Most people love their animals, but there are some who don't. That includes in Northland, which has yet again contributed to the SPCA's annual List of Shame, with a dog that by the name of Buddy.
The annual list details the 10 worst cases of animal abuse across New Zealand over the past 12 months, offering a stark reminder of the neglect and abuse that vulnerable animals face in New Zealand every day, and marks the beginning of the SPCA's annual appeal, its biggest fundraising effort of the year, which will begin on Monday.
In the Northland case, Buddy was delivered to the SPCA on June 10 with an appalling mange infection and serious head abrasions. A member of the public had seen him 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," the SPCA said.
Northland regularly features in the List of Shame, often needlessly. In this case the society says mange is a treatable skin disease caused by parasitic mites, which, if left untreated, can cause debilitating and painful symptoms including redness, rash and itching, hair loss and lesions, scabby, crusty or scaly skin.
SPCA CEO Andrea Midgen said other harrowing stories from this year's List of Shame included a dog that was left emaciated "beyond belief," a duffel bag full of puppies bound with tape and 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, the SPCA required $47 million each year to operate, including more than $10 million to run the inspectorate, which involves rescuing animals and prosecuting offenders. With less than 5 per cent of its costs funded by the government, the society relied public donations for much of its income.
While the List of Shame details some stories where animals were lucky enough to be rescued and placed in their forever homes, it also demonstrates the shocking reality and heart-breaking decisions facing the SPCA every day.
Louie, who fronts this year's appeal, was rescued and fostered into a loving home. For the seven weeks following, despite his injuries, he was living his best life and experienced unconditional love and care, but due to the extent of his injuries - he suffered multiple seizures, which led to further injuries - the decision was made to put him to sleep.
Donations to this year's appeal will be collected in streets across the country next week, or can be made at fwww.spca.nz