A climbing carabiner threaded through the neck of a dog in Rotorua and an emaciated dog found on the side of the road in Whakatane that was shaking violently have been added this year's SPCA List of Shame, a shocking collection of animal cruelty in New Zealand.
Also on the list is a family cat deliberately cut up in Timaru, a tethered pet goat stabbed to death in Greymouth, and in Wellington, several boys kick and hit a small terrier cross dog with a cricket bat.
They are just four of the more than 30 grievously inhumane acts of abuse and neglect of animals that make up the 2012 SPCA List of Shame.
"Violence towards animals both co-occurs and is a predictor of violence towards humans", said Robyn Kippenberger, national chief executive of the Royal New Zealand SPCA.
"The sheer level of violence meted out on animals by some of the perpetrators in the cases in this year's List of Shame is shocking, and underlying of wider issues in New Zealand."
The list details that in Rotorua a Shar Pei cross was euthanased after the owner put a climbing carabiner (metal loop) around its neck to be used as a "collar" to attach a chain lead.
This led to a major infection in the form of a hole around the neck and the dog could not reach the water bowl. The owner was prosecuted, fined and disqualified from owning a dog for a year.
A Whakatane couple picked up a dog that was close to death on the side of the road. It was in huge distress and the ribs of emaciated dog were evident and it appeared the dog had head injuries.
She couldn't stand and was shaking violently. A council dog ranger recognised the dog and the matter is now in the hands of the police and the SPCA.
The Royal New Zealand SPCA, in partnership with Women's Refuge, recently released research into the strong link between animal cruelty and domestic and family violence in New Zealand.
This study, 'Pets as Pawns', showed that 50 per cent of women interviewed had witnessed animal cruelty as part of their experience of domestic violence and 25 per cent said their children had witnessed violence against animals.
The research also revealed that one in three women surveyed reported delaying leaving violent relationships because they feared their pets and other animals would be killed or tortured.
The SPCA speaks for those who cannot speak for themselves and the annual SPCA List of Shame aims to highlight to the New Zealand public the appalling abuse of animals which happens all too frequently throughout the country.
Unfortunately cases such as those in the this year's list of shame are all too familiar to SPCA centres around New Zealand, who are then tasked with the heartbreaking job of determining whether the animals in question are able to be rehabilitated or have to be euthanased due to their abuse or neglect. In many cases, the financial cost of investigating and prosecuting the perpetrators is also met by these SPCA centres.
July saw the prosecution of two men who had systematically shot 33 dogs and puppies.
This was a particularly violent and prolonged act of cruelty which resulted in many of the dogs dying a slow painful death, whilst others struggled to hide from the shooters.
These men were handed sentences of 6 months home detention and 6 months community detention, 300 hours community work and reparation.
"The SPCA's work is made less effective by the low level of sentencing being awarded in animal welfare cases. The sentencing in most of these cases is appallingly inadequate, and is no way indicative of the range of penalties that can be handed down under the Animal Welfare Amendment Act", Ms Kippenberger said.
"Considering the close links between violence towards humans and animal cruelty, courts should be recognising these crimes as significant in a continuum of violent behaviour. If these crimes are not punished significantly, an opportunity is lost to send a message that no violence is acceptable."
The SPCA's work is almost entirely funded by donations, sponsorships and legacies provided by generous New Zealanders. New Zealanders are encouraged to support their SPCAs to make New Zealand a safer place for animals and humans.
The SPCA's Annual Appeal Week takes place this year between tomorrow and Sunday November 11. Donations can be made at ASB banks or make an automatic $20 donation by calling 0900 4PAWS (0900 4 7297).