The Domestic Animal Rescue Group (DARG) has encountered one of its worst cases of animal abuse after a young dog was repeatedly stabbed and strung up in a tree with wire.
The horrific death of the animal in Mandela Park on Saturday September 2 has prompted the organisation to take steps to have the owner prosecuted, since she allegedly instructed community members to get rid of the dog.
According to an affidavit drawn up by Darg facilitator, Ryno Engelbrecht, Imizamo Yethu residents reported the incident to Darg workers at about 1pm on Saturday.
The animal’s body was brought to the Darg premises where photographic evidence was gathered. The graphic images, which the Sentinel has seen, show a deep gash
around the black-and-tan dog’s neck as well as several stab wounds to its torso.
On Sunday September 3, staff members notified Mr Engelbrecht that the owner of the dog had been located.
According to the affidavit, during an interview with the woman, she admitted that she was the owner of the dog.
The dog had apparently become a “nuisance” to the woman’s neighbours, as it was always digging near their homes. A community meeting was then held, and it was decided that the dog must be killed.
The woman admitted she had instructed members of the community to “get rid of the dog”. However, she refused to reveal who had killed the animal.
Mr Engelbrecht was told that the woman had allegedly approached Darg previously to take the animal four weeks earlier.
“However, we had no space
for the dog because we are already at capacity, due to us having to take the dogs from the Imizamo Yethu fire. Furthermore, there was noth-
ing wrong with the dog; it was in
good condition. It is the respon-
sibility of the owner to look after the dog.”
Darg has comfortable space for 110 dogs, but presently has 183.
Temporary kennels have been built to accommodate the overflow from the fire.
Darg’s Nathalee Kamieth said the organisation had given the woman alternative avenues to explore. “Whether she actively did or not is unknown to us.”
“If she had come to us after their ‘community meeting’ and advised that ‘they’ were going to kill the dog, then we would have phoned the
SPCA or law enforcement on her behalf and insisted that a vehicle be sent to assist. That being said, Hout Bay can wait up to seven days for a vehicle from either organisation to be sent out to assist animals in
Mr Engelbrecht said the affidavit would be submitted to the SPCA in the hope it would open a case
against the woman. Otherwise it would be submitted to Hout Bay police.
“If no action is taken by the police, we will pursue a private prosecution,” he said.
SPCAspokesperson,Belinda Abraham, confirmed the SPCA had received the affidavit and was investigating the case. She also took a swipe at Darg saying the cruelty to the animal “arose as a direct result of the failure on the part of a pro-life animal welfare organisation to admit an animal in need – likely because this dog would not have been a suitable adoption candidate. This incident is testament to the hypocrisy of pro-life shelters that will not offer a humane death when there is no other alternative”.
She said that while the dog owner’s alleged actions were criminal and could never be condoned “we recognise that this was a last resort by a desperate owner, who on two occasions sought help from an
animal shelter and was twice turned away”.
She said the incident served as a reminder of exactly why the SPCA turned no animals away and why “hard decisions involving euthanasia must be made in the interests of true animal welfare”.
She added: “This incident is not the first and will not be the last and while euthanasia is difficult and heart breaking it is not the worst fate for an animal.”
The public can report animal abuse to the SPCA directly at 021 700 4158/9 during office hours or to 083 326 1604 after hours.
“All reports are treated confidentially and a complainant’s information will never be made public,” said Ms Abraham.