Cape of Good Hope SPCA Inspector Werner Taljaard rescued three neglected dogs in Grassy Park that were sentenced to a life on chains by their Grassy Park owner.
Importance of education
The SPCA believes in education before prosecution and/or the removal of animals. A lot of our time is spent on educating animal owners.
Part of the education process entails the issuing of written warnings and notices, to give animal owners that are contravening the Animals Protection Act an opportunity to remedy the contraventions and improve the welfare and wellbeing of their animals.
Without first educating the owners and issuing written warnings or notices, it is very difficult for our Inspectors to obtain a court order to remove the animals. Even though the issuing of warnings and notices is not a legal requirement, most Magistrates insist on this to allow for a fair and reasonable process to take place and to allow the owner an opportunity to remedy the contraventions first.
The warnings and notices also form part of the evidence and allow for a stronger criminal case in court as we can then prove that the owner knew full well that his/her actions were unlawful, they had the intent to let the animal suffer and also cannot claim ignorance.
Non-compliance & seizure
Sadly in some cases, like this one, education falls on deaf ears, and the owners simply do not comply. This leaves our Inspectors with no other alternative but to apply for a court order to remove the animals and lay criminal charges against the owner.
In this case, three dogs were found neglected in Grassy Park and sentenced to a life on chains by their owner. The owner had several visits from our Inspectors, and several warnings had been issued. This is where the case becomes a little complicated. The owner made some effort to improve the living conditions of the dogs, but it did not last very long before the owner slipped back into her old habits, and the neglect simply continued.
On our last inspection, the dogs were again found chained, living in their own filth and did not always have access to water. The one dog could not even reach her shelter because the chain was too short (1.1 meters long). The dogs were also infested with ticks and fleas.
Inspector Taljaard was left with no other alternative but to apply for a court order and confiscate the dogs due to the owner’s non-compliance.
A court order was obtained from the Wynberg Magistrates court, and the dogs were seized in terms of the Animals Protection Act 71 of 1962, read together with regulation 468.
All three dogs are now in the safe care of the Cape of Good Hope SPCA.
Animal cruelty charges
Charges of animal cruelty will be laid against the owner in terms of the Animals Protection Act 71 of 1962. It is a criminal offence to keep any animal chained unnecessarily and to keep any animal in conditions that are unhygienic and cause unnecessary suffering to the animal.
Any person found guilty on a charge in terms of the Animals Protection Act may be sentenced up to a fine of R40,000 and or imprisonment not exceeding 12 months, with a criminal record.
We urge the public to please report any cruelty directly to our Inspectorate by calling our 24/7 call centre on 021 700 4158/9 or by sending an email to email@example.com
For more information on the chaining of dogs, read A Chained Dog is an Unhappy Dog.
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Articles on Dog Chaining
Earlier this week Inspector Lwazi Ntungele confiscated a dog in Rocklands, Mitchells Plain. The dog named Luna was found living in dire conditions, anchored by a static, 1-meter chain. This wasn’t just any chain – it was thick, heavy, and, alarmingly, wrapped directly around Luna's neck. The risks were imminent; such a chain could eventually become embedded in the dog's skin, leading to grave injuries.
A heart-wrenching incident occurred yesterday in Ocean View, Cape Town, where a dog was finally rescued from a life in chains. Inspector Jeffrey Mfini and Cadet Inspector Nkosi Sindiwe, of the Cape of Good Hope SPCA, were tasked with confiscating the dog after investigating reports of it being tied up on a short chain.
Three dogs were again found chained, living in their own filth and did not always have access to water. The one dog could not even reach her shelter because the chain was too short (1.1 meters long). The dogs were also infested with ticks and fleas. Inspector Taljaard was left with no other alternative but to apply for a court order and confiscate the dogs due to the owner's non-compliance. All three dogs are now in the safe care of the Cape of Good Hope SPCA.
Early November 2022, the Cape of Good Hope SPCA received a call for an unwanted dog to be collected in Voorbrug. The owner no longer wanted her dog, claiming the dog belonged to her father that passed away a few months ago.