the list includes incidents involving young people, such as the four small children from Lower Hutt who repeatedly threw two kittens into a swimming pool and otherwise abused them and the Blenheim youths who poured petrol over the rear half of a pig before setting it alight.

Other cases involve the mass slaughter of birds by fire-bombs and by poison, cats shot with slug guns or caught in gin-traps and dogs found hanged, kicked in the throat or shot through the head.

Along with these and further examples of deliberate violence to animals, the list cites a large number of cases of extreme neglect. These include 161 cats and 81 dogs, many of them severely sick, found on a property near Dannevirke, as well as thousands of dead or starving sheep discovered on an Otago farm and a Rotorua cat with a face half rotted away by cancer.

The List of Shame covers cases that occurred or came to light during the first nine months of 2007. It is not a comprehensive list of all the cruelty incidents reported during this period but includes some of the worst cases, as well as a representative sample of incidents investigated by the SPCA.

The list has been released ahead of the SPCA's Paws Appeal week, which commences on Friday 2nd November.

"This year's list makes particularly gruesome reading, with many atrocious examples of the savage wounding and killing of animals. There is an undeniable link between abuse of animals and abusive behaviour towards people. I believe the stabbings, shootings, poisonings and other cruelties listed are reflective of the appallingly high and escalating rate of violence in New Zealand society," says the SPCA's National Chief Executive, Robyn Kippenberger.

"Cruel and callous behaviour on the part of children and teenagers is particularly disturbing because of the warning it gives about the future. We have to do more to educate our young people about the importance of kindness and responsibility to both animals and humans.

"The many cases of extreme neglect included on the List of Shame are also chilling. It's hard to comprehend how people can see an animal suffering every day and do nothing about it for months or even years. Again, this seems to be a reflection of generally inhumane attitudes in our society," she says.

"Across New Zealand, the SPCA is hard at work rescuing abused and neglected animals and educating people away from abusive attitudes to other creatures. We do this important work without government funding, relying entirely on donations from the public.

"Our Paws Appeal is a good time for New Zealanders to show that they truly care about animals and want a society with less violence, cruelty and neglect," Robyn Kippenberger adds.

Donations to the SPCA can be made by return of the Freepost envelope delivered to all households or by taking the donation to your local SPCA branch or to a branch of the ASB Bank. Street collections will also be happening in many areas.