Waikato woman's blatant breaches of animal ban
A Waikato woman banned from owning animals for five years has incurred a further five-year ban after being found with more than 120 on her property, a move described as "despicable" by the SPCA.
Lai Toy, 62, of Waharoa, New Zealand, was also sentenced to two years of intensive supervision and ordered to pay $3000 in reparation when she appeared in the Hamilton District Court on Friday.
Following a three-day jury trial in April she had been found guilty of one charge of breaching a disqualification order.
Toy had originally been sentenced in November 2017 on one charge of ill-treatment, one charge of failing to ensure an injured animal received treatment to alleviate unreasonable or unnecessary pain and distress, and three charges of failing to ensure the physical, health and behavioural needs of an animal were met.
Those charges related to the findings of an SPCA inspection of Toy's property in 2015, where several animals were found that had to be put down.
They included a goat with a fractured right front leg that had allegedly been hit by a car.
But - in spite of the five-year ban imposed by the court - between November 2019 and March 2020 the SPCA received several calls informing them Toy was breaching her disqualification order. As a result, SPCA inspectors and the police executed a search warrant at her property.
It was there they discovered seven cows, seven dogs, two cats, 27 sheep and 80 chickens.
Additionally, two dogs, two cats and three chickens were inside the house. All the animals that were able to be contained were seized and removed from the property.
During the search warrant, Toy opened a vehicle on the property and removed several chickens from a cage inside.
She told SPCA inspectors she was not the legal owner of any of the animals, that they were in fact owned by a charitable trust, and that she and two other people ran the trust.
She then confirmed that she owned the property and that she leased it to the trust - of which she was a trustee.
Toy told the SPCA inspectors she was aware there was an order in place preventing her from having animals. When offered the opportunity to willingly surrender the animals to them, she declined.
SPCA chief executive Robyn Kiddle described the disqualification order breach as "despicable".
"Our inspectors work incredibly hard to prevent animals from suffering. Finding 123 animals on a property during a five-year ban period shows an absolute disregard for the law and the work our inspectors are trying to do.
"This person was originally sentenced for ill treatment and failing to ensure an animal received the care it needed. There is clearly no remorse here, or respect for the law regarding the number of animals on the property.
"Our inspectors fight hard for justice, but this feels like a slap in the face. I can only hope that this time the message gets through."