A West Auckland man has been banned from owning animals for 20 years after an SPCA inspector found a horrific scene of dead rabbits and guinea pigs on his property and floor to ceiling cages of small animals close to death in his garage.
The inspector responded to a callout about rustling noises, flies and strong smells coming from the garage in March 2015.
Inside, the inspector found floor to ceiling small animal cages in darkness, containing seven rabbits and five rats living in their own waste without food or water.
An SPCA inspector found floor to ceiling small animal cages in the garage containing seven rabbits and five rats living in their own waste without food or water.
Two emaciated dead rabbits and two emaciated dead guinea pigs were also found on a compost bin on the property.
The inspector removed all animals immediately, including the dead ones and one emaciated rabbit was so sick it needed to be euthanised on the property on humane grounds, the SPCA said.
A further two rabbits were euthanised at SPCA Auckland due to severe health problems.
The SPCA said a vet examination of the rescued and deceased animals showed they were severely malnourished, had significant flea and mite infestations and would have experienced pain and suffering after being neglected over a long period of time.
Whenuapai resident, Paul Paterson, has this week been banned from owning animals for 20 years by the Waitakere District Court for starving two rabbits and two Guinea pigs to death, and leaving the cages of small animals close to death.
It's the second time Paterson has been prosecuted by the SPCA.
He was convicted of ill-treatment in 2013 and disqualified from owning equine animals for four years after his Shetland pony was found suffering a number of health problems.
SPCA Auckland Chief Executive Andrea Midgen says in the latest case, Paterson showed blatant disregard for animal welfare, leading to the painful and completely unnecessary death of animals who relied on him for the most basic of life’s necessities.
As well as the 20-year ban on owning animals, Paterson was sentenced to 250 hours community work, $440 reparation and ordered to forfeit all animals in his care.