Cape Town, South Africa – On the 25th of August 2023, a woman was arrested following a distressing incident involving an unwanted dog named Rockxy.
The case has highlighted the harsh reality that the term “unwanted” means so much more than just a lack of desire to continue to own a pet.
The call led them to a residence in Beacon Valley, Mitchells Plain. Upon arrival, SPCA collection officer Mzikayise Mfini was met with a horrifying sight – Rockxy, an adult cross-breed dog, was in a shocking state of deterioration with two sizable and festering wounds, one on her abdomen and one in her genital area. He returned to the SPCA and took Rockxy directly to our Animal Hospital to be examined by a veterinarian.
The Vet’s Findings
Dr. Ettienne, the SPCA’s attending veterinarian, detailed the extent of the neglect and suffering that Rockxy endured. “She was found with two ulcerating masses, one on her abdomen and another between her legs, both of significant size and severity. The masses had been left untreated for a prolonged period, causing the flesh to ulcerate deeply. There were definite signs of animal neglect, in addition to the suffering resulting from the severity of the masses on multiple sites”.
Her suffering was immense, the entire affected area measured 17 centimetres, the wound on the abdomen measured 6.5 centimetres in length and 7 centimetres in width. The open wound on her genital area measured 7 centimetres in length and 6 centimetres in width.
The photos that follow are graphic and hard to look at. We understand if you can’t look at them but we would appreciate it if you did. Rockxy needs witnesses to her story.
Blurred images – sensitive viewers please do not click.
With an extremely poor veterinary prognosis, and with Rockxy showing signs of severe pain and suffering, Inspector Carina Bodenstein, who had been called to our hospital, had no choice but to humanely euthanise her. She says, “the affected areas appeared to have burst open and a foul smell was coming from the wounds. Yellow pus was oozing from the wounds and Rockxy’s hind legs were covered in it. She was in too much pain and I couldn’t leave her to suffer any longer.”
“Unwanted” Means Suffering
“This case extends beyond the mere lack of the desire for a pet,” says Chief inspector Jaco Pieterse. ”It demonstrates the suffering and neglect that animals can be subjected to when they are unwanted. In many instances when a dog is unwanted, their very basic needs are not met, and in cases like this physical suffering is ignored. It’s a heart-wrenching reminder of the consequences of unreciprocated, unconditional love of a dog.
A dog cannot seek out medical help or pick up the phone – they’re completely reliant on their guardians, owners or caregivers to meet their needs. It’s a responsibility that should be met with compassion not disregard”.
The Fight For Justice Begins
With the only thing left for Rockxy being to fight for justice, Chief Inspector Jaco Pieterse and Inspector Carina Bodenstein accompanied by a City of Cape Town Law Enforcement: Animal Control Unit officials returned to the Beacon Valley property at around 3pm on the 25th of August 2023, and arrested Rockxy’s owner on charges of section 2(1)(a), 2(1)(e), 2(1)(q) and 2(r) of the Animals Protection Act No. 71 of 1962.
She was taken directly to the Mitchells Plain SAPS Office charged and released on bail on Friday 25th August 2023. The accused makes her first court appearance on the 29th of August 2023.
“This case should send a clear message to people who allow their animals to suffer – we will not tolerate animal cruelty. Animal abusers will be brought to book and we will fight for the harshest sentence possible.” Says Chief Inspector Jaco Pieterse.
Rockxy couldn’t voice her suffering or seek help on their own.
As the SPCA takes the lead in representing her in a court of law, we’re relying on your support to ensure justice prevails. Please contribute towards covering the costs of our court visits, including fuel and man hours, as well as any necessary expert evidence we may still need.