The Special Investigations Unit of the National Council of SPCAs (NSPCA) raided a dog fighting syndicate at the weekend that led to the arrest of six people and the rescue of 24 dogs.
A statement issued by NSPCA on Tuesday stated that the raid was conducted shortly before midnight last Saturday in Lawley, southwest of Johannesburg, “where rival dog fighting ‘kennel groups’ were engaged in the bloody crime”.
The six accused appeared in court in Lenasia on Tuesday morning for bail application. A post by the NSPCA on Facebook read: “Bail was denied to the accused, who has been arrested for a second time on the same charges. The remaining accused were released on a stiff R5 000 bail each.”
The NSPCA found some of the dogs at the scene to be so badly injured that the organisation had to humanely euthanase them. “One dog was found dead at the scene, having been badly mauled and cursory examination revealed that he had later been drowned,” said the NSPCA in the statement.
The remaining animals were taken to be treated at a place of safety, meanwhile at the scene, various scheduled veterinary and human drugs were found and seized along with other “assets”.
“The raid took place with the assistance of selected SAPS personnel to whom sincere appreciation is expressed,” said the NSPCA and also thanked members of the public, who supported the animal welfare organisation in its ongoing endeavours to combat “the horrendous crime of dog fighting within communities” and assured individuals who stepped forward with information that they may remain anonymous and that their identities would be protected.
“Dog fighting is a truly vicious crime at the expense of animals, yet the harmful impact on South African communities also needs to be recognised. The desensitisation to violence that occurs when individuals engage in dog fighting has a detrimental knock-on effect on the society that tolerates this criminal activity.
“Syndication, high financial stakes and links with other criminal activities are proven and of grave concern,” warned the NSPCA, adding that the work of its Special Investigations Unit related primarily to combating active and premeditated crimes against animals with any and all the resources at their disposal.
Manager of the Special Investigations Unit and senior inspector, Wendy Willson, explained that people who got gratification from dog fighting demonstrated that they had low empathy and would likely be willing to engage in violent behaviour. She said that was why the violence of dog fighting needed to be actioned, not only by the NSPCA, but by other law enforcement authorities as well.
Just seven hours after the NSPCA posted the statement on the raid on their Facebook page on Tuesday morning, the post had already received 476 reactions, 166 comments and 282 shares.
Many Facebook users condemned the dog fighting syndicates and extended thanks to the NSPCA and police for their work. Many also encouraged members of the public to report such activities to the NSPCA.
Leslie Pillay wrote: “NSPCA, special members of the SAPS and the compassionate people of the community who do not support this horrible act towards the voiceless and who reported this, may you be blessed in everyway and THANK YOU. No fine, jail term only for these low life’s.”
Mary-Anne Jacobs wrote: “This just breaks my heart 🙁 . That people can be this inhumane and see this as sport astounds me. Thank you SPCA for intervening and standing up against these thugs!”
– Caxton News Service