Inspector Siviwe Noko, also known as “the General”, had to obtain a court order from the Khayelitsha Magistrates Court to rescue a starved Pitbull following non-compliance by the owner. This investigation ensued from a complaint lodged by a caring member of the community who contacted the Cape of Good Hope SPCA to intervene.
Inspector Noko initially investigated the matter and found a male Pitbull on the property. The Pitbull was evidently starved, had a skin condition, had no access to adequate shelter, and was in desperate need of veterinary intervention. The owner informed our Inspectors during the investigation that he allows his friends to borrow his dog to mate with their dogs. Our Inspectors educated the owner on the humane treatment of animals and offered sterilisation, which the owner declined.
A warning was issued to the owner to seek veterinary care for the dog within 24 hours and to provide the dog with adequate shelter within 7 days. The owner promised to comply with the warning that was issued.
Warnings Issued, Ignored
The owner failed to comply with the initial warning and two (2) further warnings that were issued. The owner made no effort to take the dog to a veterinarian or provide the dog with adequate shelter. During the last inspection, prior to the seizure, Inspector Noko appealed to the owner to rather surrender the dog to the SPCA if he is not going to comply with the warnings. The owner informed Inspector Noko that he will not surrender the dog to the SPCA and that he is ready to face the consequences.
The Court Application
The owner’s non-compliance left Inspector Noko with no other option but to approach the Khayelitsha Magistrates Court for a court order in terms of the Animals Protection Act 71 of 1962, read together with Regulation 468, to seize the dog. In the court order application, Inspector Noko submitted to the court he explained his findings, supported by photographic evidence.
Inspector Noko also mentioned, “to date, the owner has made no effort to provide the dog with adequate veterinary treatment or to comply with the warnings issue. I am of the view that there is no other option but to confiscate the dog due to non-compliance. I am also of the opinion that the owner is deliberately denying the dog medical treatment as he was given ample time to have the dog medically assessed and treated accordingly, and as a result, the dog is possibly suffering unnecessarily.”
When Inspector Noko arrived at the Khayelitsha property with the South African Police Service (SAPS) to execute the court order, the owner was found busy washing his vehicle. Inspector Noko approached the owner and asked him if he had taken the dog to a veterinarian. The owner informed Inspector Noko that he did not have time to take the dog to a veterinarian.
It is important for us to stress that there is an animal clinic less than 1 kilometre from the owner’s house. There is absolutely no valid excuse for the owner’s non-compliance.
This left Inspector Noko with no other option but to seize the dog in terms of the Animals Protection Act, read together with Regulation 468, under the auspices of the court order that was granted.
The dog was seized and was brought back to the Cape of Good Hope SPCA for examination by our in-house veterinary team.
Resident veterinarian, Dr Stephan Spamer, examined the dog and found that the dog was in poor health. In the veterinary report, Dr Spamer mentions, “ the skin condition is believed to be the result of either chronic environmental allergies or marked parasite burden, likely the latter. The overall condition of the dog may be attributed to chronic neglect, inadequate care, and poor parasite control. Wounds on the face are consistent with dog bite wounds.”
The owner will now be facing charges of animal cruelty in terms of the Animals Protection Act 71 of 1962. The public is urged to report any cases of animal abuse to our Inspectorate by calling 021 700 4158/59 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org