A retail assistant in Whangarei has been disqualified from owning animals for three years and ordered to do community work for ill-treating his dog.

Ryan Branson, 42, earlier pleaded guilty to two charges of ill-treating his dog under the Animal Welfare Act and appeared for sentencing in the Whangarei District Court last week.

Branson was convicted and ordered to perform 125 hours of community work and to pay half of the $840 in reparation sought by the SPCA.

Branson's dog, a tan and white staffordshire bull terrier about 15 years old, had half of its body covered in mange when an animal control officer visited his property in Raumanga on September 30, 2011.


Two further visits were made and on the third visit in October last year, Branson agreed for his dog to be euthanised after being advised by an animal control officer.

The dog was lying on its side and the spine and hip bones were visible.

There was major hair loss over most of the dog's body except for the top of its head and the back of its neck. The skin was also red and had scabs.

Branson said he worked full-time and his children hadn't been feeding the dog enough.

After the dog was euthanised, Branson admitted that he was responsible for the dog and had not sought any treatment for it.

In court, Crown prosecutor David Stevens said a sentence of community work, an order for reparation and an order disqualifying Branson from owning animals would be appropriate.

A reparation of $840, he said, was a modest sum sought compared with other cases.

However, Branson's lawyer Wiremu Puriri strongly opposed an order for reparation, saying the family would struggle because his client was the sole breadwinner.

Mr Puriri said the family did their best to feed their dog but clearly things got on top of them.

There was no malice or deliberate cruelty, he said.