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SPCA List of Shame shines spotlight on animal cruelty

Te Kuiti man beforeA puppy who suffered 11 fractures, endured massive swelling to her face and could not open her jaw following a brutal beating by her Christchurch-based owner is just one of the horrific cases included in this year’s SPCA List of Shame.

The annual list highlights New Zealand’s shameful animal abuse track record and is being released ahead of the 2016 SPCA Annual Appeal, the organisation’s biggest fundraising event. Running between Monday 7 and Sunday 13 November, the Appeal aims to raise awareness of animal welfare issues and the ongoing need for education to help prevent cruelty to animals.

SPCA Chief Executive (Acting) Andrea Midgen says the List of Shame highlights some of the worst animal abuse offences, but it’s still only the tip of the iceberg.

“Our SPCA Inspectors investigated a record 15,219 animal welfare complaints last year.. This List of Shame is the culmination of these – the very worst cases of horrible animal abuse, neglect and cruelty,” Ms Midgen says.

This year’s list includes heartbreaking and cowardly animal abuse acts including a Horowhenua woman whose horse had collapsed and was so malnourished it had to be euthanised; a Hamilton woman who failed to seek vet treatment for a large, painful open wound on her cat’s shoulder and an Auckland dog owner whose dog was discovered chained up, emaciated and suffering from mange, ringworm, chronic ear infections and anaemia.

“SPCA Inspectors are the last hope for many of New Zealand’s abused animals, but we need the public’s help to continue this vital work. Running the SPCA Inspectorate costs approximately $9 million each year, and we receive no direct government funding. The funds raised during the Annual Appeal help us work towards a New Zealand in which there’s no List of Shame,” says Ms Midgen.

Thanks to the work of SPCA Inspectors, some of the animals on this year’s List of Shame survived to have a second chance at a happy, healthy life.

This was the case for Selena, a nine year old Samoyed and face of this year’s Annual Appeal. Selena was rescued by an SPCA Inspector after she was discovered starving and living in an Auckland garage. She had never spent any time outdoors and was just eight kilos - half of what a healthy Samoyed should have weighed.

After being rescued by an SPCA Inspector, Selena was nursed back to health while in the care of the SPCA and eventually found their forever homes with a new adoptive families. Today Selena’s days are spent playing at the beach and enjoying cuddles from her loving family.

Donations to this year’s SPCA Annual Appeal can be made to street collectors around the country from Monday 11 November, or click here to make a donation online.