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A Tauranga man has been found guilty of ill-treating an 8-week-old puppy which suffered a deep puncture wound to the top of the head and dental and cheek fractures in a prolonged beating.
Aaron Paul Bidois was found guilty of a charge of ill-treatment of an animal at the conclusion of a defended hearing in the Tauranga District Court yesterday.
Bidois was fined $1500 plus court costs, and disqualified from owning an animal for five years. The fine and $401.89 veterinary and prosecution costs must be paid to the Tauranga SPCA.
His former neighbour told the court that on July 10 last year she heard Bidois yelling at the puppy, then through opaque wash-room glass saw him repeatedly strike the animal.
The puppy responded with "blood-curdling" screams and she called 111, she told the court.
The two attending police officers said they found a sweaty Bidois who "appeared exhausted", while the puppy was "shaking, whimpering" and cowered when approached by Bidois.
The puppy was also wet and had a fresh wound on the top of its head.
Bidois denied beating the pup and claimed a plate which had fallen off the kitchen bench might have struck the puppy and probably caused the injuries.
Bayfair Vets veterinarian Steve Alderson gave evidence that a 1.5cm-deep cut to the top of the puppy's head, a fracture to a left pre-molar tooth and a small crack to the right cheekbone were all recent injuries and consistent with the dog having suffered multiple impacts and force.
Judge Christopher Harding said after hearing from Bidois he was not able to accept his explanation about how the injuries occurred, particularly given some of his evidence was inconsistent with statements made to police and Tauranga SPCA animal-welfare inspector Jason Blair.
"I don't doubt, in general, that you have been a responsible dog owner in the past but for some reason on this occasion you have lost control, and repeatedly applied force to the puppy, which is completely unacceptable," the judge said.