SPCA releases 'List of Shame', outlining worst animal abuse cases of past year

A dog found with matted fur, rotten teeth and a partially degloved leg is among the animals serving as stark reminders of appalling animal abuse across the country.

Louie the dog when he was rescued by the SPCA. Source: Supplied

Louie is the face of the SPCA's annual List of Shame, released this morning. The list details 10 of the worst cases of animal abuse, neglect and abandonment seen by the SPCA over the past 12 months.

Also on the list is a dog left heavily emaciated and tethered to a kennel; a duffle bag full of puppies bound with tape and deliberately dumped in a river; and a number of horses and sheep left emaciated, in pain and covered in maggots, said SPCA CEO Andrea Midgen.

The list comes ahead of the animal rescue organisation's annual appeal, which takes place from March 1 through 7 — its largest fundraising event of the year.

"Our organisation works incredibly hard to protect our nation’s most vulnerable animals from abuse, neglect and abandonment," Midgen said.

"The release of the List of Shame makes it clear that violence towards animals continues to prevail across the country.

"The horrific cases from this year’s list reminds us that there is still much to be done to tackle the issue of animal abuse and we’re determined to give these animals the life they so desperately need and deserve."

Louie the dog recovering after being rescued by the SPCA. Source: Supplied

The charitable organisation requires $47 million each year in order to continue operating, with more than $10 million going towards running the inspectorate programme, which involves rescuing animals and prosecuting offenders.

The SPCA requires minimal Government funding, and instead relies heavily on the public for the majority of its donations.

The List of Shame also details survival stories of animals who were rescued and placed in their forever homes and the heartbreaking decisions made by SPCA staff every day, including Louie.

The dog was living to his heart's content in the seven weeks following his rescue when he suffered multiple seizures as a result of his injuries, leading to further injuries. The decision was made to put him to sleep.

“Euthanasia is the absolute last resort and we will do everything in our power to avoid euthanising an animal when there is a chance of survival, rehabilitation and adoption," Midgen said.

"Unfortunately, Louie’s case confronts us with the fact that despite our best efforts, sometimes the extent of the abuse is just too extreme, and we must make a heartbreaking decision for the greater good of the animal."

Midgen says the list shows the "harsh reality of what our resilient SPCA inspectors go through every day".

"We need to detail these cases to raise awareness of the devastating animal abuse we continue to see in New Zealand."

Street collectors will be gathering donations across the country from Monday through to Sunday, March 7, or on the SPCA website.