On Thursday last week, the Cape of Good Hope SPCA received disturbing video footage of dog fighting that took place in Wesbank. In the video footage, it can be seen how the culprits incite their dogs to attack each other. When the dogs were all worked up and ready to attack, the owners released their dogs to attack each other. The owners and spectators were encouraging the dogs to fight whilst one of the spectators filmed the fight.
With the video in hand, our Inspectorate team immediately jumped into action and started the investigation. The assistance of the City of Cape Town’s Law Enforcement: Animal Control Unit was also called in for assistance.
“Within a few hours of receiving the video footage, the SPCA and Law Enforcement traced the culprits, made one arrest, and 6 dogs were rescued,” said Chief Inspector Jaco Pieterse.
Screenshot stills from the video footage:
“Unfortunately, the other culprits were not at home at the time of the investigation, resulting in them not being arrested. Their identities are known to the SPCA and Law Enforcement, and they will be apprehended, arrested, and brought before a court,” added Pieterse.
The SPCA laid criminal charges of animal fighting in terms of the Animals Protection Act 71 of 1962 against the culprits at the Mfuleni South African Police Service (SAPS). The arrested suspect remained in the custody of the SAPS over the weekend until he appeared before the Bluedowns Magistrates Court on Monday, 28 November 2022.
The accused was released on R500 bail, and the case was remanded for further investigation and will be back in court on 15 February 2023.
Dogfighting is illegal in South Africa.
It is a crime to be involved in any way with the fighting of animals or to own, keep, train or breed animals used for fighting. It is also illegal to buy, sell or import these animals.
A person found guilty of any involvement in dogfighting is liable for a fine of R80,000 and/or imprisonment of up to 24 months with a criminal record.
Moreover, it is a criminal offence to incite, encourage or allow any animal to attack another animal or proceed to fight. It is a crime to promote animal fighting for monetary gain or entertainment.
It is also considered a crime to allow any of these activities to take place on a property you own, live on or have control of.
It is a crime to watch dogfighting, as is being on the same property where dogfighting is taking place.
Not a monster
Though trained to fight, just like all other dogs, these creatures only want love and affection.
(1) Chief Inspector Jaco Pieterse with one of two puppies that were rescued in Wesbank from being trained into a life of dogfighting;
(2, 3, 4) Inspector Theo Arendolf shares some tender moments and playtime with one of the four rescued dogs that were featured in the dog fighting footage
The SPCA offers a reward of R5000 for any information that leads to the arrest and successful prosecution of dog fighters.
Read more about dogfighting and its effect on our communities:
Joint partnership with the City of Cape Town
The Cape of Good Hope SPCA and City of Cape Town Law Enforcement joined forces in 2021 in a quest to eradicate dogfighting activities in Cape Town. The partnership has joint responsibility with the SPCA as custodian of the Animal Protection Act and Law Enforcement as the custodian of the City Bylaws, which both govern and impact issues pertaining to dog fighting. The partnership also ensures a close working relationship to educate and raise awareness to stop dog fighting.