Siya Mbhanjwa pleaded guilty in the Pinetown Magistrate’s Court on Thursday to beating his dog with a wooden pole.
Kloof SPCA spokeswoman Barbara Laubscher expressed disappointment at the ruling on the organisation’s Facebook page.
“It is concerning to think that our justice system believes that an act of cruelty such as this can be dismissed with such ease,” she wrote.
“What kind of message does this send out to the community?”
She said the Animals Protection Act was put together for voiceless animals.
“If this man can be released for such brutality to animals — will he even be concerned about doing the very same to a child?” Laubscher asked.
SPCA Facebook users also voiced anger, saying the law had failed the dog.
Russell Russtec Pike wrote: “So, once again the human race has failed all other living things. It is now shown that animal life is of a less importance to that of a human. Disgusting.”
Another animal lover, Nicola Hayes, said: “Justice will be served against him in a very strange way. Leave it to God. Can’t rely on the world and human judgement.”
SPCA follower Laureen Bertin asked: “Kloof and Highway SPCA please can you tell me why you can not approach the National Prosecutions Directorate and demand that this case be re-opened?”