Thirty-one greyhounds found in deplorable conditions were recently confiscated from a property in Mafikeng, North West.
According to National Council of SPCAs (NSPCA) inspectors, the dogs were found with severe scarring, cuts, abrasions and old, untreated wounds. The dogs were said to lack adequate shelter, were being used for breeding, and had external parasite infections and hunting-related wounds.
Most of the dogs were underweight and were being bullied by other dogs.
They are currently recovering at a veterinarian’s practice, NSPCA special projects unit national inspector Kgakgamatso Moseki said, adding that some could not be saved and were humanely euthanased.
The man accused of animal cruelty has been on the NSPCA’s radar since April last year when 20 greyhounds were removed from the same property.
Moseki said the NSPCA could only seize the dogs in the worst conditions. These animals suffered the same fate as the most recently confiscated ones. They were underweight, with old, infected wounds, abnormal healing of previously broken bones and puppies on the property had the deadly parvovirus.
Inspectors said one of the dogs also had an untreated broken jaw. Charges were swiftly laid against the man and the case was set for July.
In addition to confiscating the dogs in 2019, the NSPCA completed several follow-up inspections to make sure that the rest of the dogs found in reasonable condition were being looked after. Inspectors reported an improvement, but when they visited the property last month, conditions had taken a turn for the worst, which prompted the confiscation of the remaining 31 dogs.
A second case has also been opened against the man, who is still expected to appear in court next month to face the charges laid against him last year.
Moseki and her team hope the magistrate orders the accused be denied the ownership of any animals for the rest of his life, but lamented that the length of denial of ownership depends on many factors, which will only be heard in court.
The NSPCA believed animals were sentient beings and crimes against them should be treated as they would when perpetrated against human beings.
Moseki added that – in her book – any crime against an animal should result in the automatic and permanent denial of ownership.
She reminded people that due to a slight increase in reports of animal cruelty during lockdown, it was essential for community members wishing to report animal cruelty to collect evidence, if possible.