Man fined over castration of dog with a stanley knife

A Tongan man gets community work and a fine for the ‘horrific pain’ he inflicted on his dog.

Tavake Sina Mokofisi, 33, was sentenced by Judge Rosemary Riddell in the Hamilton District Court on Thursday to 150 hours of community work, plus pay a fine $350.

He has been banned from owning a fog for five years.

Mokofisi castrated his dog  without anaesthetic in August 2015.

He tied his puppy up so he could castrate it with a stanley knife. He later told vets what he did was legal in his native Tonga.

However Mokofisi pleaded guilty for his action before he appeared for sentencing on Thursday.

“You later admitted you had tied the dog’s four legs together with a rope, tied his mouth shut with a cloth and hung him in a tree.”

Without using anaesthetic, Mokofisi castrated the dog using a stanley knife, cutting the scrotal skin, squeezing out the testicle, and then cutting the cord to remove the testicle. The wound was washed with salt water before the dog was set loose.

After about two days he took the dog to a vet, saying it had jumped over a low fence.

The vets were suspicious but gave the dog pain relief and antibiotics before putting it under general anaesthetic the following day.

“Once the dog was under general anaesthetic their suspicions were confirmed,” Riddell said.

The wounds were consistent with a deliberate castration, which Mokofisi then admitted.

Mokofisi came to New Zealand from Tonga six years ago and told the vets it was legal to castrate male dogs there, and he didn’t know it wasn’t the case in New Zealand.

The dog was surrendered to the SPCA.

Defence lawyer Louis Wilkins said Mokofisi’s actions were deeply misguided but he had recognised this fairly promptly.

“It’s not a deliberate attempt to inflict pain for its own sake,” he said.

“It’s misguided, and the priority here is really to prevent this man having animals in the near future.”

Mokofisi should never have done the procedure but it may have been one which he had seen performed in his youth, he said.

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