SPCA steps in on injured dog standoff

BY MICHAEL FOX
Last updated 13:04 10/02/2010

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The SPCA is to intervene in the case of a Whanganui teenager who took his injured dog from the vet because he couldn't afford $2500 for treatment.

Bronson Stewart, 18, kidnapped Buck, a five-month-old pup, who was hit by a speeding car two weeks ago, from the vet clinic where he was taken with a seriously broken back leg.

The Wanganui Chronicle reported that Bronson said the vet had told him and his father Kevin that Buck's leg could be saved by having it pinned back together at a cost of $2500, or the leg could be amputated for $800 - however the two beneficiaries are not able to come up with that sort of money.

The best they could do was offer the vet $5 a week, which was declined. The vet also refused to return the pup because the little dog was in pain, Bronson said.

He said that when the vet realised the Stewarts could not pay he told them Buck would be euthanased yesterday.

SPCA National Chief inspector Charles Cadwallader said they would be contacting the Stewarts to encourage them to hand Buck over.

"Quite clearly, leaving an animal with a dislocated leg is not something that we think is good," he said.

"I don't blame these people but at the same time they need to realise that they must work to make sure that what's best for the dog is done."

It had not yet got to the stage where Buck would be seized but the SPCA was prepared to do what was necessary to alleviate his suffering.

They would then look at the options available to them, including sourcing a vet who might be more flexible with his payment plan who could operate on the dog. Euthanasia was also an option.

"We want to keep the dog alive but we also make whatever decision is necessary to ensure it's not in pain."

But Bronson was not giving up so easily, saying he will go to jail rather than give up his injured dog.

'I JUST KNEW I HAD TO GET MY DOG BACK'

Bronson earlier said he "just knew I had to get my dog back."

"He's like my brother. I need to have him. They can't just kill him because I haven't got any money."

While his father sat vigil every morning out on the roadside with placards asking for the public's help, Bronson went to the veterinary clinic last Friday and asked if he could see Buck for a little while.

"They were really nice and let me go out to the cages to see him. So I opened his cage, pulled Buck out, and ran as fast as I could out of the vets and down the road. I think one of them chased me for a while, and I carried Buck home."

Yesterday an SPCA inspector arrived on the doorstep, he said.

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A written SPCA report headed To Prevent or Mitigate Suffering says: "Black and white dog has dislocated and fractured right hind leg as per vet report. Dog must have immediate veterinary treatment or must be euthanased. If you don't comply you may face prosecution."

But Bronson won't give up the fight.

"I'll just be prosecuted, then. I'll go to jail if I have to. I don't want Buck killed. He's a really nice dog and I love him like a brother."

Kevin Stewart invited all animal-loving citizens of Whanganui to help him with his son's plight.

"This puppy is not in any pain to need any drugs at present while we try to raise the $800 for his amputation or the $2500 to pin his leg back together as suggested by the capitalist [vet] and the SPCA."

Anyone wishing to donate should do so through the SPCA website (www.rnzspca.org.nz) and send an email to info@rnzspca.org.nz explaining their donation was for the dog in question.

- with NZPA

- Stuff

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