Pitbull terrier Justice is used to the rough life roaming the streets looking for something to eat, but little did he expect that a group of children would throw a lit cracker at him to trick him into thinking it is food.
Sniffing around for food in Lotus River, Cape Town, he thought somebody had tossed him a snack. But when he picked it up, it exploded in his mouth, leaving him with severe injuries.
Belinda Abraham, the spokesperson for Cape of Good Hope SPCA, said a Good Samaritan had called for help on Friday and the severely injured dog was taken in for urgent treatment.
She added field officer Sonwabo Sitole and Inspector Jeffery Mfini’s hearts broke when they responded to the call.
“He has burns and lacerations to the inside of his mouth and he has been unable to eat until this morning,” said Abraham on Monday.
The team was told Justice had lived off scraps put out for him by some residents, and judging by old scars, it seemed he had not experienced much kindness.
His body showed the scars of old injuries. His mouth was so severely injured he had to be fed intravenously and put on a course of antibiotics and pain medication.
Abraham was shocked that children could be so callous.
She said being found guilty of cruelty to animals could lead to a prison sentence ranging between three and 15 years and fines that range from R60,000 to R300,000, depending on which court deals with the case.
Abraham asked anybody who had any information about the attack or witnessed any cruelty to animals should call the organisation on 021 700 4158 or 083 326 1604.
Justice’s battle scars has added to the pain of the cracker exploding in his mouth.
She also appealed for donations to help Justice, saying he would need a good home to go to once he had recovered.
The City of Cape Town has declared there will be no designated fireworks sites this year and residents must refrain from setting them off.
People could be fined R200 if they used or detonated fireworks in a building or public thoroughfare in terms of the Explosives Act.
Selling fireworks to a child or anyone under the age of 16 is liable to a R300 fine (and) allowing a child or person under the age of 16 to handle fireworks without adult supervision is liable to a R300 fine.
Those who wish to report the illegal sale or use of fireworks can call the City’s public emergency call centre on 107 from a landline, or 021 480 7700 from a cellphone, or the South African Police Service on 10111.