Whangārei dog Buddy was taken into the SPCA with a shocking case of mange and serious abrasions to his head - but he's now recovered.
By Mike Dinsdale
Northlanders love their animals, but there are some that don't and the region has yet again made the annual SPCA's animal cruelty List of Shame with a dog that had a shocking case of mange and head abrasions.
The annual list details the 10 worst cases of animal abuse across New Zealand over the last 12 months.
The list is a stark reminder of the neglect and abuse vulnerable animals face every day in New Zealand, and marks the beginning of the SPCA Annual Appeal – their biggest fundraising effort of the year – which will run from March 1-6.
In the Northland case, Buddy the dog was taken into the SPCA on June 10 with an appalling mange infection and serious head abrasions.
A member of the public had seen Buddy on his way home from work and picked him up.
''Buddy came into the SPCA's care in a shocking condition. He was found abandoned in Whangārei with severe head abrasions and his body and legs covered in mange. After months of extensive rehabilitation and care, Buddy healed physically and mentally and is now living his best life with his new family,'' SPCA said.
Northland regularly features in the SPCA's List of Shame and the organisations wants to raise awareness that mange is a treatable skin disease caused by parasitic mites, but if left untreated it can cause debilitating and painful symptoms including redness, rash and itching, hair loss, sores and lesions, scabby, crusty or scaly skin.
SPCA's CEO Andrea Midgen said some of the other harrowing stories from this year's List of Shame include a dog that was left emaciated beyond belief, a duffel bag full of puppies bound with tape and deliberately dumped in a river and a number of horses and sheep left emaciated, in pain and covered in maggots.
"Our organisation works incredibly hard to protect our nation's most vulnerable animals from abuse, neglect and abandonment. However, the release of the List of Shame makes it clear that violence towards animals continues to prevail across the country,'' Midgen said.
''The horrific cases from this year's list reminds us that there is still much to be done to tackle the issue of animal abuse and we're determined to give these animals the life they so desperately need and deserve."
As a charitable organisation, SPCA requires $47 million each year to operate – this includes more than $10 million to run the Inspectorate programme which involves rescuing animals and prosecuting offenders. With less than 5 per cent of its costs government funding, SPCA relies on the public for the majority of its donations.
While the List of Shame details some stories where animals were lucky enough to be rescued and placed in their forever homes, the list also demonstrates the shocking reality and heart-breaking decisions facing SPCA every day.
Louie, who fronts this year's Annual Appeal, was thankfully able to be rescued and fostered into a loving home. For the seven weeks following Louie's rescue, despite his injuries, he was living his best life and experienced unconditional love and care.
Unfortunately, due to the extent of his injuries – Louie suffered multiple seizures which led to further injuries – and the heart-breaking decision was made to put him to sleep.
People can get involved in this year's SPCA Annual Appeal by donating to street collectors across the country from March 1-7, or online at www.spca.nz.