Prison term possible after puppy starved

Last updated 16:33 10/07/2013

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A prison term may be considered for a Spreydon man who starved a puppy and left it in such poor condition that it had to be euthanised.

Greg Matthew Leon Bell, 24, today admitted charges of failing to provide the puppy with proper food and veterinary treatment when he appeared before Judge Fred McElrea in the Christchurch District Court.

SPCA prosecutor Chris Shannon handed up notes on a similar case where a two-month jail term had been imposed, before Judge McElrea remanded Bell on bail for sentence.

The judge asked for a pre-sentence report and a report on Bell's suitability for home detention and community detention sentences.

Shannon said a member of the public had complained in April about the condition of a puppy seen at a flat in Spreydon, and SPCA inspectors visited next day.

They found the brindle female puppy with hair loss to most of the underside of the body. It had ribs and hips showing, a green discharge from the eyes and a depressed demeanour.

A veterinarian found it had mange and anaemia, and decided it had to be euthanised.

An autopsy showed it had total loss of fat on its abdomen. It would have suffered undue stress, suffering and pain from the untreated skin disease.

When Bell contacted the SPCA he was abusive to the inspector and told her to "do what she wanted".

He said he had not taken the puppy to the vet because he did not have enough money.

Shannon said the SPCA was seeking a ban on Bell owning animals.

Bell is on bail for sentence on August 21.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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