National 30.8.2016 02:33 pm

Severely injured dogs rescued at illegal dog-fighting gathering

Stock image. Picture: Zululand Observer.

Stock image. Picture: Zululand Observer.

Rumour has it that cats tied up in bags are used as bait during dog fights.

The Special Investigations Unit of the National Council of SPCAs (NSPCA) in conjunction with the police performed a successful raid on a dog-fighting ring.

This after nine severely injured dogs were removed, and 10 people were arrested on the weekend.

‘They walk the streets and check where dogs can be easily stolen from a property.’

Many of the dogs were in various stages of collapse, some suffering from blood loss, shock and dehydration. Some had broken bones. All these dogs were taken to a veterinarian after they had been removed from the scene. Sadly some of them were so badly injured they died, Roodepoort Record reported.

Criminal charges in terms of the Animal Protection Act no 71 of 1962 were laid against the perpetrators.

According to the NSPCA all the dogs were stolen in the Soweto/Greater Johannesburg area, and all owners whose dogs are missing can contact the NSPCA and show a photograph of the dog as all the surviving confiscated dogs are in the NSPCA’s care. Details can also be sent to specialinvestigations1@nspca.co.za.

The dog thieves usually do not check for a microchip, and it makes it easier for the SPCA to track the owner.

According to Roodepoort SPCA senior inspector Eric Taljaard, owners of dogs, especially American Pitbulls, should be aware of the modus operandi of the dog-fighting rings.

“They walk the streets and check where dogs can be easily stolen from a property. These dogs are usually used for dog-fighting,” he said.

Taljaard said there are a few things dog owners can do to ensure their dogs do not fall victim to dog-fighting rings, starting with being vigilant and reporting suspicious people walking up and down your street. Dogs should be kept at the back of your property and should be microchipped.

The dog thieves usually do not check for a microchip, and it makes it easier for the SPCA to track the owner.

Sergeant Mpho More from the Florida Police said dog fighting was extremely dangerous and against the law.

“We do not have any reported cases of stolen or missing dogs at the station. We encourage the public to report this to us. We can only investigate these cases and try to stop dog fighting if we know about it,” More said.

Rumour has it that cats tied up in bags were used as bait, but Cora Bailey from Community Led Animal Welfare (Claw) said it was not true.

“No bait was used. It was a fight between dogs; they do not need bait. It is our civic duty to report any dog fighting we are aware of. Your identity will not be revealed. Most times dog-fighting is not the only crime those people are involved in,” Bailey said.

The public is encouraged to come forward with any information that can lead to ending dog fighting. The NSPCA will never reveal an informant’s identity.

– Caxton News Service

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