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Te Kuiti man gets community detention for beating dog

Wednesday, 6 April, 2016

1459921039587A Te Kuiti man was sentenced to four months community detention yesterday for beating his dog so badly that she had blood in her urine.

Tautu Thompson, 23, was convicted today in the Te Kuiti District Court on a charge of wilful ill-treatment of an animal with the result that the animal was seriously injured or impaired. He was sentenced to four months community detention with an 8pm to 5am curfew, disqualified from owning dogs for 10 years, fined $1,500, and ordered to pay veterinary costs of $344.84.

The Judge also ordered that the dog be forfeited to SPCA New Zealand, along with any other dogs currently owned by the defendant.

The case began on 29 August 2014 when an SPCA Inspector visited the Te Kuiti Camping Ground in response to a report of a man beating his dog inside a caravan. Teachers and children from Te Kuiti Primary School, which is next door to the camping ground, also witnessed the incident. Police were in attendance when the Inspector arrived.

The Inspector noticed that the defendant was sweating profusely and had blood on his chin and right cheek. When asked what had happened, he replied, “I didn't beat my dog that much.” He went on to say that his dog had been fighting with another dog so he had given it a good hit.

Upon entering the caravan the Inspector found a female, white and tan, pit-bull-type dog cowering in the corner. The dog had a cut to her forehead, there was blood running down her nose, and she had obvious swelling above the right eye and beneath the jaw.

The dog appeared to be very frightened and had her legs and tail tucked up under her. When the Inspector commented on this to the defendant, the defendant replied, “So she should”.

The Inspector took the dog for urgent veterinary attention, which revealed the dog had a puncture wound between the eyes, bleeding from both nostrils, bleeding within her right eye, bruising and swelling around her left hind leg, swollen eyes and ears, bloody diarrhoea, and bloody urine.

The Veterinarian concluded that the most likely explanation for the dog's injuries was excessive blunt force trauma rather than dog fight injuries. Dog fights are more likely to result in large puncture wounds, tearing between the skin and muscle layers, and lacerations.

When interviewed the defendant insisted that the dogs injuries were as a result of a dog fight and he denied beating her.

“This is a horrific case of violence against a defenceless animal,” says Ric Odom, CEO of SPCA New Zealand.

“We are pleased that the court has handed down a reasonably tough sentence in this case due to the violent nature of the offending and the defendant’s lack of remorse. We hope this sends a strong message to the community that it’s not OK to beat your animals under any circumstances.

“And if you see anyone mistreating an animal, please call the Police or the SPCA immediately.”

The dog has since made a full recovery and has been housed with a volunteer foster family who may now adopt her.