Killing of neighbour's cat technically not cruelty, RSPCA says

A representative of the RSPCA says that a Pirongia woman whose cat was killed after repeatedly going onto a neighbour's property does not have a legal case for cruelty.

Dr Arnja Dale says that killing an animal that comes onto your property is legal if done humanely – but police may get involved for other reasons. Source: Seven Sharp

The dispute was highlighted last night on Seven Sharp, and involved a cat, Bentley, who repeatedly strayed onto a neighbour's property where he sprayed inside and fought with resident cats.

The neighbour became fed up and arranged for someone with a gun to come and shoot the cat.

Bentley's owner was understandably upset, but Dr Arnja Dale says that technically, the killing was legal so long as it was done humanely, which the neighbour insists it was - with a shot to the head.

Under the Animal Welfare Act, Dr Dale said, the neighbour could only be prosecuted if there was undue suffering to the animal.

However, there may also be an issue of property ownership, she said, as well as ethical and moral issues.

The property ownership issue was not something the RSPCA could investigate, she said.

Dr Dale also said that a range of other options could have been investigated including training and fencing.

Romy from Pirongia says she knew her cat was causing a problem for her neighbour but killing it was unnecessary. Source: Seven Sharp

"It's a real shame that it got to this situation," she said.