The dog now known as Jimmy was dumped at a beach.
By the time he was found he was malnourished, suffering severe wounds including bruising to his head and an irreparable eye injury, likely the result of blunt force trauma to his head.
SPCA inspectors launched a full animal welfare investigation, but did not find the person or people responsible.
Meanwhile Jimmy amazed SPCA staff with what they described as a kind soul and loving temperament — he even wagged his tail while veterinarians stitched up his eye. He is still recovering at a foster home, but once healed will be available for adoption.
Other animals that made this year's SPCA List of Shame, citing 11 of last year's most shameful examples of animal cruelty, were not so fortunate. They included a five-year-old Labrador starved to death, and a duck with a beak destroyed by fireworks.
The List of Shame was released ahead of the SPCA's annual appeal (March 9-11), which aims to raise awareness and funding to support the 15,000-plus animal welfare complaints received each year, along with ongoing education to prevent animal cruelty.
"We need the public's support to end this shameful cruelty in New Zealand. We receive almost no government funding to run the SPCA inspectorate, which costs approximately $9 million every year," chief executive Andrea Midgen said.
The list includes 600 starving chickens, roosters and ducks with severe feather loss, found in an overcrowded environment trying to feed on the decomposing birds around them, and a dog hit by a car, with de-gloving injuries to the bone on both hind legs left by its owner to suffer.
"We know this list is very upsetting, but this is the reality of what our inspectors see in their jobs," Ms Midgen said. "These horrific cases of neglect and violence towards animals reinforces the vital need for the SPCA's work. The SPCA is here to stand up for any animal that is physically abused, abandoned, neglected, tortured or in pain. It is a very big job, and we need all the support we can get."
Donations can be made via www.spcaannualappeal.org.nz/, or to a street collector.