Nica Richards
Deputy online news editor
2 minute read
25 Jun 2020
6:00 am

Guard dog’s conditions set alarm bells ringing

Nica Richards

Although the dog had shelter, food and water, a woman who reached out to The Citizen said the image of it pacing rendered her sleepless.

The cage in which a guard dog is being kept at a recycling depot in Woodmead, Johannesburg.

A Sandton resident’s recent visit to a recycling depot in Woodmead burned a disturbing image in her mind after seeing a security guard dog locked in a cage.

The woman, who does not want to be named, reached out to The Citizen after seeing the dog, which she said was friendly and good-natured, confined to a cage, nervously pacing up and down.

A sign at the front of the cage reads: “Hi, I’m a working dog, please don’t disturb me. I rest during the day and work at night.”

Although the dog had shelter, food and water, the woman said the image of it pacing rendered her sleepless.

“It’s not a tiny cage, but it’s a cage,” she said. “The only time the dog is allowed out is at night. People are forbidden from taking food, toys and blankets for the dog. But it is not aggressive. It seems used to people.”

The woman said she and other people had laid a complaint with the Sandton Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

Senior inspector Stephen Maila said they are aware of the case.

The dog is being used by a security company hired by the City of Joburg. It belongs to a company that rents out trained guard dogs and certified dog handlers.

Guard dogs in the industry usually work 12-hour shifts, as security guards do, and rest during the day, Maila said.

“Animal welfare is something very important to us. The conditions the dog is in are not ideal and we do not support the exploitation of dogs in the security industry, but we have to accept the law.

“Security dogs have a certain standard and all live under those conditions.

“We don’t approve, but it has a medical file and we have checked on the welfare of the dog. It is not in a bad condition, although it is not an ideal situation.”

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