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SPCA trainee inspector recovers after dog attack

Three pit bulls were euthanised due to the irresponsible care of their owner.

Rand West SPCA trainee inspector Nadine Jacobs is recovering after being attacked by three pit bulls.

Jacobs explained that they received a call from a Kagiso resident about a stray dog, covered in blood, in their yard. While looking for the residence, they received another call about three dogs that allegedly attacked two people, including a child, on separate occasions. Jacobs noted the first attack was on May 6 and the second on May 8.

“We arrived and the community was already in uproar in the streets. The dogs were in a fully fenced yard, so it looked completely normal.”

She noted upon their arrival, the dogs were calm and not in any way aggressive.

“I spoke to the dogs through the fence and even put my fingers through the gate. I remember thinking if the owner comes it’ll be fast and we can go look for the other dog that everyone complained about.”

She said when the owner arrived, he was rather blasé about the fact that his dogs were accused of attacking two people. She continued they went inside the yard and the owner immediately picked up a piece of timber.

“I touched the one dog before we tried to load them in and they were fine. The moment the owner picked up the piece of wood their temperament immediately changed.”

“It was as though the dogs said ‘well he is going to hit us again so here we go’,” Jacobs added.

Some of Jacobs’ injuries. Photo submitted.

She continued, however, without the owner’s help, they got the male dog in the control pole to load him into the van.

“They immediately started to lunge and bite. With the struggle to load the one dog, there were still the other two.”

She explained the male then got a hold of her leg and the other two grabbed her arm. It then created a struggle but luckily the Rand West SPCA manager and inspector, René van Straten, was able to get the dogs off her.

“I was immediately out of action,” said Jacobs, who suffered lacerations and serious bite marks on both her left arm and leg.

Van Straten had to return to remove the animals.

“My issue is these pit bulls, and power breeds, will never recover from what the community did to their reputation. If you get a dog and the dog has a caged area [not a kennel] or is chained up, that dog will cause trouble. The community is not safe if these animals then get out of their yard,” Jacobs said.

Trainee inspector Nadine Jacobs. Photo submitted.

“I didn’t think it was this bad, I was shocked to my core. The owner is looking at big trouble as his dogs were out of the yard twice and both times they inflicted bodily harm.”

She added that one animal also had a vaginal prolapse and hasn’t received any medical treatment.

She noted all three of the dogs had to be euthanised. They attacked Jacobs and she was not a serious threat to them, neither were the people on the street. To rehabilitate these animals, they need to go to a specialist, which someone has to pay for.

“You can never take that risk of this happening again.”

Van Straten explained, “Thanks to support from the Roodepoort/ Krugersdorp SPCA we were able to load all three dogs safely into the vehicle and euthanise them without any further incidents. It took a while as we still handled the dogs with the utmost care and tried to keep them as calm as possible.”

She added there were cases opened against the owner from residents who were attacked. From the SPCA’s side, they will open two cases against the owner, one for the attack on Jacobs and one for animal cruelty as one of the dogs had a medical condition that was left untreated.

Jacobs added the odds of animals biting people three times in one week are low.

“If any dog bites another person or another dog, the aggression is there. They have a mentality of kill or be killed. Not all pit bulls are this way though. I know hundreds of pit bulls I would prefer over other dog breeds.”

About her injuries, Jacobs explained she is doing fine. Her leg did go septic and she is on antibiotics and receives daily dressings. She mentioned it was a close call and her leg was almost broken as the dog bit her. The wounds, however, are looking better after spending two nights in hospital.

“I am on the mend and I don’t have a fear of pit bulls. I’ll just be more cautious in the future.”

She added she wants to continue her work at the SPCA as there are so few people who do it.

“I want to make a difference, no matter how big or how small. If you still have a little bit of fight left in you to go back, I believe you should.

“I want the community to know people should have animals for the right reasons. A dog on a chain will not protect your yard, he can’t even reach what he is supposed to protect. Dogs in cages and having to close it off when people visit are red flags.”

She added a pit bull that bites cannot become another person’s problem. If an animal shows signs of aggression rather than take them to the SPCA, they know which red flags or signs to look out for.

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