No breed of dog divides opinion quite like the pit bull. Famed for its loyalty to its owner and its prowess in combat, these power breeds are a sought-after commodity whether they be for security, companionship or more nefarious intentions.
A Wilro Park family had two of their pit bulls violently ripped from them when two Krugersdorp police officers allegedly shot them on Monday. Jules Chame, the owner of Tyrus and Paris, noticed three of his four pit bulls were missing when his rear gate was partially pried open.
“We don’t know if someone was trying to steal them, but we began the search immediately. I didn’t know where to go so I just followed up on every lead,” Jules recounted to Krugersdorp News.
With the help of community members, Jules tracked down one of his young pit bulls, but by the early morning, the two adults were still missing.
Information led Jules to the Krugersdorp Police Station and he was subsequently led to a heartbreaking scene at a nearby dumpsite. Jules found his beloved dogs dead from what would later be confirmed by autopsy as gunshot wounds.
“They just shot them from inside their vehicle. The dogs were not attacking anybody or behaving aggressively,” recounted eyewitness Pierre van Heerden.
“Another guy in another car claimed they were barking at other dogs further down the street but this could have been handled completely differently,” said Pierre ruefully.
Mandy Cattanach of the Roodepoort/ Krugersdorp SPCA explained: “If the dogs were causing an immediate threat to a person’s life, they may be shot, but if they were just walking in the street then they have acted incorrectly.”
Mandy advised on what to do if dogs, perceived to be dangerous, are in the street, saying: “If you can get a dog into your yard without causing harm to yourself, then the SPCA would be happy to collect it”.
“Going to see them was like going to collect a child from the morgue,” wept family member Tracey Chame.
“To see our babies like that was beyond heartbreaking.”
Jules is hoping to give the incident as much exposure as possible, admitting: “I want to make these guys famous. I want the public to know who they are. We will definitely be pursuing this legally.”
He described his pit bulls as soft, loving, caring and gentle.
“They were our protectors, brave and full of love.”
Jules also extended his gratitude to those who helped.
“I am humbled and blessed. Thank you to the complete strangers who assisted us every step of the way. Krugersdorp police and provincial spokespersons have been approached for comment, but none was received at the time of publication.