Sean Taylor was installing an ATM at New World Ferry Rd last year when he saw a black three-legged dog being photographed outside.
“I saw him out there where I was inside working and I went over and said to them I’d quite like that dog. They took it with a grain of salt but then said he may be up for adoption in a month,” he said.
Buddy the labrador-cross had been living at the SPCA for about a year, and was being photographed as part of a promotion for its annual Cupcake appeal.
A year earlier the then five-month-old puppy was brutally beaten by his former owner who was later sentenced to 10 months in jail.
Buddy’s leg was broken, and he suffered internal bleeding and bruised lungs in the attack which was recorded by neighbours. Buddy later had his left rear leg amputated.
It was one of 10 animal abuse, neglect and cruelty cases to make the SPCA’s List of Shame on Tuesday.
Mr Taylor, a project manager for MTR, said he and wife Chrissy had talked about adopting a dog. It was Buddy’s eyes and gentle nature that drew them in.
“You take one look at his eyes and you see right through him,” Mr Taylor said.
Although they knew Buddy was beaten and lost his leg, they avoided the details until his original owner was sentenced.
He said it was upsetting to hear.
“It added to the overall amazement at just how good he was with people. It just pointed him out to be such a forgiving animal.”
In spite of missing a leg, Buddy still walks up to 7km every day, and enjoys the Port Hills and Sumner beach.
Mr Taylor said every now and then he makes Buddy a special meal where he mixes boiled rice, oil, eggs and fresh meat.
“He gets to lick the bowl when I’m finished.”
SPCA Canterbury chief executive Barry Helem said Buddy’s case was “harrowing”, but it had a fantastic outcome.
He said the List of Shame raised awareness of what the SPCA dealt with, and a good way to help prevent animal abuse.
Mr Taylor still takes Buddy back to the SPCA to visit.
“I called by on Tuesday and Buddy got out of the car and ran 100m because he saw the two girls out the back. He remembers the life he had there.”
•The full List of Shame can be found at https://www.rnzspca.org.nz/news/492-2017-spca-list-of-shame