Joint media statement by the Cape Of Good Hope SPCA and the Animal Welfare Society Stellenbosch
The Cape of Good Hope SPCA and the Animal Welfare Society Stellenbosch (AWSS) jointly express their profound outrage relating to an incident of animal cruelty that has left both organisations reeling in shock.
On 24 October 2023, AWSS received a distressing complaint concerning the discovery of two dogs found hanged in a bush near Bottelary Road en route to Stellenbosch. AWSS immediately dispatched an Inspector to the scene, and the gruesome sight that greeted him left him extremely disturbed. Two innocent dogs were found hanging from trees, their necks cruelly constricted by tight wire nooses.
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According to an independent eyewitness account, two men were seen leaving their parked vehicle, crossing the road with the two dogs, entering the nearby bushes, and returning without them. In response to an enquiry into the dogs’ whereabouts, one of the men callously admitted to killing them.
Feeling unsafe and shocked by this, the witness left the scene and then reported the incident.
Another witness, equally traumatised by the gruesome discovery, attested in a sworn affidavit to the following:
“What I saw was the most cruel and heartbreaking scene that I have ever seen in my life. I found both dogs hanging in the trees, with wire wound tightly around their necks. I touched both bodies to see if they were still alive, but they were already dead. Both their bodies were still warm to my touch, which I believe indicates that the dogs did not die too long before my arrival.”
In response to this appalling incident, AWSS reached out to the Cape of Good Hope SPCA for collaboration in conducting a thorough investigation and pursuing criminal charges.
“The Cape of Good Hope Inspectorate conduct thousands of animal cruelty investigations annually. We wanted to ensure the best possible chance of a guilty verdict and the harshest possible sentence in this matter and we thank the SPCA for lending their valuable experience to this investigation,” says Jessica Perrins, General Manager of AWS Stellenbosch.
On Thursday, 26 October 2023, after tracing the identities of the two suspects, Inspectors from both the SPCA and AWSS, accompanied by the City of Cape Town Law Enforcement: Animal Control Unit, visited the property of the individuals suspected of this heinous and unnecessary act to conduct a full investigation and afford them an opportunity to respond to the allegations.
Shockingly, the owner of the dogs, a 46-year-old woman, admitted to instructing her husband and son to kill their family pets, alleging that the dogs were ill. Her son also confirmed his involvement in the events, and both provided sworn affidavits detailing their actions.
The mother and son showed no remorse or regret for their heinous actions. They readily agreed to surrender their remaining dog which was discovered by the team on the property during their investigation. The dog has been taken into the care of the SPCA.
On Friday, 28 October 2023, the Cape of Good Hope SPCA laid criminal charges of animal cruelty in terms of the Animals Protection Act 71 of 1962 against the three suspects at the Stellenbosch South African Police Service (SAPS).
All three suspects were arrested and taken to the Stellenbosch SAPS where they were detained and formally charged. They are set to appear in the Stellenbosch Magistrates Court on Monday, 30 October 2023 to apply for bail, which the SPCA and AWSS will be opposing.
Special gratitude is expressed to both the Kraaifontein SAPS and the Stellenbosch SAPS for their swift assistance in the matter.
The Cape of Good Hope SPCA and the Animal Welfare Society Stellenbosch (AWSS) are committed to ensuring that justice is served in this case. Both our organisations jointly condemn acts of cruelty against defenceless animals and remain dedicated to the protection and welfare of all animals in our community.
“This heinous act of animal cruelty triggered rage and shock, and we are determined to bring those responsible for this shocking crime to justice,” says Jessica Perrins, AWSS General Manager
Jaco Pieterse, Chief Inspector of the Cape of Good Hope SPCA says, “every act of cruelty towards an animal is a stain on our humanity. We all need to stand together if we ever hope to win the war against it. By working with AWSS, we can ensure that acts like these are met with the full force of the law as a frontline deterrent to perpetrators. The Cape of Good Hope SPCA remains committed to our mission of a kinder world for animals and we welcome the opportunity to guide the AWSS team.”