Monday, February 08, 2010

New Zealand Man Feeds Kittens to His Dog

Recently in New Zealand, a 31-year-old man, Te Ahu Mankelow, pleaded guilty to five charges of willful ill treatment of an animal. The man, who has admitted feeding live kittens to his pitbull and videoing it, has apologized for the massacre and has claimed he's an "animal lover".

"I love cats. I love all animals big time. Anyone who knows me knows I love animals," Mankelow told Sunday News in an exclusive interview yesterday.

Prosecutor Vicki Corpe said: "The defendant's dog attacked the kittens one by one, biting them and breaking their bones. At least one kitten was obliterated. When the kittens struggled away, the defendant picked them up and threw them back to his dog."

Father-of-three Mankelow claims the killings were an accident and he simply admitted the SPCA's version of events in the hope he'd be punished and his dog's life would be spared. His pet has since been put down.

Mankelow's said on the day of the incident he'd been drinking "all night and day" at a party.

Mankelow said, “I'm even sorry they [SPCA] tried to make me out as a pitbull breeder because this makes them look bad. I want to make a big apology."

SPCA national chief inspector Charles Cadwallader said Mankelow was "lying his teeth off". He said the cellphone video clearly showed Mankelow feeding at least four of the cats to his dog.

His sister, Vonnie Mankelow, said her brother had a drinking problem which played a part. She said the mauled kittens were sick and were to be given away. She told Sunday News she couldn't excuse her relative's actions but she could see the incident "from many different sides". "People that don't live in the area, or don't know the people etc, etc, they all have very different concepts of the whole story," she said.

Mankelow will be sentenced later this month.

…Animal cruelty is CLEARLY animal cruelty. Maybe this guy does have a drinking problem, in that case, the court should see that he is offered help with that, and for his sister to imply that it is a culture or neighborhood thing, again, yes, I get that animals are viewed very differently from culture to culture, but in this case, there is clear evidence (which I spared you the details given during the prosecution from a video tape of the dog attacking the kittens) that there was NO “misunderstanding” of the situation. Mankelow clearly knew what he was doing when he repeatedly gave the kittens to his dog to destroy. To hear him say, “I’m sorry; I’m an animal lover.” is appalling. Along with counseling for his drinking habit, he should be required to undergo psychiatric counseling for his disillusionment, and a counselor should check on his children to ensure none of his bad habits are passed onto them.

I read on the Care2 website today a petition against extreme cases of animal cruelty like this one, giving an example of a pregnant dog that was tied to a train track (miraculously the dog survived!), but there should be NO QUESTION and NO ROOM for EXCUSES when it comes to clear intent of cruelty towards animals, no matter what the animal. In this day and age, it is becoming widely agreed upon that animal welfare should and must be defended under the fullest extent of the law. People are starting to believe that animals are no longer on a level below us but on a level beside us.

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