Be warned: this video depicts one of the worst cases of sadistic cruelty we’ve seen, and involves children. If you’d rather not see it – or read any further – before you go, please donate here to help us keep up our humane education efforts – to help prevent more cases like this.


Here’s a brief version of this case:

A group of children ­dragged a stray dog (let’s call him ‘Sam’) to a secluded spot in Mannenberg and set their pit bull onto him. They intended to see Sam killed: ‘You are going to die,’ they said repeatedly.

While their pit bull attacked Sam, the children also kicked her … but since Sam was still clinging to life, they hung him from a tree.  Then, as if that wasn’t enough, they took Sam down from the tree and threw rocks at him. The last image in the video shows Sam lying motionless on the ground.

If you’re sickened and shocked by this story, it will be small consolation to say we know how you feel.

But as obscene as it is, it’s a stark reminder – a real wake-up call – of how critical our humane education programme truly is. You can support this here.

But the truth is, it’s what you DON’T see in the clip that really speaks volumes …

You see, kids are not born loving animals. There’s no miraculous point in their lives – without parental or external guidance – at which compassion for pets becomes important. Like reading and writing, caring for animals is taught. 

For many children here in Cape Town, the only lesson in love for animals they’ll ever hear is from the SPCA’s education programme. And far more children need to hear it – because they’re not being taught about it anywhere else.


It’s heart-breaking to know that it’s too late for Sam. But it’s not too late to reach more children with educational content that not only spells out pet care, but the consequences of cruelty.

There is a well-documented link between childhood cruelty to animals and later criminality and violence. To  learn more about studies that reveal “the link” between animal abuse and violence download  The Link Between Animal Cruelty and Human Violence

This video shows how important our education programme is, in order to not only protect our animals but our children as well. Humane education can break this cycle of violence and replace it with one of compassion, empathy and personal responsibility. It is for this reason that our Education team works tirelessly to change the way that children view animals. During the last financial year, we worked extremely hard at preventing exactly this type of incident. 11 299 children were exposed to our education programme in 125 schools in the areas of Nyanga, Cross Roads, Delft, Mitchell’s Plain, Gugulethu, Phillipi, Atlantis and Pelican Park.

Please support the SPCA’s continuing efforts in humane education. For Sam’s sake – and for the sake of our children – please act now. To learn more about the SPCA Humane Education programme please click here

Note: The children involved in the video were all identified by the SPCA’s Inspectors and it is likely that a criminal proceedings will follow.  We will also be liaising with social workers from the Department of Social Development. It is still early days as far as this case is concerned, but we assume that the children were possibly exposed to dog fighting and other forms of animal abuse and re-enacted what they saw. ‘Children live what they learn.’ We are awaiting the post-mortem results on Sam’s body – which our Inspectors retrieved. Your donation here will be greatly appreciated.

Autopsy Update:
We have just received the official State Veterinarian post-mortem report for the innocent dog tortured and stoned to death in Manenberg.
The findings show that the dog in question suffered numerous fractures to its body before death.
Injuries present in the skin of the head indicate puncture wounds caused by a large dog bite.
The front rostral section of the skull was crushed, with hemorrhaging into the sinus and naval cavities.
The liver was damaged due to blunt force injuries i.e. kicking or blows with an object.
Excess fluid on the lungs indicates that the dog was still alive when thrown into the water.

These results serve to amplify the horrific nature of this crime and vicious intent to torture and kill the animal.

The autopsy also confirms that “Sophie” is in fact “Sam” – a male crossbreed who will never be forgotten.
Further updates will be given on the court dates for anyone interested in following the case.

To date our inspectors are still awaiting word on when they can safely enter the area to retrieve the second dog in the video
Please support our Humane Education programme so that we can continue to teach compassion towards animals and prevent cruelty towards animals.