News / South Africa / Local News

Sheina Razack
3 minute read
18 Apr 2018
1:36 pm

Public must be informed to avoid animal cruelty

Sheina Razack

The failure to report acts of animal cruelty is also a criminal offence.

File photo.

A few cases of animal abuse have recently been reported in Benoni, Benoni City Times reports.

SPCA inspector Shiven Bodasing reminded the public that animal abuse is a criminal offence, which could result in imprisonment.

READ MORE: Zuma’s Nkandla homestead investigated by SPCA – report

Michelle Mann, who owns Michelle’s Pet Grooming Parlour in Fairleads, specialises in grooming rescue animals, particularly Pekingese, Rottweilers and pitbulls.

Recently, Mann encountered a dog that suffered from transmissible venereal tumour (TVT), which she describes as a growth on the genitals.

“This can be caused by over-mating or being in unhygienic areas,” she said.

Mann said most people do not tend to their animals when they are sick because of financial implications.

“What most people do not know is that they can visit the SPCA to fill out a South African Vet Association [Sava] means test,” she said.

Pet owners can apply for this so the vet can tend to their animals at a reduced price.

Boksburg resident Claudine Matthews, who owns Paws Rehoming, visits informal settlements in Boksburg and Benoni to educate pet owners and provide care to pets in need.

“I give food, first aid, sterilisation and even vaccination to pets,” she said.

When the animals are in dire need of help that is beyond Matthews’ capability, she refers them to a vet.

“The SPCA must impose fines when needed to those who abuse their animals,” she said.

Matthews found a dog in Boksburg on March 31 that was tied by its legs.

“She had no access to food or water so I called the SPCA who took the dog and her puppies,” Matthews said.

In her experience, Matthews has seen dogs that were burnt, had broken bones, were dehydrated, hungry and tied to short ropes.

Matthews can be contacted on her Facebook page called Paws Rehoming for more educational information about owning a pet.

Non-profit organisation Namaqua Dog and Donkey Foundation (NDDF) chairperson Reinette Smith and secretary Maria Marques said the aim of the organisation is to sterilise animals.

The women were called to Etwatwa on April 2 by the owner of a dog to say the dog seems as if it is dying.

“We went to see the dog and the rope around the dog’s neck was about 4cm deep into the neck,” Smith said.

“The dog was about five years old and its neck was rotting because the rope was so tight.”

But animal abuse is not uncommon according to Smith, who said in her time of working with animals, she saw animals burnt with water, ears cut and eyeballs removed while the animal was alive.

Bodasing said animal cruelty may be a result of ignorance, neglect or intention.

“Any act which may constitute as animal cruelty is defined as any act which causes the unnecessary suffering to any animal, which includes injury or the risk thereof,” he said.

“The SPCA has dedicated and qualified law enforcement officers known as inspectors who are mandated to investigate, enforce, rectify and amend any and all contraventions of the Animals Protection Act no 71 of 1962.”

Bodasing said SPCA officers are empowered to obtain and execute search and seizure warrants, as well as warrants of arrest.

“If any member of the public is aware or made aware of any intentional or neglectful cruelty to animals, they are obliged by national law to report such suspected criminal act[s],” he said.

“Failure to report such act[s] shall also constitute as a criminal offense.

“The personal details of every complainant are kept strictly confidential and will under no circumstances be divulged to anyone.”

The Benoni SPCA can be contacted on 011 894 2814/5.

Animal cruelty is a schedule one criminal offence and has set penalties upon conviction.

Such penalties may include imprisonment and or a fine as contemplated by the Animals Protection Act no 71 of 1962.

Zuma’s Nkandla homestead investigated by SPCA – report

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