Man guilty of bashing dog with stick
A 70-year-old Palmerston North man has been convicted of ill-treating an animal, after bashing a dog with his walking stick.
Paul Edward Godbaz was found guilty this morning of ill-treating Tess, a blue heeler, after hitting it with his walking stick while walking his board terrier Dougal on December 5.
Tess jumped onto the front fence of the property it lived at when Godbaz walked past, and he hit it with his walking stick.
Tess was taken to a veterinarian, who found the dog had a cut and swelling near its eye, a lowered heart rate and was lethargic.
Godbaz argued Tess had jumped high up the fence and the ''biting, snarling, scratching parts of that dog were in my face''.
He said he hit Tess once in the chest to stop it attacking him and Dougal, and that its head subsequently hit the fence.
At the Palmerston North District Court today, Judge Stephanie Edwards convicted Godbaz and ordered him to pay $100 in reparation to Barnard to cover her vet bills.
While it could not be proven Tess was hit in the head, as the SPCA alleged, the dog had suffered due to Godbaz's actions, the judge said.
The fence between Tess and Godbaz was high enough to keep them apart from each other, and Godbaz would have had to move towards the dog to hit it.
''It was likely an instinctive response, but he should and could have moved away instead,'' the judge said.
Manawatu SPCA manager Danny Auger said he was satisfied Godbaz and his dog were never in danger.
''Clearly the defendant has over-reacted to her barking and lashed out, inflicting unnecessary pain and distress on Tess - and indirectly on her owner too.''