SPCA Auckland

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Summary


Man guilty of starving dog to death

Panmure man Howard Teao today pleaded guilty to ill-treating an animal in the Auckland District Court and was sentenced to 50 hours community work and ordered to pay reparations of $1903.63.

On 1 April 2012 an SPCA Auckland Inspector arrived at Teao’s Panmure property in response to a sighting of an emaciated dog that was having difficulty walking – and found the dog dead on a rubbish heap.

The dog – ‘Honey’, a tan coloured, female, terrier type dog – was described by the Inspector as “a skeleton with fur”. The deceased animal’s entire bone structure was highly visible and the body was still warm. 

A necropsy examination by a veterinarian indicated that ‘Honey’ died from starvation and fluid deprivation. The veterinarian concluded that the deterioration in the dog’s body condition showed gross neglect and would have resulted in gross pain and suffering.

Further inspection of the property identified two tan coloured, male, terrier crossbreed type puppies tied to a fence with no access to any shelter. The Inspector gave instructions for the owner to immediately provide adequate shelter for both dogs.

On 17 April 2012 SPCA Auckland Inspectors returned to the property and found the two dogs still tied to the fence without any form of shelter. One of the dogs was without water and faecal matter littered the area. Both dogs were seized and taken into the care of SPCA Auckland.

Teao later surrendered the two dogs into the permanent care of SPCA Auckland. Both dogs have since been successfully re-homed.

“This is a shocking case that underscores the importance of maintaining zero tolerance towards the neglect and abuse of animals,” says SPCA Auckland CEO Christine Kalin.

“I would like to thank the member of public who reported Mr Teao’s abuse of these dogs. Although we were too late to save ‘Honey’, we have managed to rehabilitate and find long-term, loving homes for the remaining two dogs.

“At SPCA Auckland we do all we can to rescue animals that are neglected, abused, or abandoned in the Auckland region – but we can’t be everywhere at once. So we need members of the public to stay vigilant, be our eyes and ears, and report any situations where animals may be at risk.”
 

Cash-strapped dog abuser pleads guilty

Takanini woman Robin Olive pleaded guilty yesterday to ill-treating a dog in her care and was sentenced to 100 hours community work and was disqualified from owning dogs for five years.

On 13 December 2012 an SPCA Inspector, acting on a tip-off, discovered ‘Lady’ – a white, female, Whippet Bull Terrier crossbreed – tied up at Olive’s Takanini address. The dog was in poor body condition, with backbone, hips, and ribs clearly visible, and she was covered in sores.

The dog was seized and transported to SPCA Auckland for a veterinary examination and treatment. She weighed only 12.5kg and was suffering from generalised demodectic mange.

The Veterinarian concluded that the dog’s poor condition was due to inadequate feeding for many days, if not weeks. He also stated that being significantly underweight and suffering from mange would have caused the dog ongoing distress, and that any lay person should have realised the dog was underweight and in need of veterinary treatment.

Veterinary records show the dog had been suffering from severe mange since July 2012 but Olive had not been able to afford proper treatment. SPCA Auckland has also provided numerous food parcels and shelter for ‘Lady’ in the past. Olive admitted that she was struggling financially and found it difficult to provide her dog with medication and food.

“This case sends a clear signal to dog owners that being short of cash is no excuse – you are responsible for providing adequate food, vet treatment, and other necessities for your animals,” says Christine Kalin, CEO of SPCA Auckland.

“If you can’t provide for your animals, then please seek help from family, friends, or community organisations.”

‘Lady’ has now been forfeited to SPCA Auckland and will be put up for adoption as soon as possible.
 

SPCA Auckland opposes animal testing

SPCA Auckland opposes animal testing of psychoactive substances despite the possible inclusion of some, severely restricted animal testing in the Psychoactive Substances Bill.

“SPCA Auckland’s position has not changed: we remain completely opposed to animal testing in any form,” says SPCA Auckland CEO Christine Kalin.

“We recognise the best efforts of our National President, Bob Kerridge, to influence the Committee advising the Government on the animal welfare issues around the testing of so-called ‘party pills’. However, he is only one voice and the final decision of the Committee has gone against him.

“While this is a regrettable setback, we will continue to oppose any procedures on animals that may cause them pain, suffering or distress – including animal testing – and will keep doing everything we can to promote the welfare of all animals within our region.”


‘Business as usual’ for Bob Kerridge at SPCA Auckland

SPCA Auckland Executive Director Bob Kerridge has stood down as National President of the Royal New Zealand SPCA – but will retain his position as the Executive Director of SPCA Auckland.

“Although his work as National President is now at an end, SPCA Auckland will continue to benefit from Bob’s presence as our Executive Director for a long time to come,” says Christine Kalin, SPCA Auckland CEO.

“For us it’s a case of ‘business as usual’ – but with Bob’s increased presence and engagement. Instead of wearing two hats, he’ll just be wearing his Auckland hat from now on.

“Bob is a very significant figure in the animal welfare sector and has been a driving force at SPCA Auckland for the past 30 years. We welcome the opportunity to take full advantage of his expertise, experience, and mana to help us drive SPCA Auckland’s strategic goals in the coming years.”

Mr Kerridge says his “job is done” as President and he can step down with confidence that the national organisation is in good shape for the future.

“Over the past three years I have laid a strong foundation for the future development of the RNZSPCA and I’m confident that the organisation now has a long-term strategic plan in place that will maintain and enhance the legacy I have created,” says Mr Kerridge.

The move enables Mr Kerridge to refocus his attention on SPCA Auckland where he was CEO for 26 years and has been Executive Director for the last 5 years.

“If I am perfectly honest my heart truly resides with the animals. I am looking forward to giving my undivided attention to caring for Auckland’s many thousands of abused, neglected, and abandoned animals. After all, at the end of the day that is what the SPCA is all about,” he says.


SPCA Auckland overrun by fluffy stampede

SPCA Auckland is overflowing with gorgeous, cuddly rabbits – just in time for the school holidays.

“School holidays are the perfect time to adopt a beautiful, fluffy bunny because the breathing space gives you and the kids time to get them settled before school starts again,” says Christine Kalin, SPCA Auckland CEO.

“We’ve got more than 40 rabbits on our hands right now – any more and we’ll be overrun! So we’re appealing to the public: if you’re prepared to adopt a rabbit, now is the time to do it.

“Rabbits make wonderful pets – they’re affectionate, cuddly, intelligent, athletic, and full of personality – but they need lots of care and attention to thrive. That’s why we’re suggesting people adopt them during the holidays so everyone can get used to the daily routine of feeding, grooming, and exercising their rabbits before returning to school or work.

“The bottom line is: rabbits are fabulously cuddly, loving animals that you’ll adore. And with names like Nudge, Cherry, Flopsy, Pearl, Mungo, Lily McBunny, and Spud – who can resist?” says Ms Kalin.

Are you rabbit-ready? Here’s a checklist:

1.Food: fresh water, fresh grass, and fresh hay every day. Rabbits also like small amounts of fruit and carrots.

2.Home: a large, warm, preferably indoor enclosure with lots of toys and hiding places that your rabbit will feel safe and secure within.

3.Exercise: a large, predator-proof enclosure so your rabbit can exercise safely outdoors.

4.Company: put aside plenty of time to play with, handle, and love your rabbit every day. Rabbits are social beasts and will pine if left alone for hours on end.

5.Supervision: be prepared to constantly supervise your kids around the rabbit. Rabbits are not really suitable pets for children younger than 8 years old.

6.Grooming: regular brushing prevents your rabbit from getting hairballs.

7.Vet care: be prepared to whisk your bunny off to the vet if anything seems amiss.

8.Numbers: rabbits live in family groups in the wild so consider adopting a pair of de-sexed rabbits to ensure your rabbits are really happy.

For more bunny tips, go to www.spca.org.nz/AnimalCare/RabbitCare.aspx

Rabbits available for adoption can be viewed at SPCA Auckland, 50 Westney Road, Mangere every day from 10am to 4pm or visit http://spca.org.nz/adoption/animals.asp?catID=4


Saving lives has never been sweeter

Combine cupcakes with New Zealand’s genuine love for animals and you have a very sweet recipe.   Join us as we build up to New Zealand’s sweetest fundraiser of the year, Cupcake Day for the SPCA on Monday 26th August.   Your cupcakes will help neglected animals find their forever homes, provide food, shelter and care for abandoned animals and provide emergency surgery to abused and injured animals.

Register to be a ‘Cupcake Cook’ for the annual SPCA Cupcake Day fundraiser where you bake, sell, and raise much-needed money for the SPCA.  Keen bakers can register online at www.spcacupcakeday.co.nz as an individual, school or as a team, download a ’Cupcake Kit’, and get inspired.  

SPCA Cupcake Day, supported by Cooking Personality Chelsea Winter, is a great way for animal lovers to get involved in a tasty campaign that not only raises much-needed money and awareness, but also brings together New Zealand communities.   Money raised in Auckland will remain in Auckland and enable us care for more than 18,000 animals which have been abandoned, neglected or injured throughout the region.

This year we are delighted to have our major sponsors on board again for the CupCake street sale throughout Auckland on the day, so please join us in thanking our sponsors for their generous support:
 - AUT
 - Jet Park Hotel & Conference Centre
 - Icing on the Cake
 - Sky City
 - Milly’s
 - Bidvest

There’s a baker inside everyone, so get involved and help support a great cause, your friends, customers, school or workplace and the animals of NZ will love you for it.   In celebration of the upcoming SPCA Cupcake Day, here are six fun facts about Cupcakes
• The first mention of the cupcake can be traced as far back as 1796
• Cupcakes were actually originally called ‘Number Cakes’ or ‘1234 Cakes’ because it was an easy way to remember portions… One cup of butter, two cups of sugar, three cups of flour, four eggs, one cup of milk and one spoonful of soda
• 29 cupcakes in 30 seconds is the record time for eating cupcakes
• The world’s largest cupcake was over 1.2 metres and around 550 kilograms, and contained more than 2 million calories
• The most expensive cupcake ever was $55,000 for a red velvet cupcake that had an 8 carat diamond ring atop it
• The first cupcakes did not have frosting as we know it, but instead were gilded with lard as a kind of cake-moistening gravy.  Winston Churchill was the first person to suggest a kind of sweet frosting on the top of cakes

In the words of Winston Churchill, ‘We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.’

For more information, updates, recipes and ideas visit the SPCA Cupcake Day Facebook page at www.facebook.com/spcacupcakedaynz


Two cats caught in gin traps within a month

SPCA Auckland has rescued another cat with its leg almost severed by a gin trap – the second such case in a month – and now the organisation is calling for a ban on traps.

Both trappings occurred in West Auckland – the first in Silverstone Place, Henderson, and the latest one in Vanhest Way, Ranui. The first cat, named ‘Thumper’, was reunited with its owner – but its leg had to be amputated. The Ranui cat’s owner has yet to be found and it is too early to say to what extent the cat will be able to recover from its injuries.

“We responded yesterday to a call from an understandably distressed member of the public who discovered the cat hiding under a car with its left hind leg caught in a so-called ‘leg-hold trap’,” says Christine Kalin, CEO of SPCA Auckland.

An SPCA Auckland Field Officer caught the cat and rushed it to a local vet for emergency pain relief, and then transferred it to the SPCA Auckland Animal Hospital for treatment. The cat is receiving ongoing treatment while SPCA Auckland attempts to trace its owner.

“This is a cowardly and cruel act that has inflicted terrible pain and suffering on an innocent pet cat. Someone out there has deliberately set this trap where domestic cats and possibly children could get caught in it. We must find who did this and prosecute them,” says Ms Kalin.

“An SPCA Inspector is currently interviewing neighbours and conducting an investigation, including a forensic examination of the trap. If anyone has any information that might help us find the cat’s owner and/or the person who set the trap, please call us on 09 256 7300.

“If there is a pattern emerging, we want to nip it in the bud. So SPCA Auckland is calling for an outright ban on the use of leg-hold traps in the Auckland region. There is no place for them in urban areas where not only domestic pets but also children could get caught in them.

“Make no mistake: these are inhumane traps that inflict terrible injuries and pain. We want to see an end to them.”

The Animal Welfare (Leg-hold Traps) Order 2007 places restrictions on the sale and use of leg-hold traps to reduce the risks to animal welfare. The Order states that no leg-hold traps can be used within 150 metres of a dwelling without the express permission of the occupier or in any area where there is a probable risk of catching a pet.

“Clearly there are pets living in Vanhest Way, Ranui, so setting leg-hold traps in this area is an illegal act and therefore punishable by law,” says Ms Kalin.

“The consequences for the culprit will be severe – illegal placement of leg-hold traps is an offence under the Animal Welfare Act and is punishable by up to 12 months imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $50,000 for an individual or $250,000 for a body corporate.”
 

Council gift helps SPCA Auckland truck on

Auckland’s animal lovers will be pleased to learn that SPCA Auckland’s fleet capacity has improved this week thanks to a gift from Auckland Council, marking another important step in this valued strategic partnership.

Auckland Council’s animal management team donated two of its vans to the SPCA to be used for response to calls and complaints from the public, attending to animals in need and collecting donated items.

Graham Bodman, Manager Licensing and Compliance Services, says that the working relationship between the two organisations continues to go from strength to strength and is key to delivering effective animal management across the region.

“The SPCA is a fantastic organisation that we work closely with, but they are also a charity that has to raise a significant amount each year to fund their core services. We are happy to make a contribution in this way and understand the positive impact these vans will have to service delivery,” he says.

Christine Kalin, Chief Executive of SPCA Auckland, echoes this sentiment saying that she was touched to learn of the council’s decision to support the SPCA in this way.

“We currently have a number of very old vehicles that are no longer as efficient to run. These replacements will enable us to maintain our services and bring all important cost savings back into the organisation,” says Ms Kalin.

A small ceremony took place to officially mark the handover of the vehicles to their new owners. They’ll soon be hitting the road, bringing benefits to both animals and people across Auckland for many years to come.


Blessing of the Animals Service 2013

The Anglican church of St Matthew-In-The-City will echo with the meows, barks, chirps, brays, and whoops of all creatures great and small during the annual SPCA Auckland Blessing of the Animals Service on Sunday 6 October.

“Officially a celebration of the life of St Francis of Assisi, the service offers Aucklanders the chance to bring their companion animals to church to celebrate their lives together and the presence of animals everywhere,” says Bob Kerridge, Executive Director, SPCA Auckland.

Prior to the service, a wide variety of people and animals will congregate in Elizabeth Square at 12 noon for The Great Animal Walk up Queen Street, accompanied by the skirl of the City of Manukau Pipe Band, the SPCA Auckland Dog Squad, and Outreach Therapy Pets.

“All creatures great and small are welcome but, for the safety of the animals and the comfort of others, all dogs and larger animals must be on a lead, and all smaller animals must be protected in carry cases. Plastic bags, or pooper scoopers, are of course essential accessories,” says Mr Kerridge.

“The service itself is huge fun and is often sheer pandemonium with a mixture of cats, dogs, fish, mice, goats, lambs, birds and donkeys joining in ‘singing’ the hymns.

“A special feature of the service is the ‘Prayers from the Ark’ where animals of all species can offer their humorous prayers. For those animals that don’t actually speak English, their prayers will be read by staff, executives and board members from SPCA Auckland.”

SPCA Auckland gratefully acknowledges the support and assistance of the clergy and staff of St Matthew-In-The-City and visiting clergy, Auckland Council, NZ Police, Junelle Groves, City of Manukau Pipe Band, SPCA Auckland Dog Squad, Outreach Therapy Pets, Organist Michael Bell, and the people of Auckland (and their animals).
 

Review of the Animal Welfare Act - An opportunity for improved animal welfare
 
The Animal Welfare Act is under review and SPCA Auckland has made a submission regarding the changes we believe are needed to improve the lives of animals in New Zealand.

Click the link below for a summary of SPCA Auckland’s views on what changes are needed. It is important to note we have prioritised our submission to focus on the areas of greatest and immediate need, which is not to say other areas are not important.
We are now working directly with the government to ensure our submission is considered. The review process could be a lengthy one and we may need your voice of support over the coming months on particular issues, so we will keep in touch if/when we need your help to support our amendments and ensure positive change for the animals of New Zealand.

Click here for a summary of the key points from our submission.


 


Meadowlark designer goodies on sale for SPCA Auckland

Meadowlark’s latest range of pet-inspired accessories is now on sale – so Aucklanders have a fashion-forward way to help raise funds for SPCA Auckland’s annual Appeal Week.

“The good people at Meadowlark love animals and were keen to help us raise the funds we need to keep helping the animals of Auckland every year,” says Christine Kalin, SPCA Auckland CEO. “We would like to take this opportunity to say thanks to Meadowlark for creating these stunning designs.”

Last year’s Meadowlark range of designer items with a ‘Love Cats’ theme is still selling strongly – and has now been expanded to include stylish black and white notebooks and jotta pads.

The 2013 Meadowlark range includes T-shirts, tote bags, and mugs, and is inspired by dogs plus the Rolling Stones, says Claire Hammon from Meadowlark.

“We love animals and wanted to build on the success of the ‘Love Cats’ designs with something a bit different. We know there are loads of dog fans, so we thought we’d make them a cool and playful print. We hope this appeals to all dog-lovers no matter what their favourite breed is.

“It’s inspired by the Rolling Stones’ super iconic logo and with ‘Gimme Shelter’ one of the Stones’ most popular songs, we think it’s a really fun angle and the perfect way to support the SPCA.”

The new range is available online at the SPCA Auckland Online shop and all proceeds will go towards supporting Auckland’s animals in need.


SPCA asks Kiwis to dig deep

Two of the world-famous ‘driving dogs’ trained to drive MINI cars will be digging deep (in the sand) this Tuesday 5 November at 8am on Kohimarama beach to publicise the SPCA annual appeal.

Driving dogs Monty and Porter, along with their trainer Mark Vette from Animals on Q, will kick off the SPCA annual appeal week throughout the country by digging deep to find something special in the sand. It’s their way of saying thanks to the SPCA for rescuing them and giving them a second chance.

The SPCA annual appeal runs from Sunday 3 to Sunday 10 November and culminates in a street appeal from Friday 8 to Sunday 10 November.

“This appeal is one of the biggest fundraising events for every SPCA centre in the country,” says Christine Kalin, CEO of SPCA Auckland.

“Many people don’t realise the SPCA is a charity and assume we receive government funding. Despite rescuing more than 60,000 animals across New Zealand every year, the SPCA does not receive automatic government funding and is highly dependent on donations. So we’re asking the community to dig deep and help us prevent cruelty, seek justice for animals, and provide vital rescue, rehabilitation, and re-homing services.

“Across the country, the SPCA needs to raise $20 million every year to keep our frontline services open. So this week, we're asking all New Zealanders to please give generously to the SPCA. Without the SPCA, thousands of animals like Monty and Porter would be left helpless with nowhere to go.”

Every donation no matter how small makes a difference. Here is an indication of what your donations will fund:
• $30 will provide safe refuge and a night’s shelter at the SPCA for a lost or abandoned animal.
• $50 will pay for a vet check, basic medical care, and a treatment plan at the SPCA for an animal.
• $105 will pay for a rescue call-out from an SPCA inspector for an animal in need.

“We would like to thank the public in advance for their support and also extend our thanks to Mark Vette and the team from Animals on Q. They’ve done such a great job of training the driving dogs and giving them a fantastic forever home. A big thanks to Mark and the team who have donated so much of their time to help the SPCA.”

Please give generously during the SPCA’s annual appeal – the animals need your help. Donate online at www.spca.org.nz/digdeep


Neglected dog chews off its own foot

South Auckland farmer Allan Smurthwaite, 66, locked his dogs in filthy kennels for so long that one of them chewed off its own injured foot.

He was convicted today in the Pukekohe District Court of ill-treating an animal resulting in permanent disability, ill-treating an animal by causing it to suffer unnecessary pain, failing to protect animals from significant injury or disease, and failing to provide an animal with proper and sufficient food.

He was sentenced to 150 hours community service, disqualified from owning animals for 10 years, and ordered to pay reparations of $7202.81.

“This is not the first time Mr Smurthwaite has ended up in court for abusing animals in his care – SPCA Auckland also prosecuted him in 2007 for keeping dogs in hazardously unhygienic kennels,” says Bob Kerridge, SPCA Auckland Executive Director.

“At that time he was convicted on five charges of ill-treating animals. He was sentenced to community service and had to pay court fees of $1200 plus reparation costs to SPCA Auckland – and yet here he is in court again for the same sort of offending.

“There are provisions in the Animal Welfare Act for tougher sentences to be imposed as a deterrent to repeat offending and this an obvious case where those provisions have not been employed. Although a disqualification of 10 years is a step in the right direction, we believe the judge should have gone further and imposed a stiffer sentence.”

Acting on a complaint, SPCA Inspectors attended the Defendant’s property at Waiau Pa, west of Drury, on 19 December 2012 and discovered seven Australian cattle dogs and two border collie type dogs, all confined in kennels littered with a massive build-up of faeces.

Food bowls were infested with flies and drinking water was green with algae. A strong stench of ammonia enveloped the kennels due to the faeces build-up and lack of ventilation.

A female cattle dog named ‘Putt Putt’ had one left hind foot completely missing, with raw flesh and bone protruding from the stump.

Five of the dogs – named ‘Spider’, ‘Flip’, ‘Flop’, ‘Zeus’ and ‘Putt Putt’ – were seized by the SPCA Inspector and transported to SPCA Auckland for immediate veterinary treatment.

The Veterinarian found that several centimetres of ‘Putt Putt’s left hind foot were missing below the hock, exposing the remains of the long bones of the foot. The dog was experiencing significant pain and suffering and the Veterinarian recommended amputation, which was carried out.

According to a Veterinary Pathologist who examined the amputated limb, the foot had been missing for several days. In the SPCA Veterinarian’s opinion ‘Putt Putt’ had most likely suffered a traumatic lower limb injury and then chewed off her own foot.

“The dog ‘Putt Putt’ would have experienced severe pain, suffering, and distress and any layperson would have known that she was in need of urgent veterinary treatment,” says Mr Kerridge.

“The kennels clearly fell well below the minimum standards set out in the Animal Welfare Code of Welfare for dogs. All the dogs were put at risk of damage to their respiration and gastrointestinal systems due to the faecal, algal, and bacterial hazards in the kennels where they were confined for long periods of time.
 
“This is a case of neglect, pure and simple. As a result ‘Putt Putt’ has now lost one of her hind legs, which permanently limits her mobility. The original injury should have treated immediately but there is a wider pattern of neglect here. It is obviously completely wrong to confine dogs in such appalling conditions and ignore their obvious distress, let alone dogs with serious injuries.”
 

Dog’s throat cut by $2 collar

A dog called ‘Gurly’ suffered for months as the cheap, too-tight collar that tethered her to her kennel bit into her neck causing a deep, 15cm-long wound.

As a result of ‘Gurly’s plight, Otara woman Maria Matthews, 30, unemployed, was convicted today in the Manukau District Court of recklessly ill-treating an animal with the result that it is seriously injured or impaired. She was sentenced to four months community detention, disqualified from owning animals for 10 years, and ordered to pay reparations of $500.

On 1 May 2013 an SPCA Auckland Inspector attended the Defendant’s property and examined her tan and white, female, Staffordshire cross breed dog called “Gurly”.

The dog had a very deep and infected wound across its throat. The Defendant claimed she only found the wound when she removed the dog’s collar.
 
The dog was seized and transported to SPCA Auckland for emergency veterinary treatment. A Veterinarian performed surgery to close the 3cm deep and 15cm long wound across the dog’s throat.

The Veterinarian concluded that the dog had been wearing a collar that was far too small for its neck. As the puppy grew in size with age, the collar cut through the skin and muscular tissue around the neck, causing severe pain and suffering over a long period.

When interviewed the Defendant said she was given ‘Gurly’ as a pup in early February 2013. To control the dog, she had bought a $2 puppy collar and tethered the dog to a kennel. The Defendant claims that as she was a first-time dog owner, she wasn’t aware that you had to change their collars as they grew.

The defendant surrendered ownership of the dog to SPCA Auckland on 8 May 2013.

“This is a classic case of ignorance and neglect that underscores why we discourage people from giving animals as pets, “ says Christine Kalin, CEO SPCA Auckland. “While most people are capable of learning to look after an animal and take responsibility for their health and wellbeing, some people are not – as was sadly the case here.

“This dog’s protracted pain and suffering could easily have been prevented by replacing the collar with a larger one. Clearly this is not rocket science.

“The good news is this dog has now made an excellent recovery and has been successfully rehomed with a loving owner who knows how to care for animals.”
 

Free roosters until New Year’s Day

SPCA Auckland is overloaded with roosters – so all rooster adoptions are FREE during the month of December.
 
Complete with flashy plumage, punky combs, and names like Lefty Frizzle, George Louie, Memphis, Thomson, and Rick – who can resist these strutting, crowing masters of the farmyard?
 
Due to noise restrictions, roosters cannot be kept in urban areas. However, they make ideal additions to rural properties, especially ones with established hen flocks.
 
“If you’ve got hens, you need a rooster,” says SPCA Auckland CEO Christine Kalin.
 
“Roosters protect hens from predators and you’ll find your hens will actually lay more eggs with a bloke around.
 
“Chickens are highly social animals with a strong ‘pecking order’, so they’re generally happier with a rooster at the head of the flock to keep everyone in line.
 
“A rooster will actually hunt out good eating areas for his flock and call the hens to it. And so long as you collect your eggs daily, they won’t produce more poultry.
 
“And even if you haven’t got hens, roosters make awesome pets. Roosters will clear up leftovers and help keep your grass short – and if you form a trusting relationship with a rooster it will follow you about and alert you to intruders much like a dog.”
 
Click here to check out the line-up of roosters currently available for adoption
 

Cat-overwhelmed SPCA Auckland at breaking point

SPCA Auckland is overwhelmed with cats and kittens so the organisation is cutting the cost of adopting a cat by 50% for three weeks from 20 December 2013 to 12 January 2014.

“We’re at crisis point with 543 cats and kittens in our care – and more arriving every day. Just yesterday we had more than 100 extra animals come into our care – in one day!” says Christine Kalin, CEO SPCA Auckland.

“Cats are arriving faster than we can find new homes for them. We simply cannot accommodate any more. It’s our job to rescue animals but right now we have nowhere to put them. So we’re appealing to the public for their urgent help and cutting the price of cat and kitten adoption in half.

“If you’ve been considering getting a pet, please take advantage of this great deal, help the lost, abandoned, and abused animals of Auckland by adopting a cat or kitten from the SPCA, and give them the gift of a secure home for life this Christmas.”

The cost of adopting a kitten up to six months old has dropped from $160 to $80 and the cost of an adult cat up to seven years old has dropped from $105 to $52.50.

“It’s a really sweet deal for prospective pet owners because when you adopt a cat or kitten from us you get a ‘ready-made pet’ that has been vet checked, de-sexed, micro-chipped, wormed, treated for fleas, and has had its initial vaccinations,” says Ms Kalin.

“It’s the most cost-effective way of getting a pet. And the money you pay us goes directly to saving other animals.

“We don’t encourage people to give pets as Christmas presents because this can lead to the dumping of unwanted animals immediately after the yuletide cheer and the novelty has worn off.

“Having said that, if you and your family are prepared to care for and nurture your new companion animal, the school holidays are an excellent time to adopt an animal for your children because it gives them and the animal a chance to settle in before the new term starts.”

If you’re not able to adopt an animal but would still like to help out, then SPCA Auckland is also desperate for people to foster cats or kittens especially over the Christmas holidays when many of their regular foster carers go on holiday.

Cats and kittens available for adoption can be viewed at the SPCA Auckland Animal Village, 50 Westney Rd, Mangere, between 10.00am and 4.00pm every day, or visit spca.org.nz.

(Note: the SPCA Auckland Animal Village is CLOSED Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.)


‘Mobile farmyard’ owner prosecuted for Shetland pony neglect

A Whenuapai man who runs a ‘mobile farmyard’ children’s entertainment business pleaded guilty today to ill-treating a Shetland pony in his care.

Paul Patterson, 42, was convicted in the Waitakere District Court, ordered to pay reparations of $1054, and disqualified from owning equine animals for 4 years. The pony was forfeited to SPCA Auckland.

The Judge gave Patterson a strong dressing down, pointing out that since animals were essential to his business he should have been more aware of his obligations regarding the care of those animals.

The Shetland pony, whose name is ‘Garson’, originally came to the attention of SPCA Auckland when Inspectors discovered the animal while acting on a complaint in July 2012. The brown, gelded pony was found to be overweight with extremely overgrown hooves.

A Veterinarian examined the pony and gave it a body score of 5 out of 5, which is classed as ‘obese’. Its hooves were twice the recommended length, which was causing the pony constant pain and lameness. The pony showed difficulty walking even a short distance. The Veterinarian estimated the pony’s hooves had not been trimmed for at least six months.

A superficial examination of the teeth showed overgrown points causing oral pain, indicating the pony had also not had recent dental attention.

The pony was given pain relief and taken into the care of SPCA Auckland.

“Neglect of this magnitude is a very serious matter and we’re pleased the court has imposed a decent length of disqualification for this offender,” says Christine Kalin, SPCA Auckland CEO.

“Overgrown hooves on any horse can have severe consequences for the animal – it’s not like forgetting to cut your toenails. Overgrown hooves can cause tearing and inflammation of the internal parts of the hoof, which can cause laminitis and severe pain.

“The lesson here is simple: you can’t simply leave an animal in a paddock and hope for the best. Being responsible for an animal means taking care of its needs for the whole of its life – it’s not something you can opt out of when you feel like it.

“Thankfully the pony has made a good recovery under SPCA Auckland’s care. He is now back to normal weight due to careful diet and dental management. The condition of his feet has improved dramatically so he can now move about freely and enjoy life again. We will assess his suitability for adoption shortly.”
 

Kitten loses eye, owner fails to seek treatment

Botany Downs woman Genevieve Forde claims she couldn’t afford treatment for her kitten’s severely infected and ruptured eye, leaving the kitten half-blind as a result.
Ms Forde was convicted today in the Manukau District Court for ill-treating an animal. She given 60 hours community service and ordered to pay reparations of $2250. The cat was forfeited to the SPCA.

The story began on Friday 8 March 2013 when an SPCA Auckland Inspector was called to the Great South Vets veterinary clinic to attend to a four-month-old, black-and-white, female kitten that had a severely diseased right eye.

The Defendant had brought the kitten to the clinic to be desexed but staff refused to perform the operation unless the eye was also treated. The Defendant was given the option of surrendering the kitten to the SPCA if she could not afford the treatment, but instead simply left the kitten at the clinic.

The kitten’s right eye had a large, dry mass protruding from it and was oozing thick, yellow fluid. The kitten was hunched and pulled away from any attempts to touch her head, indicating pain and distress. Following unsuccessful attempts to contact the Defendant, the kitten was seized and transported to SPCA Auckland for veterinary treatment.

The SPCA Veterinarian found the kitten had an infected and ruptured right eyeball that was at such an advanced stage of injury that removal of the eye was the only treatment option. Surgery was performed the same day to relieve the kitten’s suffering.

The SPCA Veterinarian said the eye rupture was likely a result of infection that had been left untreated for up to two months. During that time the injury would have been very obvious and any layperson would have recognised the need for veterinary treatment. It would have been painful and distressing for the kitten and could have been alleviated with treatment.

The veterinary clinic’s records show that the kitten’s ruptured eyeball had been diagnosed on 5 February 2013 and that surgical removal had been recommended. The Defendant had simply done nothing until 8 March when she brought the kitten in for desexing.

“The Defendant says she could not afford to have the kitten treated and was unwilling to surrender it to SPCA Auckland. So instead she did nothing hoping it would all just ‘go away’. This is utterly unacceptable on every level,” says Christine Kalin, SPCA Auckland CEO.

“Because of the Defendant’s failure to secure treatment for the kitten, it has endured unnecessary pain, distress, major surgery, and the loss of its right eye resulting in permanent disability.

“When you take on the care of an animal you are totally responsible for its wellbeing. If animals in your care need help and you fail to seek treatment for them, then you are guilty of neglect and cruelty and we will prosecute you.”
 

Man who starved dog barred from owning animals for 5 years

A Papakura man who almost starved his dog to death was sentenced yesterday in the Papakura District Court.

Jared Kelly, 23, entered an early guilty plea to ill-treating an animal. He was fined $350 plus $130 court costs, ordered to pay reparations of $386, and disqualified from owning animals for five years.

On 19 June 2013 an SPCA Auckland Inspector visited a Papakura property in response to a tip-off from a member of the public and found an adult male boxer/Staffordshire terrier crossbreed dog chained on bare earth with no shelter. The dog was so thin that his ribcage, backbone, and hipbones were clearly visible, and so weak that he struggled to bark.

The dog was uplifted and transported to Auckland SPCA for veterinary examination and treatment. The SPCA veterinarian found the dog also had a severe flea infestation, a severe worm burden, very overgrown claws, and open raw pressure sores on its front legs and rump. The veterinarian concluded that the dog would have died of starvation if left in the hands of its owner.

When questioned on 25 June 2013, Kelly admitted that the dog’s shelter was inadequate and that he had lost interest in the dog. He had thought about having the dog put down but hadn’t done anything about it. He knew the dog wasn’t well, as he noticed it had stopped barking, had lost muscle, and its movements had become shaky. But he had not sought any expert advice or veterinary treatment for the dog. He surrendered the dog to SPCA Auckland.

The dog weighed 15.5kg upon arrival but after just over one month in the care of SPCA Auckland he weighed 22.3kg, an increase of 6.8kg.

“This is a very sad case where an animal who depended solely on his owner for attention and affection was chained up, with no food or shelter, simply because that owner had ‘lost interest’ and ignored his responsibilities,” says Bob Kerridge, Executive Director, SPCA Auckland.

“Losing interest does not give any human the right to neglect an animal in a backyard to starve to death, and the Court’s five-year disqualification from owning any animals will hopefully ensure such will not occur again at the hands of this person.

“Unfortunately, the dog has since had to be humanely euthanised due to serious behaviour problems that meant we could not responsibly re-home him. This is a great pity and almost certainly the result of the neglect that he suffered at the hands of his former owner.”
 

Warring couple abandoned 32 animals to starve

A couple in the midst of a marital separation deserted 32 animals on a lifestyle block where 12 of the animals starved to death.

Mohammed Aqueel Laxman, 36, was found guilty today in the Waitakere District Court of wilful ill treatment of animals. He was sentenced to six months community detention, disqualified from owning animals for 10 years, and ordered to pay reparations of $2678.18. All animals owned by him or in his possession are to be forfeited to the SPCA.

Zeenat Yunus Musa, 30, was also found guilty of wilful ill treatment of animals. She was sentenced to three months community detention, disqualified from owning animals for 10 years, and ordered to pay reparations of $2000. All animals owned by her or in her possession are to be forfeited to the SPCA.

On 8 August 2012, SPCA Inspectors acting on a complaint visited a 6-hectare lifestyle block in Helensville and discovered 10 chickens locked in a steel barn with no food or water. Five of the chickens were dead. Inspectors also found seven calves confined in a small pen. Two of the calves were dead. The remaining five calves had no food and inadequate shelter.

A Veterinarian examined two of the chickens and found the animals were severely emaciated and would have suffered distress and pain. One chicken weighed only 1.17kg – its normal body weight should have been 2kg to 3kg. The Veterinarian also found the five living calves were suffering from starvation, ill thrift, diarrhoea, coughing, and serious worm burdens.

A further visit to the property revealed 15 goats, four of which were dead. The Veterinarian found the live goats were in extremely poor condition, had severe worm burdens, and were suffering ongoing distress from diarrhoea, dehydration, and emaciation. Some of the goats were later seized and taken into SPCA care.

When interviewed, the defendants admitted neglecting and effectively deserting the animals on their property due to personal problems. They surrendered all the animals seized into the care of SPCA Auckland.

Mohammed Aqueel Laxman pleaded guilty on 5 September to deserting 10 chickens, 7 calves, and 15 goats, leaving them with no provisions for their physical, health, and behavioural needs. He also pleaded guilty to wilful ill treatment of six chickens leading to their death, ill-treatment of five calves causing them to suffer unnecessary pain or distress, and failing to ensure 11 goats received treatment to alleviate unnecessary pain or distress.

His partner, Zeenat Yunus Musa, pleaded guilty on 25 November to two charges – one of wilful ill treatment of the chickens and one of failing to comply with the requirements of an SPCA Inspector.

“Even in the sad event of a breakdown in a family relationship there is absolutely no excuse for leaving animals to die a slow and agonising death,” says Bob Kerridge, SPCA Auckland Executive Director.

“If you accept guardianship of an animal you cannot neglect your responsibility for that animal for any reason, whether personal or not. Animals are sentient beings who feel pain and emotional distress just like humans, and therefore deserve protection and respect. If you neglect or abandon the animals in your care, you can expect to be prosecuted.”

 



SPCA Auckland closed Saturday 15 March due to Tropical Cyclone Lusi


For safety reasons and due to the advice of Civil Defence, SPCA Auckland will be shut for ALL SERVICES tomorrow SATURDAY 15th March.

Civil Defence have advised people against unnecessary travel during tropical cyclone Lusi, and for the safety of our volunteers and visitors the Animal Village and ALL Op Shops will be CLOSED tomorrow.

Depending on the severity of the storm SPCA Auckland and our Op Shops may also close on Sunday, we will advise via Facebook and on our website www.spca.org.nz.

We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause. If your animal needs emergency treatment we advise you to contact your nearest vet.

We also encourage you to keep your pets indoors, and look after them when the cyclone hits. Take care out there!


SPCA shines election year spotlight on animals

In an effort to put animal welfare firmly on the political agenda and in the minds of the voting public in time for Election Day, SPCA Auckland Executive Director Bob Kerridge has asked leading politicians from all parties to reveal their positions on animal welfare by mid April.

“I have written to politicians across the board asking them to provide details of their animal welfare policies and to identify their animal welfare spokesperson,” says Mr Kerridge.

“I have also asked them to disclose their positions on each item contained in the Animal Agenda Aotearoa, a list of the 10 agenda items considered critical to improving the humane treatment of animals in New Zealand, with a view to providing an informed and comparative poll for public consumption well prior to Election Day on 20 September.

“Animals play a hugely significant role in our lives economically and emotionally – with over 60% of our vital primary industry exports earned from the 37 million dairy cattle and sheep on our farms , to the 5 million companion animals who reside in 68 % of our homes . The voting public is entitled to know which political parties acknowledge the importance of animals and have policies in place that will improve their wellbeing.

“And considering that 43% of New Zealanders believe not enough importance is currently placed on animal welfare and the prevention of cruelty , it is vitally important Kiwis can cast their votes for the parties and candidates that reflect their concerns.

“Now is the opportunity for New Zealanders to acknowledge the very real value of animals, to influence those responsible for their welfare, and to illustrate to the world that we are indeed a caring nation.”

Animal Agenda Aotearoa

1. Animal Testing – prohibiting the testing of party pills on animals and working towards an outright ban on testing on animals.
2. Sentencing – developing sentencing guidelines for animal cruelty offences and treating cruelty to animals as an aggravating factor under the Sentencing Act 2002.
3. The Link – recognising the link between animal cruelty, child abuse, and domestic violence, and including animals as “protected persons” under the Domestic Violence Act 1995.
4. Shelter & Transport – providing adequate shelter for all species of farmed animals and developing develop higher standards of stock transportation to ensure animal trauma is minimised.
5. Commissioner For Animals – appointing an independent Commissioner for Animals, modelled on those appointed to represent other vulnerable members of the community, such as children.
6. Surgical Mutilation – prohibiting surgical procedures such as docking of dogs’ tails, the shortening of cows’ tails, de-barking, ear cropping, de-clawing, etc.
7. Intensive Farming – abolishing all forms of intensive and battery farming practices, including sow stalls, farrowing crates, and battery cages, on or before January 1, 2017.
8. Painful Devices – prohibiting the sale, possession, or use of devices that inflict pain and suffering on animals, including electric shock collars, gin traps, electric prodders, fireworks, etc.
9. Animals In Entertainment – establishing stringent regulations for the use of animals in entertainment, including racing, marine parks, movies and television, rodeos, circuses, etc.
10. Sentience – incorporating in the Animal Welfare Act and the New Zealand Bill of Rights that animals are sentient beings capable of feeling, to ensure their right to a higher quality of life.

More information can be found at this link or in the latest edition of Animals' Voice.

List of parties and politicians approached:

National Party
Rt Hon John Key, Prime Minister
Hon Nathan Guy, Minister for Primary Industries

Labour Party
Hon David Cunliffe, Leader of the Opposition
Hon Damien O’Connor, Spokesperson, Primary Industries
Hon Trevor Mallard, Member, Government Administration Committee

Maori Party
Hon Tariana Turia, Co-Leader
Te Ururoa Flavell, Co-Leader

New Zealand First
Rt Hon Winston Peters, Leader
Richard Prosser, Spokesperson, Agriculture
Andrew Williams

Green Party
Metiria Turei, Co-Leader
Dr Russell Norman, Co-Leader
Mojo Mathers, Spokesperson, Animal Welfare

United Future
Hon Peter Dunne

Act Party
Jamie Whyte, Leader
Hon John Banks
Don Nicholson, Spokesperson, Primary Industries

Mana Party
Hone Harawira, Leader

Conservative Party
Colin Craig, Leader

 

10 reasons why a cat is better than a boyfriend

Single? Looking for the perfect partner? SPCA Auckland says adopting a cat is a simpler, easier, and more lasting solution than finding a boyfriend.

Here’s 10 reasons why:

1. Cats love you unconditionally. When you come home tired at the end of a hard day, your cat will trill with pleasure, wind itself around your legs, and purr like a lawnmower at your touch (even after you’ve fed it).

2. Cats are great in bed. As sleeping companions, that is. If you want to stretch out and your cat is in the way, it will simply move to accommodate you. They don’t snore. They don’t steal the covers. And purring is one of the most comforting, sleep-inducing sounds in the world.

3. Cats don’t care what you wear. If you want to slob around the house in baggy trackpants and an extra-large T-shirt that reads “Keep calm and eat chocolate”, that’s just fine with your feline friend.

4. Cats like a good night in. If you really can’t be bothered going out your cat won’t try to drag you to the pub. In fact, it will welcome the opportunity to join you on the couch for a cuddle and a scratch behind the ears.

5. Cats accept you as you are. So you haven’t been to the gym in months, you desperately need a waxing, and you’ve broken every one of your New Year’s resolutions. Who cares? Your cat certainly won’t.

6. Cats are great listeners. You can pour out your troubles to your cat and it won’t roll its eyes or suggest a range of unpalatable solutions. Chatting with your cat in a soothing tone actually helps it feel comforted and relaxed so it’s a win-win for all concerned.
 
7. Cats let you choose the TV channel. They don’t really care what you watch on telly, certainly won’t demand to watch sport, and will most likely just curl up in your lap for a kip.

8. Cats don’t care what you eat. Feel like eating your bodyweight in ice cream? Go ahead – your cat won’t give you a hard time about it.

9. Cats can purr. And boyfriends can’t. In return for a few strokes and a tickle under the chin, your cat will produce one of the most soothing and calming sounds in the universe. Even Mr Right can’t do that.

10. Cats are soft, clean, and smell nice. Boyfriends can be all of these things but not all the time. Cats are. If your boyfriend spent as much time grooming themselves as the average cat things might be different. But until then, a cat is a cleaner, fluffier, sweeter-smelling option.

“Cats are amazing creatures that give back to their human companions much more than they demand,” says Christine Kalin, CEO of SPCA Auckland. “Cats are the world’s most common domestic pet and it’s easy to see why. They’re cuddly, affectionate, and independent of spirit – so you get all the advantages of living with a loving yet low-maintenance companion animal.

“And there’s more good news: when you adopt a cat or kitten from SPCA Auckland, you get a ‘ready-made pet’ that has been vet checked, de-sexed, micro-chipped, wormed, treated for fleas, and has had its initial vaccinations. It’s the most cost-effective way of getting a pet. Plus the money you pay us goes directly to saving other animals.

“With a big range of cats available for adoption at the SPCA Auckland Animal Village right now, this is the perfect time to give a fabulous feline a forever home.”

Cats and kittens available for adoption can be viewed at the SPCA Auckland Animal Village, 50 Westney Rd, Mangere, between 10.00am and 4.00pm every day, or visit www.spca.org.nz.


SPCA Auckland to stop accepting healthy cats

An over-abundance of cats and kittens has forced SPCA Auckland to stop accepting healthy cats and kittens from the public for the next four to six weeks.

The charity will continue to rescue sick, injured, or endangered cats and kittens, but are asking people who want to surrender a healthy cat or kitten to either keep it a while longer or re-home it themselves.

“Our feline areas are full – there is no space for more cats. So we have no choice but to limit the number of incoming cats as a temporary measure,” says SPCA Auckland CEO Christine Kalin. “We have 216 cats and kittens at the SPCA Auckland Animal Village in Mangere right now, 80 of which are ready for adoption. We have another 250 cats and kittens at SPCA Auckland foster homes that are unable to be put up for adoption because we have nowhere to put them.”

In recent weeks, about 120 cats and kittens per week have been coming through SPCA Auckland’s doors. The cat glut is most likely due to an exceptionally long kitten season brought on by last year’s early spring and this year’s warm autumn, according to Ms Kalin.

“We are still receiving young kittens in May and we would normally see a slowdown by April. This has put a lot of pressure on our resources, including our foster team and our foster carers.”

SPCA Auckland advises people who want to give up a healthy cat or kitten to try finding a new home for it themselves, either by appealing to friends, family, work colleagues, and neighbours, or by advertising. Another option would be to simply hold on for four to six weeks and re-contact SPCA Auckland to see if more space has become available.

At the other end of the spectrum, people who are considering adopting a cat are urged to do so now – and to consider adopting a mature cat rather than a kitten.

“The upside to all this is there has never been a better time to adopt a cat from SPCA Auckland,” says Ms Kalin.

“The range of cats available is huge and you will be rescuing an animal that really needs a home.”

Kittens tend to be easier to re-home than mature cats but the organisation is keen to point out the advantages of adopting an adult cat rather than a kitten.

“Adult cats are generally calmer and lower-maintenance than kittens,” says Ms Kalin. “They’ve already been through most of their life-lessons and can take care of themselves to a large degree.

“And when you adopt a cat or kitten from SPCA Auckland, you get a 'ready-made pet' that has been vet checked, de-sexed, micro-chipped, wormed, treated for fleas, and has had its initial vaccinations. It’s a cost-effective way to get a pet and the money you pay us goes directly to saving other animals.

“We will monitor the situation in the coming weeks and advise of the public if more space becomes available at SPCA Auckland.”

You can view cats available for adoption at SPCA Auckland, 50 Westney Rd, Mangere, between 10am and 4pm every day, or click here.



Home tail docking leads to death of 10 puppies

Ten Rottweiler puppies are dead because Waitakere man Mohammed Fiaz Khan tried to dock their tails armed only with fishing line and a complete lack of understanding.

Khan, 33, mechanic, was convicted yesterday in the Waitakere District Court of wilful ill-treatment of animals causing pain or distress so great that it was necessary to euthanise them to end their suffering. He was sentenced to five months community detention plus 18 months intensive supervision and was disqualified from owning dogs for 10 years.

On 8 May 2013 an SPCA Auckland Inspector was called by Auckland Council Animal Management Officers to examine 10, three-week-old Rottweiler pups and their lactating mother.

Around the base of each puppy’s tail a loop of fishing line had been tightly tied, partially severing each tail. The wounds were severely infected causing significant pain and distress to the puppies, which yelped in pain when examined.

The Inspector seized all 10 puppies and their mother and transported them to SPCA Auckland for immediate veterinarian attention. The veterinarian observed that on all 10 puppies, the fishing line was tied too close to the base of each tail but not tightly enough to completely cut off blood circulation. This caused severe pain and distress from the time their tails were tied.

Because the tails were partially severed so close to the anus, surgical correction was not possible as there would not have been enough skin left to cover the wound, leading to permanent faecal incontinence. Also the infections were so advanced that there was serious doubt that they could be controlled. After consultation with two other veterinarians it was decided that it would be inhumane to attempt to salvage the puppies and they should be humanely euthanised to alleviate ongoing pain and suffering.

When interviewed the following day, Khan denied all knowledge of the tail docking and tried to put the blame on a friend, Mr Annand Kishore. However, Immigration New Zealand confirmed that Mr Kishore had been deported to Fiji on 15 February 2013, well before the puppies had been born. SPCA Auckland discovered a Trade Me advertisement placed on 6 May 2013 offering Rottweiler puppies for sale with “tails cut”. The Trade Me account holder was Mr Feroz Khan, the Defendant’s brother, who confirmed he had placed the ad on the Defendant’s behalf.

“If ever a case was designed to underscore why we need to completely ban tail docking in New Zealand, this is it,” says Bob Kerridge, SPCA Auckland Executive Director.

“Tail docking is mutilation. There is no reason for it beyond some arbitrary and outmoded traditions. At best it’s unnecessary and purely cosmetic – at worst it’s painful and dangerous.

“People are currently docking dogs at home with little or no knowledge about what they’re doing. Very often they botch the job, inflicting pain, suffering, and long-term discomfort on the dogs. In some cases the resulting wounds become infected and lead to death, as in this case and plenty of others.

“This case exemplifies why SPCA Auckland has lobbied for so many years to have this barbaric practice banned in New Zealand, as indeed it has been in 33 other countries, including the UK and Australia.”