Eight dalmatians died from a highly infectious disease after their owner failed to get them medical treatment.
Auckland man Xiang Max Bai was this week sentenced to 160 hours' community work, disqualified from owning animals for 10 years, ordered to forfeit any existing animals in his care and ordered to pay more than $6000 in reparation to SPCA Auckland and the people who bought puppies from him.
He was found guilty of failing to ensure the physical health and welfare needs of or obtaining vet treatment for seven dalmatian puppies and their mother Chalky.
The dogs suffered from the canine parvo virus (CPV).
Bai sold two ill puppies without disclosing their condition and failed to get the required medical help for the litter and their mother who remained in his care, despite knowing they had the virus, the SPCA said.
CPV causes vomiting, diarrhoea and dehydration, all of which caused pain, distress and suffering and can result in death if untreated.
SPCA Auckland received complaints from two people who bought puppies off Bai via TradeMe, at a reserve price of $900 each.
One involved a puppy named Ruby, which died within 36 hours of being with its new owners. A second complaint said Bai sold an ill puppy that died 24 hours after leaving his property.
An inspector visited Bai's Mt Wellington property where he admitted he was the owner of the adult dalmatian and the remaining five puppies.
Bai confirmed the puppies had not been eating, drinking or been active and admitted he had not followed veterinary advice.
"The Inspector found Chalky and her puppies in a starved, dehydrated and critically ill state in desperate need of vet care," said Andrea Midgen, chief executive of SPCA Auckland.
"The puppies and their mother were suffering terribly and there is no doubt that the owner understood the severity of their condition."
Only one of the seven puppies was treated but it was stopped when the CPV diagnosis was made. Bai said that he could not afford the immediate and intensive
treatment needed to manage the disease and was advised by a vet to euthanise the puppies on welfare grounds.
Bai made appointments with the vet but failed to bring the puppies back and later advised all five puppies died in his care. Chalky died on January 20 and was never treated.
"This is a heartbreaking and completely unacceptable example of cruelty to animals," Midgen said.
"It's inconceivable how someone could sit by and watch a new mother and her seven puppies suffer so horribly.
"It again highlights the reasons people should adopt from animal shelters or reputable breeders so they can be sure the animals have been treated well and received appropriate vaccinations and vet care.
"This is the final SPCA Auckland prosecution for 2016 as we reach the end of year in which thousands of animals faced pain and suffering at the hands of humans. We are sincerely grateful for our pro-bono lawyers in helping seek justice for these innocent animals."