Dogs, cats living in filth top List of Shame

By Tessa Johnstone

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A Woodville couple who kept hundreds of cats and dogs in filthy conditions are top of SPCA New Zealand's 2012 List of Shame.

A raid of David and Daryl Balfour's property south of Dannevirke in 2007 found 87 dogs and 161 cats in cramped conditions with overflowing litter trays, unclean water and food.

Around half of the animals were put down as a result of the neglect, and some of the cats took up to three years to recover.

The couple were convicted on animal cruelty charges last December, and this year ordered to pay $25,000 to the SPCA and barred from owning animals for 20 years. They appealed against the decision in August.

The case was included in the annual SPCA NZ List of Shame released yesterday, outlining 30 cases of abuse and neglect of animals.

The list included two men who shot 33 dogs; a man who bludgeoned 25 seals to death with a metal pipe; and a dairy farmer who broke 115 of his cows' tails and left them with with broken legs after hitting them with a steel pipe.

Royal New Zealand SPCA chief executive Robyn Kippenberger said the organisation's work to stop animal cruelty was made less effective by the low level of sentencing awarded for animal welfare cases.

Wairarapa SPCA manager Val Ball said there were many local cases of animal neglect and cruelty that did not make the list, such as the rescue of 18 emaciated dogs and a dog who had hot fat poured over it.

Mrs Ball agreed that sentences for animal welfare cases were not harsh enough.

- Wairarapa Times-Age

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