Woman banned from owning dogs after hers was found starving, covered in fleas

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Milo wouldn't have survived much longer if a neighbor hadn't found him.

SPCA/provided

Milo wouldn’t have survived much longer if a neighbor hadn’t found him.

A woman has been banned from owning dogs after a neighbor found her dog malnourished, covered in fleas and with open, infected wounds.

Florence Paialii, 30, told SPCA inspectors that trauma from a breakup contributed to her sometimes neglecting to feed her dogs.

She was banned from owning dogs for five years by the Manukau District Court on Tuesday and ordered to pay $7,787.87 in damages.

Milo was found by Paialii’s neighbor in May 2020. The dog was rushed to a vet and the SPCA was called.

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The dog was covered in fleas, had badly infected sores on his legs – which had been there for at least a week – and had a pressure sore on his hip.

Milo had severe anemia as well as indicators of prolonged starvation.

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He spent two weeks in the hospital before he could even walk outside.

The vet said Milo suffered “unreasonable or unnecessary long-term severe pain and distress due to emaciation and severely infected wounds”.

He would have only survived a few more days had he not been rushed to the vet.

When SPCA inspectors went to Paialii’s home to speak with him, they found another dog, Tyson, chained to a kennel with a large buildup of feces in his living space.

Tyson was chained up and living in his own feces when SPCA inspectors found him.

SPCA/provided

Tyson was chained up and living in his own feces when SPCA inspectors found him.

Again he was immediately taken to the vet where he was found to have virtually no body fat, was infested with fleas and anemic.

He weighed only 22 kg when he was found by the SPCA, but gained 5 kg in less than a month.

SPCA Chief Executive Andrea Midgen said the treatment Milo and Tyson were subjected to was unacceptable because they had suffered gross neglect when it could easily have been avoided.

“I am absolutely horrified that someone would allow their animals to go into such a state. These two dogs would have been in extreme discomfort, starving, while being eaten by fleas,” said Midgen.

“Owning animals comes with responsibility, and while we all face personal challenges throughout our lives, there is absolutely no excuse for letting your animals suffer unnecessarily like these dogs had to.”

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