The horrifying annual SPCA List of Shame this year features the case of Girl, a terribly neglected South Waikato dog.
Each year, SPCA releases the List of Shame to remind New Zealanders of the worst cases of animal abuse, neglect, and abandonment to come through their doors over the past year.
A concerned member of the public raised the alarm with the SPCA about the poor condition of Girl. When SPCA took custody of the dog she weighed just 9.5kg, was tied to a kennel and curled up into a ball, unable to stand.
At the vet, she was diagnosed with an enlarged lymph node behind her right knee, three infected toes, pressure sores over her hip bones and anaemia, likely due to worms in her intestines.
SPCA team leader of the inspectorate, Jason Blair, says: "It is not common to see a dog in her condition. She was close to death and we were concerned she would not survive the night."
Girl spent about three months in rehabilitation. She was hospitalised, put on an intravenous fluids (IV) drip, vitamin medication, and iron supplements.
"It is a very difficult job to do, so it is most rewarding to see how an animal changes for the better. Girl was a lovely dog from the start and it was just great to see how her energy increased after the treatment," says Blair.
After rehabilitation, Girl was taken to a foster home.
"Foster families provide a home environment for the animal where they not only get nutrition but also interaction," says Blair.
Girl is now called Jelly and found her forever home with a family in Whakatane. Blair says SPCA often renames animals to give them a new start.
Jelly's former owner was taken to court and sentenced to 80 hours' community work. He was also ordered to pay a $400 fine to SPCA, $130 court costs and was disqualified from owning dogs for five years.
Blair says: "The owner knew enough to see that she was not in a good state, but there was not a lot of deliberate action there. He willingly gave Girl to SPCA to take care of."
SPCA CEO Andrea Midgen, says: "The List of Shame makes it clear that violence towards animals continues to prevail across the country. 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."
Also on the 2021 SPCA List of Shame is Taupo dog Gino who was found with a severe case of mange, a skin disease caused by parasitic mites. His legs and face were severely swollen red and raw. SPCA Taupo says it was one of the worst cases of mange they had aver seen.
Gino has also healed physically and mentally and has finally found a new family.
You can get involved in this year's SPCA Annual Appeal by donating to street collectors across the country this week, or online here.