Time to put sting into NZ law
WHY is it that when any law concerns dogs the courts turn a blind eye unless they have to rule against the dogs? Why does the SPCA have such a huge task to get any conviction? Why is the SPCA not a government-funded department in the same fashion as the dog control department? Why does the SPCA have to pay for its own court costs when it is a voluntary organisation and its funds are limited to donations and voluntary workers?
I know there are many people who have been disappointed with outcomes of cases taken to court - and cases not taken to court - by the SPCA. But to put yourselves in their shoes, money is severely limited and only the worst cases ever get to a court. And when the SPCA decides to spend some of its very limited funds taking someone to court, in most instances the 'convicted' person will earn a small to moderate fine, which in no way reflects even the cost to the SPCA of taking them to court. Is it then worth the trouble? Is the SPCA being treated like a borderline trendy lefty group that is to be tolerated because it is PC to do so, but laughed at behind its back? I think if that were not the case then people convicted of animal cruelty would be realistically punished, as well as having to compensate the SPCA for all money spent, including court costs plus interest.
I read recently a news item from Houston, Texas, where a woman charged with not feeding her horses was jailed for 30 days, with the first three on bread and water alone. This is still lenient but an appropriate sentence, and over there 30 days will mean 30 days, not eight to 10! But in NZ we would have all the bleeding hearts and PC Popsies wailing about the poor starving woman in jail and how her human rights are being violated. Forget the poor starving horses whose rights were also violated.
But there is a thought there that may be relevant - large noises are heard from the PC mobs if any poor little prisoners have to miss a meal or endure any other such devastating punishment, but the sentences handed out for murders, child killings, manslaughters, drunk driving causing death and such acts are all equally no less than "puny" - so perhaps it is the whole court system in New Zealand that is unco-ordinated and uncaring. Perhaps it is a mirror of our NZ personality that many do not seem to put any value on the life of an animal. If so, it can only be expected that we also do not value human life either. When a judge hands out a sentence of $200 for massive cruelty to a dog is it any wonder that he also hands out a sentence of two years or less (counting mandatory time off) for manslaughter?
Some time ago a group thought to be students opened a pet shop in Auckland. The SPCA later confiscated their 'stock' of dogs, which were undernourished and crowded into a small shop premises for long periods of time without exercise. But the 'students' were not charged. And now the information is that they have started up in another premises.
The SPCA is visiting the shop every week to check that the numbers of dogs are kept low and that they all have clean accommodation and adequate food. But apart from that they can do nothing. Rumour has it that these hapless dogs are being sold as 'pedigrees' to overseas students who pay outlandish prices and then find their dog has no pedigree at all. Even if such dogs are looked after while the new owners are in this country, they are invariably surrendered for destruction when the owners leave NZ.
Where are the upholders of our laws? Where are the health inspectors? Where is the Department of Consumer Affairs? Where is NZ Immigration? Where are the Police? I suggest they are all determinedly "looking in the opposite direction"! - Elezabeth