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SPCA prosecutes Auckland man after his dog starved to death

24/11/17

An Auckland man has disqualified from owning animals for 10 years after his pet dog starved to death. Paul Syman pleaded guilty to ill-treatment of an animal and was also fined $2000.

The case began on 3 June 2016 when a member of Mr Syman’s family contacted the SPCA’s Auckland centre seeking assistance for his dog, thinking she might be dying.

An SPCA Inspector visited Mr Syman’s property and found five-year-old Labrador cross Tasha collapsed and unresponsive. She was in an emaciated condition and inflicted with a substantial flea infestation. Tasha also suffered from a sore on her leg, overgrown nails and fur loss consistent with a collar wound.

Mr Syman surrendered Tasha into the ownership of the SPCA and she was taken immediately to the SPCA Auckland animal hospital. Sadly Tasha died the same day due to the severity of her condition.

A post-mortem examination revealed that Tasha was so emaciated that she had the lowest possible body condition score of 1/5 and clinical signs indicating chronic starvation.

She was also clinically dehydrated, which would have caused stress and discomfort. Her obvious and noticeable flea infestation also resulted in a flea allergic skin disease that would have caused Tasha considerable discomfort.

SPCA CEO Andrea Midgen says Mr Syman showed blatant disregard for animal welfare, leading to the painful and completely unnecessary death of a dog who relied on him for the most basic of life’s necessities.

“Tasha starved to death and endured a huge amount of pain and stress. She probably would have suffered for a considerable period of time. This could have been prevented with proper care from the person responsible for her wellbeing. It is completely unacceptable to treat animals in this way.”

“While the SPCA is pleased that a significant disqualification period was handed down, we would have liked to also see a court-ordered education programme to truly prevent this type of animal cruelty occurring in the future,” says Ms Midgen.

“A 10-year disqualification will ensure that his risk to animals in the future is managed. SPCA Inspectors will monitor Mr Syman to ensure that he adheres to the disqualification. Breaching this would lead to an automatic prosecution and immediate removal of any animal found in his possession.”

ENDS

 More images available upon request. Please note, the image is extremely graphic.