More an­i­mal wel­fare com­plaints in Bay

Bay News - - AROUND TOWN -

There has been a spike in an­i­mal wel­fare com­plaints in Tau­ranga — jump­ing by more than 100 in three years.

Fig­ures show the Tau­ranga SPCA fielded 351 com­plaints in 2015 com­pared to 466 in 2017, with the ma­jor­ity of calls re­lat­ing to dogs.

Cen­tre man­ager Mar­garet Rawiri said one of the worse cases it had dealtwith this year re­sulted in the pros­e­cu­tion of Waihi man who beat his rottweiler puppy, Sky. The dog was also left with­out vet­eri­nary care for months, de­spite hav­ing a frac­tured leg.

Matthew Mad­sen pleaded guilty at the Waihi Court on July 24 to two charges un­der the An­i­malWel­fare Act and was sen­tenced to 200 hours’ com­mu­nity work and nine months’ su­per­vi­sion­with a di­rec­tion that he at­tends anger man­age­ment.

He was or­dered to pay repa­ra­tions of $1654.70 and dis­qual­i­fied from own­ing an­i­mals for five years.

Sky was seized by in­spec­tors at the be­gin­ning of 2018, and re­cov­ered in SPCA care, she said.

It could not dis­cuss other cases the SPCAwere deal­ing with as they were be­fore the courts.

But 67 per cent of most com­plaints re­lated to the fail­ure to pro­vide for the phys­i­cal, health and be­havioural needs of an­i­mals.

”This could in­clude an an­i­mal that is un­der­weight, has in­ad­e­quate food or wa­ter, poor liv­ing con­di­tions, no shel­ter or no ex­er­cise.”

Nowa­days peo­plewere be­com­ing more ed­u­cated “about what is and isn’t ac­cept­able in an­i­mal care”.

”Peo­ple are re­port­ing more, and we think that’s a good thing.”

Dr Liza Sch­nei­der from ARRC Wildlife Trust said in her view there was a link be­tween do­mes­tic vi­o­lence and an­i­mal abuse.

“I be­lieve that the rea­sons for both are sim­i­lar— frus­trated and an­gry peo­ple need­ing to take their anger out on vic­tims which are of­ten an­i­mals as they are easy tar­gets as well as a gen­eral lack of rev­er­ence for val­ues of kind­ness and re­spect of life in our so­ci­ety.

”There are also ig­no­rant peo­ple who ac­cept that this

Emma and her daugh­ter Jay-Lee Welch who have adopted Betty who they fos­tered and was an an­i­mal abuse vic­tim.

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