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Dog tied up until chain deeply embedded in neck

SkyeA Waikato man who kept a dog tied up for weeks with a too-small chain embedded in a deep, festering wound around her neck was sentenced today.

Instead of seeking treatment for the dog, he tied her up in a different part of his yard so his kids wouldn’t be upset by her horrific injuries.

Vincent Mark of Pukemoremore, west of Hamilton, was convicted today in the Hamilton District Court for failing to ensure the injured dog received treatment to alleviate any unreasonable or unnecessary pain or distress being suffered by the animal.

He was sentenced to 160 hours of community work, disqualified from owning any animals for 3 years, and ordered to pay reparations of $541.50 and legal costs of $150.00.

The story began on 13 April 2016 when Animal Control Officers visited the defendant’s property in Kahui Avenue, Pukemoremore seeking compliance from an owner concerning an unregistered dog at the property.

They found a young dog, named ‘Skye’ tied up with a chain deeply embedded into her neck. They immediately seized the dog and transported her to Waikato SPCA for treatment.

Veterinary examination revealed that the chain was embedded below the skin level around approximately 80% of the dog’s neck. In one location the muscle and skin had healed through a chain link, which requiring surgical cutting to remove it.

Removal of the chain with bolt cutters revealed pus-filled, smelly wounds up to 7cm wide and 4cm deep around the dog’s neck. The wounds had copious red granulation tissue suggesting they had been there a long time.

The veterinarian concluded that the chain had been placed around Skye’s neck when she was a puppy and as she grew larger it had become deeply embedded. This process would have taken at least eight weeks to occur, during which time the large wounds would have been obvious to anyone.

“This is an abhorrent case of long-term neglect resulting in horrendous pain and suffering – and it was all entirely preventable,” says Andrea Midgen, SPCA New Zealand CEO (Acting).

“The defendant in this case admitted to SPCA Inspectors that he not only saw the wounds but could smell them as well – and yet he did nothing to relieve the dog’s suffering. Any reasonable person would have cut the chain from the dog’s neck and taken her to the vet.

“Instead, the defendant tied the dog up in a different part of his yard so his children wouldn’t be upset by her terrible wounds. This kind of cruel neglect is simply beyond belief.”

The defendant surrendered ownership of Skye to the SPCA. In the care of the SPCA, Skye made a full recovery and was adopted by a new loving family.