Dog owner sentenced for staving dogs

A Te Kopuru man has been sentenced to community detention by the Whangarei District Court for starving his three pet dogs.

Te Wira Panapa has been convicted of ill-treatment of an animal and sentenced to two months’ community detention, ordered to pay reparations of $1845 and court costs of $500.

He was also disqualified from owning dogs for five years.

SPCA inspectors seized all three dogs and took them for veterinary attention after visiting them on the property in October 2016.

Under the care of the SPCA, all three dogs gained steady weight and within a month were all at their ideal weight.

SPCA CEO Andrea Midgen, says the organisation sees far too many unnecessary cases of animals suffering neglect across New Zealand.

“These three dogs were completely dependent on their owner for their survival. His blatant disregard for his dogs’ health and well-being demanded legal consequences.

“While the SPCA is pleased that a disqualification period of five years was handed down, we would have liked to also see a court-ordered education programme, so the defendant could learn about his obligations of animal ownership.

"Education is the best way to truly prevent this type of animal cruelty occurring in the future."

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