A man accused of starving a dog so badly its emaciated state was the worst a vet had seen in 24 years has had his conviction overturned by a High Court judge.
Terepai Noel Teremoana was originally sentenced to four months' jail in Manukau District Court in February for reckless ill-treatment of an animal.
The dog, Psyko, was likely to have been lacking adequate nutrition for weeks, if not months with the vet in charge of his treatment believing he was hours away from death when he arrived at the clinic.
Psyko recovered much of his weight but developed behavioural issues and was later put down.
Justice Paul Davison disagreed with a district court judge who had preferred the evidence of two Crown witnesses over Mr Teremoana, and said there was doubt over their credibility and reliability.
Justice Davison said there was no clear arrangement for Mr Teremoana to take over the care of Psyko when his owners left the property and was not liable for the animal's care.
The conviction was quashed in Auckland last month.