Worst animal cruelty cases revealed

A seal bludgeoner from Kaikoura, a dog poisoner in Christchurch and a dismembered cat in Timaru have made the SPCA's 2012 list of shame.

The list, released yesterday, reveals the worst animal cruelty cases in New Zealand.

''Violence towards animals both co-occurs and is a predictor of violence towards humans," said Royal New Zealand SPCA chief executive Robyn Kippenberger.

''The sheer level of violence meted out on animals by some of the perpetrators in the cases in this year's list of shame is shocking, and underlying of wider issues in New Zealand.''

Some of the cases included a cat that was found dismembered outside its family home in Timaru, a beheaded hedgehog, a Kaikoura man who bludgeoned 25 seals and newborn pups to death, a Christchurch man who threw a jack russell puppy outside and then hit its head with an axe, and a Christchurch grandfather who allegedly tried to poison his dog after it bit his grandson.

Kippenberger called for harsher sentences for people found guilty of animal cruelty.

''Considering the close links between violence towards humans and animal cruelty, courts should be recognising these crimes as significant in a continuum of violent behaviour,'' she said.

"If these crimes are not punished significantly, an opportunity is lost to send a message that no violence is acceptable.''

The organisation operates almost entirely on donations and the SPCA annual appeal week begins today.

The Press