The former owner of an 11-month-old puppy left to starve under a house for five weeks has failed to turn up to court for the fourth time and there is now a warrant out for her arrest.
Paulette Taki, 40, of Glen Innes had admitted failing to provide her ridgeback-cross dog with adequate food and water and failing to protect it from disease in July.
She failed to appear for sentencing this afternoon in the Auckland District Court and SPCA lawyer Jo Wickliffe said Ms Taki also failed to show for her pre-sentencing report.
Ms Taki was formally stripped of her ownership of the dog after one of the country's worst cases of animal cruelty was revealed.
SPCA inspectors found the dog last December, locked under her owner's house for at least five weeks without food or water.
Inspector Todd Neal was in court today and said it was disappointing that Ms Taki did not show.
"It's disappointing that obviously this couldn't be finished with," Mr Neal said.
He said Ms Taki needs to take responsibility for her actions.
Because the dog was found so close to Christmas, SPCA staff named her Eve.
Mr Neal said Eve was now in "doggy heaven" with an acre of land to run around.
"She's slightly overweight now and needs to lose a kilo or two," Mr Neal said.
SPCA CEO Bob Kerridge said the society will be seeking costs from Ms Taki which, given vet bills and the dog's stay in SPCA facilities, will likely run over $1000.
Mr Kerridge said the society will also be seeking a court order which stops Ms Taki from owning pets for three years.
He described Ms Taki's non-appearance as "frustrating" but said some good had come from the case.
"It's not the point of taking people to court and having justice served upon them that really excites us, the exciting thing is that we're able to rescue an animal and find it a lovely home and that it will live out the rest of its life happily," Mr Kerridge said.
He said the society was not paid for its law enforcement and relied on donations from the public to bring people like Ms Taki to justice.By Edward Gay @edwardgay Email Edward