Nine kittens dumped near a swede stall yesterday settle in
to their Mosgiel foster home with sisters Sophie Stuart
(13) and Cassia Bardrick (5) last night. Photo by Craig
The Otago SPCA says the dumping of nine kittens and two
cats near a swede stand between Milton and Waihola yesterday
was ''disgraceful'', coming just hours before the Government
announced a Bill to create enforceable regulations covering the
treatment of farm and domestic animals.
SPCA Otago animal manager Grace Hepburn (21) said the
3-week-old kittens and their mothers were dumped in a box
near State Highway 1.
It was ''a disgraceful act from a irresponsible animal
owner'', she said.
A woman who lived down the road stopped at the stand and took
the cats to SPCA Otago in Dunedin, Miss Hepburn said.
The mother was a tabby, the other a black cat and the kittens
were a mix of tabbies and black cats, she said.
The cats were in ''good condition'' and the tabby mother was
wearing a flea collar, Miss Hepburn said.
SPCA Otago was seeking information on who dumped the cats and
would prosecute them with deserting an animal without
reasonable excuse, the maximum penalty for which was 12
months' imprisonment or a $50,000 fine, Miss Hepburn said.
It was the biggest single dumping of cats in her career at
the shelter, she said.
SPCA Otago executive officer Sophie McSkimming said Megan
Stuart, of Mosgiel, was fostering the cats until the were old
enough to be adopted out.
Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy announced yesterday
the introduction of a Bill to strengthen animal welfare in
''The Bill will allow us to create enforceable regulations
that set out how farm and domestic animals should be treated.
It also gives wider powers to deal with people who breach
A review of the Animal Welfare Act 1999 showed it needed to
be clearer and easier to enforce, he said.
''This is important to New Zealanders because around 68% of
households have a pet ... The vast majority of New Zealanders
who take great care of their animals will hardly notice the
changes made in this Bill. However, there will be greater
sanctions for the few who mistreat animals.''