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Woman left dog with 24-cm throat wound to get better on its own

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Media Release - 11 February 2015

WOMAN LEFT DOG WITH 24-CM DOG WOUND TO GET BETTER ON ITS OWN

 
A Kaitaia woman who tied up a dog with wire causing a 24-cm gash in its throat and tied another dog to a clothesline with no shelter was sentenced today.

Chante Roycroft, 32, pleaded guilty in the Kaitaia District Court to the following charges relating to two separate dogs:

  • Failing to protect an animal from and rapidly diagnose any significant injury or disease.
  • Failing to ensure an ill or injured animal received treatment that alleviated any unreasonable or unnecessary pain or distress being suffered by the animal.
  • Ill-treatment of an animal causing the animal to suffer unreasonable or unnecessary pain or distress.
  • Refusing or failing to comply with requirement of Inspector to prevent or mitigate suffering of an animal.

She was sentenced to four months community detention, disqualified from owning companion animals for five years, and ordered to pay reparations of $84.83.

The court case results from a string of offences committed by Roycroft in early 2014, beginning on 3 April 2014 when she surrendered a brown female Staffordshire terrier type dog to the Far North District Council (FNDC). An FNDC Animal Control Officer gave the dog into the custody of the SPCA.

An SPCA Inspector and a veterinarian found the dog had a large, gaping, infected wound in its throat measuring 24cm long, 3cm wide, and 3cm deep. The veterinarian stated that the wound was consistent with wire being tied tightly around the dog's neck for a long time until it cut into the skin, which would have been very painful and distressing for the dog.

When interviewed, Roycroft produced a length of wire that had been used to tie up the dog. She had noticed the injury two days prior to the visit from the FNDC, but had not sought veterinary treatment because she had no money and the wound was “smelly”. So she left the dog to get better on her own.

On 22 May 2014, following a complaint made by a member of the public, the SPCA Inspector again attended Roycroft’s property. A young adult black and white male border collie type dog was tied up to the clothesline with no shelter. Roycroft was given the opportunity to forfeit ownership of the dog to the SPCA but refused.

The Inspector issued Roycroft with an official notice requiring her to provide adequate shelter for the dog by 24 May. However, when the Inspector returned on 26 May, the dog was still tied to the clothesline with no shelter.

Roycroft said she had no money and had been too busy to get a kennel for the dog. When given another opportunity to forfeit ownership of the dog to the SPCA, she again refused. So the Inspector took possession of the dog and Roycroft subsequently surrendered the dog to the SPCA.

“This is the kind of casual neglect of animals that the SPCA sees every day,” says Ric Odom, CEO of the Royal New Zealand SPCA.

“We are indebted to the local council and neighbours for alerting our Inspectors to the plight of these dogs. We can’t be everywhere and we mainly rely on the general public to keep their eyes open and report to the SPCA whenever they see neglect and/or abuse happening. The sad truth is that right now there are dogs and other animals tied up, helpless, neglected, or abused in back yards throughout New Zealand that we just don’t know about yet.”
 
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For more information please contact: Ric Odom, Chief Executive Officer, Royal New Zealand SPCA, DDI: +64 9 825 1801, Mobile: +64 27 481 1300, Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Responsible dog ownership is not a matter of race says SPCA

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Media Release - 26 January 2015

RESPONSIBLE DOG OWNERSHIP IS NOT A MATTER OF RACE SAYS SPCA

 
The Royal New Zealand SPCA strongly disagrees with Bob Kerridge’s recent comments in the media in which he links ethnicity with the high number of dog attacks in South Auckland.

“Bob’s comments are his personal views and do not reflect the views of the SPCA,” says Ric Odom, CEO of the Royal New Zealand SPCA, the national organisation that oversees 47 SPCA centres throughout the country, including Auckland.

“We would also like to clarify that Bob Kerridge does not speak for the SPCA as a whole – his position is Executive Director of SPCA Auckland only.

“Our staff, volunteers, and supporters include people from many different ethnic backgrounds who all share a common goal of advancing animal welfare in New Zealand. We proudly work with anyone who shares our common vision and would be horrified if Mr Kerridge’s comments led anyone to think that his personal views on ethnicity were shared by the SPCA. They are not.

“The SPCA believes responsible dog ownership is something every dog owner should practice regardless of their ethnicity or socio-economic status. If owners are not acting responsibly towards their animals we believe they should be held accountable, which is why we prosecute people accused of animal welfare offences.”

Responsible dog ownership includes training, socialising, registering, and desexing the dog, plus making sure the dog is not able to leave the owner’s property unrestrained.

“The onus is on dog owners to find out what their responsibilities are and act accordingly. Information about responsible animal ownership is freely available throughout the country from local councils and any one of our 47 SPCA centres so there really is no excuse for not doing the right thing,” says Mr Odom.

About the Royal New Zealand SPCA

The Royal New Zealand Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is the national body that oversees the work of 47 SPCA Centres across the country to help advance the welfare of all animals in New Zealand by preventing cruelty to animals, alleviating suffering of animals, and promoting animal welfare policies through education and advocacy. The Royal New Zealand SPCA is a registered charity (Charities Commission number CC22705) and operates under the Animal Welfare Act 1999.

 

For more information please contact: Ric Odom, Chief Executive Officer, Royal New Zealand SPCA, DDI: +64 9 825 1801, Mobile: +64 27 481 1300, Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Puppy falls from ute and is dragged, owner convicted

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Media Release - 21 January 2015

PUPPY FALLS FROM UTE AND IS DRAGGED, OWNER CONVICTED

 
 
On 3 September 2014, 37-year-old Tauranga man Jarrod Wharekawa tied ‘Temtem’, his 5-month-old Staffordshire Terrier crossbred puppy, to the back of his ute and drove off. Somewhere down the road, Temtem jumped or fell off and was dragged along the road for some distance.
 
Wharekawa took the puppy to a vet clinic where the veterinarian observed that the flesh on its right hind leg had been ripped open to expose the bone, which had been snapped in two.
 
Tendons were severed or missing and the bone had been ground down significantly by the road surface. The skin on the puppy’s rear and other places on its body had been rubbed raw exposing the flesh underneath. The veterinarian suspected the pelvis was also fractured.
 
Wharekawa refused to accept the veterinarian’s advice that euthanasia was the best option to end the puppy’s suffering. So the puppy was released under strict instructions for it to be returned for further assessment the following morning. Following Wharekawa’s failure to return with the puppy, the clinic informed the Tauranga SPCA.
 
SPCA Inspector Jason Blair visited Wharekawa’s property later that day but was verbally abused by Wharekawa’s father and informed the puppy was dead. The Inspector applied for a search warrant and returned the next day to find the puppy still alive. The Inspector seized the puppy and took him to the vet clinic to be euthanised. By now the puppy’s wounds were malodourous and infected. Post-mortem radiographs confirmed that both hind legs and the pelvis were fractured.
Jarrod Wharekawa pleaded guilty yesterday in the Tauranga District Court to two charges: one of failing to protect his puppy from significant injury by tethering it on the back of his utility vehicle in such a manner that did not prevent it from falling or jumping off, and a second charge of keeping the puppy alive when it was it was suffering unreasonable or unnecessary pain or distress.
 
He was sentenced to 100 hours community work for each charge to run concurrently and ordered to pay reparations of $637.90.
 
According to Tauranga SPCA Inspector Jason Blair, the case is an example of an otherwise compassionate and responsible dog owner placing his puppy at risk by transporting him unsecured on the back of a vehicle and failing in his obligation to end the puppy’s suffering when severe injury occurred.
 
“The owner obviously didn't wish his puppy to be injured in the first place and his reluctance to return to the vet clinic may have been due to his not being able to face having his pet euthanised,” says Mr Blair.
 
“This does not, however, change the resulting severe suffering of the animal. Animal owners must be aware that they have a duty of care and protection over their animals and a responsibility to alleviate the pain of a suffering animal. The owner’s failings in this case were inexcusable and charges were laid accordingly.”
 
Royal New Zealand SPCA CEO Ric Odom says the SPCA and veterinarians see the consequences of animals falling from moving vehicles all too often and the resulting injuries are often horrific.
 
“Society has moved on from travelling with unrestrained children in the back of vehicles and we now need to extend the same sort of consideration to the safety of our animals. A ‘she’ll be right’ attitude can no longer tolerated when it comes to the transportation of animals on utes and other vehicles,” says Mr Odom.
 
“Recently developed codes of welfare around transporting animals reflect this shift in societal attitude. People that transport their animals in an unsafe manner run the very real risk of being prosecuted should injury occur.”
 
The Transport Within New Zealand Code of welfare (Minimum Standard No. 11 – Transport by Road) states:
 
Vehicles carrying animals must be operated in a manner that does not cause animals to fall or be injured during travel.
 
When being transported on the open rear of a light truck (such as a utility vehicle or flat-bed truck), dogs are best protected from the elements. They should be secured by attaching them close against the cab with a swivel between the securing point on the vehicle and the collar, and with the securing lead or chain long enough to permit the dog to stand and, lie down and move about but not of a length that allows the front or hind legs to reach the side of the tray when the animal is standing in a normal posture.
 
The Dog Code of Welfare (Minimum standard 20 – Transportation) states:
 
(d) Except for working dogs at work, dogs must not be carried on the open rear of a moving vehicle unless they are secured or enclosed in a crate.
 
The recommended best practice section provides further guidance stating in the same wording as the transport code that; When dogs are tethered on the back of an open vehicle for transport, the securing lead or chain should be long enough to permit the dog to stand, lie down and move about but short enough to prevent the dog’s legs from reaching the side of the tray so that it cannot fall off or enter the cab of the vehicle.
 
 
Press release 21 Jan 2015 2   Press release 21 Jan 2015 1
 ABOVE:  Injuries sustained by Temtem after being dragged behind the ute.
 
 
For more information please contact: Ric Odom, Chief Executive Officer, Royal New Zealand SPCA, DDI: +64 9 825 1801, Mobile: +64 27 481 1300, Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

SPCA welcomes glueboard traps ban

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Media Release - 18 December 2014

SPCA WELCOMES GLUEBOARD TRAP BAN

The Royal New Zealand SPCA applauds the ban on the sale and use of glueboard traps in New Zealand.

Glueboard traps are boards with a sticky glue layer that are used to capture and hold live rodents. The SPCA considers the level of pain or distress caused to animals trapped on glueboards to be unreasonable and says that adequate alternatives are available.

“Once captured on a glue board, an animal is unable to free itself from the adhesive, and will generally bring more body parts into contact with the adhesive as it attempts to free itself. In doing so the animal will tend to further entrap itself,” says Ric Odom, RNZSPCA CEO.

“Animals may, in their attempts to free themselves, rip patches of fur out or break limbs. They may also defecate and urinate excessively from panic and distress.

“It gets worse. Unless animals that become stuck on glueboards are promptly killed using a humane method, they will be at increasing risk not only from injuries associated with escape attempts, but also from starvation, dehydration, exposure, possible injury through aggression from other animals, or suffocation if their muzzles become stuck in the glue,” says Mr Odom.

The ban under the Animal Welfare (Glueboard Traps) Order 2009 was announced yesterday by the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) and comes into effect from 1 January 2015.

“Glueboards are not an acceptable or humane way to control rodent populations. We welcome MPI’s announcement of their prohibition in New Zealand and we join with MPI in asking New Zealanders to keep an eye out for any glueboard rodent traps being used or sold in 2015. If you see any glueboard traps being sold or used, please report them to your local SPCA or MPI’s animal welfare hotline on 0800 008 333. Calls can be kept confidential if necessary.”

For more information please contact: Ric Odom, Chief Executive Officer, Royal New Zealand SPCA, DDI: +64 9 825 1801, Mobile: +64 27 481 1300, Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Proposed caged chicken farm ‘backward step’

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Media Release - 17 November 2014

PROPOSED CAGED CHICKEN FARM 'BACKWARD STEP'

The Royal New Zealand SPCA strongly opposes the proposed Craddock Farms colony cage chicken farm in Patumahoe, South Auckland and calls on Auckland Council to refuse resource consent.

The proposed farm would confine 310,000 layer hens in colony cages. Like SPCAs in the UK, US, and Australia, the RNZSPCA opposes the use of battery and colony cages for hens.

“Colony cages confine each bird into a area about the size of a piece of A4 paper, which means it can’t exhibit its normal behaviours and can’t do much except eat and lay eggs,” says Ric Odom, RNZSPCA CEO.

“We believe the establishment of this farm is a backward step that flies in the face of current trends towards improved animal welfare in the commercial farming of animals.

“The RNZSPCA supports an increasing number of free range layer and broiler chicken farms in New Zealand with our Blue Tick accreditation programme. Farms that win the right to display our Blue Tick are assessed by our third party auditors AsureQuality, including spot checks to ensure that they are meeting our high animal welfare standards.

“The proposed Craddock Farms colony cage facility in Patumahoe would not meet these standards because the 310,000 chickens at the farm would be confined in cages.”

For more information please contact: Ric Odom, Chief Executive Officer, Royal New Zealand SPCA, DDI: +64 9 825 1801, Mobile: +64 27 481 1300, Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

RNZSPCA in the Media

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nzheraldCountdown is launching its new collection of Super Animals collectable sound cards today. The initiative is to raise funds for the Royal New Zealand SPCA.  See the article from The New Zealand Herald on 31 January 2015

 


 

tv3newsCEO Ric Odom appeared in response to comments made by Bob Kerridge about ethnicity and dog ownership.  Watch what Ric has to say about responsible dog ownership on 3News Firstline 27 January 2015.

 


 
  Polly the dog was stolen from Gore SPCA and returned several days later covered in extensive injuries. 
  Watch the article on One News from 14 January 2015.

 

 


  

tv3newsA veteran Whangarei SPCA inspector has gone on hunger strike after finding seven starving dogs in a single month – some of which have since died or had to be put down. See the article on TV3 News 17 November 2014

 


tvnzKeeping your pets safe this guy fawkes, RNZSPCA Chief Executive Rick Odom shares some tricks of the trade to calm animals during the firework season on Breakfast News 4 November 2014

 

 


radioliveThe SPCA Annual Appeal begins on Monday 3 November, and this year the SPCA need to raise $500,000 to allow their inspectorate team to continue rescuing animals in need. Mark talks with Ric Odom, Chief Executive Officer of Royal New Zealand SPCA on RadioLive on 2 November 2014

 


nzherald

Read what Ric Odom, Chief Executive Officer of Royal New Zealand SPCA has to say about the 2014 List of Shame in The New Zealand Herald on 2 November 2014

 


SPCA Renews Calls For Fireworks Ban

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Media Release - 3 November 2014

SPCA RENEWS CALLS FOR FIREWORKS BAN

The Royal New Zealand SPCA welcomes the select committee meeting on Guy Fawkes morning to consider banning the public sale of fireworks.

"The SPCA does not support the private sale and use of fireworks and has long called for a ban on the sale of fireworks to the public," says RNZSPCA CEORic Odom.

"Fireworks and animals simply don't mix. The loud bangs and bright flashes are very frightening to animals and many become highly stressed by them."

"We urge pet owners to keep their pets inside and safe on Guy Fawkes Night. But equally we ask people without pets to be aware of the stress their use of fireworks is likely to be causing in their neighbourhood."

Here are 5 tips to help keep your pets safe and calm on Guy Fawkes Night:

1. Stay home with your pet – they will be less stressed with someone they trust close by.

2. Keep them indoors – where they won't see the flashes and the bangs will be muffled. Close doors and windows and draw the curtains. Turn up the volume on your radio or TV to help drown out loud bangs.

3. Put a collar and registration tag on your dog – if your dog panics and bolts, it will help rescuers reunite you. Attach a disc with your contact phone number.

4. Take special care of elderly or nervous pets – consult your vet for the best advice on keeping them calm, including sedation if necessary.

5. Move horses and farm animals away from fireworks – and make sure all fences are secure. Stable horses where possible.


 

tvnzKeeping your pets safe this guy fawkes, RNZSPCA Chief Executive Rick Odom shares some tricks of the trade to calm animals during the firework season on Breakfast News 4 November 2014.

For more information please contact: Ric Odom, Chief Executive Officer, Royal New Zealand SPCA, DDI: +64 9 825 1801, Mobile: +64 27 481 1300, Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

List of Shame 2014

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pdfList of Shame 2014


 

nzheraldRead what Ric Odom, Chief Executive Officer of Royal New Zealand SPCA has to say about the 2014 List of Shame in The New Zealand Herald on 2 November 2014

Time to find alternatives to 1080 “weapon of mass destruction”

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Media Release - 14 October 2014

TIME TO FIND ALTERNATIVES TO 1080 - "WEAPON OF MASS DESTRUCTION"

The Royal New Zealand SPCA wants an immediate plan to find a more humane alternative to the use of 1080 poison to control possums, rats, and stoats.

"1080 poisoning is a horrible way to die and it is indiscriminate in what it kills," says Ric Odom, CEO of the Royal New Zealand SPCA.

"The Department of Conservation (DOC) is dropping more 1080 poison this year than ever before across huge swathes of our forests, despite the inevitable damage it will do to a wide range of 'non-target' animals and birds. We are saying there has to be a better way.

"These 1080 drops are not surgical strikes that only knock out so-called 'target' species. On the contrary, 1080 poison is a weapon of mass destruction that leads to the agonising deaths of many 'non-target' species, including deer, pigs, and, yes, native birds.

"DOC is dropping many tonnes of 1080 poison bait across New Zealand's forests and streams, potentially killing every living thing within the drop zones. This is unacceptable and there is much evidence to suggest that it is not the answer to the problem: the target species, particularly rats, always seem to bounce back, which necessitates more 1080 poison drops.

"It is simply not a sustainable way to manage wildlife in New Zealand. Are we going to keep dropping 1080 poison all over New Zealand forever? Is that the future we want?

"Moreover we appear to haveset up a double standard regarding the welfare of pest species, such as rats, stoats, and possums. The law permits the elimination of these and other inconvenient species and turns a blind eye to how inhumanely they are killed.

"Weas a country have decided there are two kinds of animals: those we care about and those we don't. If I fed 1080 poison to my dog, the SPCA would prosecute me with vigour. But if I fed the same poison to a possum there would be no repercussions at all.

"The Royal New Zealand SPCA exists to prevent cruelty to animals and promote animal welfare – and that means all animals, not just the ones we keep as pets or on our farms. Make no mistake, 1080 inflicts terrible, prolonged suffering on the animals that it poisons. We believe there must be alternative methods of pest control that do not inflict such awful suffering.

"We are not arguing against pest control. We recognise that rats, stoats, and possums pose a real threat to native bird species and must therefore be controlled in some way. What we are saying is there has to be a better way – and it's our duty as a nation to find it.

"The Royal New Zealand SPCA is standing by to work with DOC to help find more humane, more targeted, more sustainable, and more effective methods to control pest populations and protect our precious native wildlife. And we call on the Government to stump up the cash required to fund the search for these alternative methods."

For more information please contact: Ric Odom, Chief Executive Officer, Royal New Zealand SPCA, DDI: +64 9 825 1801, Mobile: +64 27 481 1300, Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Steel Pipe Dog Beating Earns Prison Sentence

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Media Release - 13 October 2014

STEEL PIPE DOG BEATING EARNS PRISON SENTENCE

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 the Dannevirke SPCA.

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 the Royal New Zealand SPCA.

“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.”

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