Youths accused of animal cruelty subject to online abuse


Two youths accused of torturing and killing a cat in Christchurch have been the target of abuse on social media.

But the SPCA which is investigating the incident said yesterday it may not have been
a deliberate act of animal

Said SPCA Canterbury chief executive Barry Helem: “We believe it was not a deliberate act of cruelty, but we will be following our processes to verify that.”

The investigation, which has involved the police, is in its “very early stages,” he said.

A video of what appeared to be a cat being tortured and killed was sent to the New Zealand Herald on Tuesday.

Two videos were posted on Snapchat by a teenage girl,
who is a friend of the two youths.

She also has been the target of a backlash on social media.

Parents of one of the youths and the teenage girl were reluctant to comment when approached by The Star yesterday. They said lawyers were involved over the issue.

The mother of one of the youths said he had been the victim of the most “horrendous and disgusting” abuse.

But the girl involved posted on Instagram saying: “I’m not here to try talk my way out of posting the two videos because I know I did the wrong thing and posted something disturbing on social media.

“I would like to apologise for not taking any further action on the situation to try help it, at the time I was shocked and didn’t take the time to think about my consequences.

“The cat’s death itself wasn’t my doing, nor was I even there as I felt uncomfortable with the situation and left like the boys told me to,” said the post.

Mr Helem said the SPCA and police had received a number of copies of the video from members of the public.

Mr Helem said the SPCA had not yet made contact with the two youths and teenage girl.

There is a range of penalties that SPCA can apply through the court system for cruelty, neglect or reckless treatment of animals.

These range from an education conversation or letter, a formal warning or prosecution in extreme cases.

“Our processes involve gathering evidence and information, talking to witnesses and people involved then it gets reviewed and we make a decision from there,” said Mr Helem.


  1. For Christs sake….. they ‘tortured and killed a cat’! May I ask how this can be titled ‘not deliberate.’ This is animal cruelty! This is disgusting, heartless and unnecessary. These ‘killer’s are youths….. god knows what they will be capable of as adults. This needs to be legally addressed SERIOUSLY! and penalized heavily!