Brutal dog abuse prompts law change call

By Jimmy Ellingham

A man has been charged with a brutal attack on a pomeranian dog. Photo / Thinkstock
A man has been charged with a brutal attack on a pomeranian dog. Photo / Thinkstock

An animal rights group is disgusted to hear of the fatal pummelling of a pomeranian dog and a deadly attack on a pitbull in two separate cases before the court.

Edmond Te Raupo Apanui, 18, was to be sentenced in Waitakere District Court yesterday on a charge of wilfully ill-treating his pet pitbull, causing to it die.

The matter was adjourned because Apanui has been diagnosed with a mental illness and the court ordered a report to assess that.

Meanwhile, student Boqing Tao, 25, appeared in the Auckland District Court yesterday charged with the wilful illtreatment of a pomeranian by punching it and causing it to die.

"Words just fail me," Paw Justice co-founder Craig Dunn said when told of that allegation.

He urged judges to use recently beefed up laws to impose prison sentences on people convicted of killing animals, saying such crimes often lead to more violent offences.

"We want to make sure things go in front of the courts and we want to make sure judges set a standard," Mr Dunn said.

In court, Tao entered no plea but told APNZ outside court he planned to plead not guilty on the basis of self-defence over the January 28 incident.

Tao said the pomeranian called Mia, which belonged to a friend of a flatmate, had bitten him on the hand and defecated on his bed.

"I did punch the dog three times but the dog bit me three times," he said.

"I want to say sorry to the dog owner. I did a punch on the dog and I'm very sorry."

Tao said he liked dogs but Mia was not trained and would often go to the toilet on the flat's carpet.

In Apanui's case, he had previously admitted his offending and yesterday APNZ was granted access to a police summary of facts which outlined how he killed his pet pitbull.

The summary says he was walking his dog through Corban Park in Henderson on the evening of November 23.

He picked the dog up by its collar, causing it to "cock her head to one side and scream".

Apanui picked up his dog by it hind legs and threw it to the ground, holding it there as he kicked and punched it.

He then picked the dog up again, raised it above his head and threw it to the ground. Apanui was heard yelling at his dog to get up, but when he realised the dog was dead he walked off.

"In explanation the defendant stated he kicked the dog to discipline it because she was rowdy and nipped him," the summary says.

Apanui will be sentenced in June.

- APNZ

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