The National Council of Societies for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (NSPCA) has urged community members to report dog fighting, promising whistleblowers they would make it worth their while, reports Northglen News.
The NSPCA is offering a reward for information that leads to the arrest and prosecution of dog fighters.
According to the council, dog fighting can be defined as a sadistic bloodsport “contest” in which two dogs, trained to fight, are placed in a small arena to fight each other for spectators’ entertainment and gambling purposes.
The council said in a statement: “It is a thriving and ever-growing criminal activity in South Africa, supported by people from all walks of life and various backgrounds. Dog fights are not the work of a single lawbreaker but instead constitute a form of incredibly violent organised crime that is intricately linked to many other criminal activities.”
The council went on to say the American Pit Bull Terrier had become the most popular dog breed victim of this crime in the country. Dogs used for these fights are believed to either be purposefully bred for these fights or stolen from loving homes.
“Fighting dogs are denied their five freedoms – they are often antagonised, beaten, starved, or injected with steroids to increase aggression. They spend their lives chained up or locked in small cages in filthy conditions. Those dogs who do not show sufficient fighting potential or lose in the pit fights are left to succumb to their untreated injuries or may be killed in the most brutal of manners such as by hanging, strangulation, electrocution, drowning, or being beaten to death,” the statement read.
In efforts to put an end to this crime, the Council’s Special Investigations Unit is offering rewards of up to R30,000 to anyone who reports dog fighters.
The Unit’s Nadia Hansa said: “It is a dangerous bloodsport that has a significant impact on local communities as it is often linked with other criminal activities and erodes empathy in those exposed to it, especially children, making them far more likely to act violently towards both people and animals. Last year alone, the NSPCA successfully convicted 22 dog fighters.”
The reward amount is dependant on the level of organisation and sophistication of the dog fighters apprehended but it is up to R30,000. All tip-offs are kept anonymous. You can call 011 907 3590 or email information to firstname.lastname@example.org