A man has been jailed for a year and banned from owning animals for a decade after beating and drowning a dog in an attempt to euthanise it, the SPCA said.
According to a summary of facts before Hawera District Court, George Tai Williams, 46, from Manaia, South Taranaki, tried to kill his partner's 7-month-old puppy Bear with a steel mallet and put its body into a nearby river. When it still showed signs of life, the dog was hit again and left to die.
However, the dog survived and on July 12 last year an SPCA inspector was called to a local vet clinic where he had been taken by his owner after she discovered him collapsed at her front door.
In considerable pain and distress her puppy had dragged himself 8 metres to his home where he lay semi-conscious for more than 12 hours covered in blood and mud.
The SPCA inspector noted the puppy had suffered numerous blows to the head with a blunt object and was profoundly hypothermic from being submerged in the river. X-rays showed Bear had so many fractures to the skull they could not count them accurately.
According to the vet that treated Bear, it was remarkable the dog survived being exposed to the elements and even more surprising that he managed to crawl home.
Crown prosecutor Bridie Sweetman said the offending needed to be denounced and sought a sentence of imprisonment.
Williams had pleaded guilty at an earlier appearance but she questioned his attitude and remorse. He had tried to minimise what he had done by saying, 'it's just a dog', Ms Sweetman said.
Judge Allan Roberts described the attempt as "barbaric" and said Bear would have suffered significant pain and distress.
Judge Roberts said home detention was not considered due to the seriousness of the offending and Williams' previous convictions for violence and breaching a protection order.
The SPCA said it was pleased to see sentencing that reflects the seriousness of the offending and that Bear is recovering slowly.
Williams was also ordered to pay $500 prosecution costs.