A man has been jailed for a year and banned from owning
animals for a decade after beating and trying to drown a dog
in an attempt to euthanise it, the SPCA said.
According to a summary of facts before Hawera District Court,
George Tai Williams, 46, from Manaia, South Taranaki, tried
to kill his partner's 7-month-old puppy Bear with a steel
mallet and put its body into a nearby river. When it still
showed signs of life, the dog was hit again and left to die.
However, the dog survived and on July 12 last year an SPCA
inspector was called to a local vet clinic where he had been
taken by his owner after she discovered him collapsed at her
In considerable pain and distress her puppy had dragged
himself 8 metres to his home where he lay semi-conscious for
more than 12 hours covered in blood and mud.
The SPCA inspector noted the puppy had suffered numerous
blows to the head with a blunt object and was profoundly
hypothermic from being submerged in the river. X-rays showed
Bear had so many fractures to the skull they could not count
According to the vet that treated Bear, it was remarkable the
dog survived being exposed to the elements and even more
surprising that he managed to crawl home.
Crown prosecutor Bridie Sweetman said the offending needed to
be denounced and sought a sentence of imprisonment.
Williams had pleaded guilty at an earlier appearance but she
questioned his attitude and remorse. He had tried to minimise
what he had done by saying, 'it's just a dog', Ms Sweetman
Judge Allan Roberts described the attempt as "barbaric" and
said Bear would have suffered significant pain and distress.
Judge Roberts said home detention was not considered due to
the seriousness of the offending and Williams' previous
convictions for violence and breaching a protection order.
The SPCA said it was pleased to see sentencing that reflects
the seriousness of the offending and that Bear is recovering
Williams was also ordered to pay $500 prosecution costs.