While others celebrated Christmas and welcomed in the New Year a Howick man's dog was suffering in his backyard.
When the dog was found by the SPCA on January 2, 2011, it was in such poor condition that it had to be euthanised.
Now Adam Olmstead is paying the price for his neglectful actions.
He pleaded guilty to ill-treating an animal when he appeared in the Manukau District Court on Wednesday.
Olmstead was sentenced to a $5000 fine, payable to the SPCA, and disqualified from owning animals for 12 months.
A volunteer SPCA ambulance driver discovered Olmstead's airedale terrier in 2011 after being called to the property.
The terrier was unable to walk, had faeces covering the anus, infected eyes, a serious ear infection on the left ear and a large ruptured tumour beneath the right ear.
The 43-year-old claimed to have only just noticed the dog's condition.
The animal was taken to a vet clinic where after an examination euthanasia was recommended because of its poor condition and obvious suffering.
SPCA Auckland chief executive Christine Kalin says it was clear the dog had been severely neglected and in acute pain for a considerable period of time.
She says Olmstead's claim that he had only just noticed the dog's condition was ''unbelievable''.
''Any normal person would have realised that the dog was suffering and needed urgent veterinary treatment long before it got into this appalling state.''
The message to animal owners is simple, Ms Kalin says.
''Owners cannot just stop caring for their pets and then casually expect the SPCA to turn a blind eye.
''People who inflict pain and suffering on vulnerable animals in their care will be held accountable.''
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