An Auckland man was fined $2000 and banned from owning animals for 10 years after his dog starved to death.
Paul Syman had pleaded guilty to ill-treatment of an animal in the Auckland District Court, the SPCA says. He was sentenced on Monday.
The SPCA says a member of Syman's family contacted the SPCA's Auckland centre in June last year seeking help for his dog, thinking she might be dying.
An SPCA inspector found 5-year-old labrador-cross Tasha collapsed and unresponsive. She was emaciated, infested with fleas, had a sore on her leg, overgrown nails, and fur loss consistent with a collar wound.
Syman surrendered Tasha to the SPCA and she was taken to the society's animal hospital, but died the same day becaused of her terrible condition.
A post-mortem examination found signs of chronic starvation and she was clinically dehydrated, which would have caused stress and discomfort.
SPCA chief executive Andrea Midgen said the dog, which had relied on her owner
for the things she needed to live, had died unnecessarily.
"Tasha starved to death and endured a huge amount of pain and stress. She probably would have suffered for a considerable period of time. This could have been prevented with proper care from the person responsible for her well-being. It is completely unacceptable to treat animals in this way."
"While the SPCA is pleased that a significant disqualification period was handed down, we would have liked to also see a court-ordered education programme to truly prevent this type of animal cruelty occurring in the future," said Midgen.
Midgen said any breach of the 10-year ban would lead to an automatic prosecution and immediate removal of any animal found in Syman's possession.