A Levin man who moved out of his flat, leaving his puppy to starve and eventually be euthanised to end its suffering, has been sentenced to home detention, community service and has been banned from owning pets for five years.
Brendan Hale, 32, pleaded guilty to reckless ill-treatment of an animal in the Levin District Court on Wednesday after he purposely left his pitbull puppy to starve at his vacant flat.
He was sentenced to 175 hours of community work, three months community detention, disqualified from owning animals for five years, and ordered to pay a $350 contribution to legal costs.
The puppy was found by a Housing New Zealand contractor who had been charged with changing the locks and cleaning the house.
Inside he found what he thought was a dead, pitbull puppy lying on some bedding in the laundry on a floor covered in faeces.
Although the puppy was unresponsive, it was found to be alive though it was suffering from severe malnutrition, fleas and was later euthanised to be put out of its suffering.
Mr Hale said a friend had paid him $40 for the puppy and he had left it in the house to be picked up but never checked on whether it had occurred.