The Story of Bubbles – life on a chain

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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.

Collection Officer Andisile Booi was sent to the property to collect the unwanted dog. Little did Andisile know what he was going to find. Upon his arrival at the property, the owner pointed to where the dog was. Andisile found Bubbles, a cross-breed dog of approximately 1 year of age – on a chain. As Andisile got closer, he could smell a putrid smell lingering in the air. The chain grew into the flesh of the dog’s neck! The wound was badly infected and this was evidently a case of animal cruelty.

My name is Bubbles and this is my story:

Imagine being kept on a static chain for most of your life. No freedom to move around. Some days you cannot get to your food bowl, because it is out of reach. Your chain is just long enough for you to get into your kennel, but not long enough to lie down comfortably.

You cannot run around and play like others of your kind.

Frustration starts to set in and you become a “bad” dog who just wants to jump up and beg for attention. On top of this, you have to live with a daily smell of rot hanging in the air around you because the chain started growing into your flesh. Your wounds became infected and you are given no treatment, suffering alone with no one to comfort you.

Hoping someone would come to rescue you.

Day in and day out you wait, but no one comes to save you. No one cares that you are in pain and suffering. Humans walk past you… they see your pain… they smell your pain… and yet they do nothing. They just leave you to suffer. They leave you to slowly fade away.

One day your owner decides to call the SPCA to collect you for euthanasia because they’ve had enough of your smell. At least they had the decency to call, even if it was months after my suffering started. At least I knew a kind death would be better than slowly dying on a chain.

The caring people at the Cape of Good Hope SPCA did not agree with the ending of my story, so they changed it.

They promised to give me a second chance. They promised to help me heal. They promised to help me find me a good forever home.

A very grateful dog,

Bubbles xxx

When Andisile approached Bubbles, her tail started to wag, and she jumped up with excitement – she knew her rescuer had arrived. Andisile gently loaded Bubbles, with the heavy chain, into the SPCA vehicle. The owner surrendered Bubbles to the SPCA and requested that she be euthanased. 

“Why did they not call us sooner” is what kept on repeating in an emotional Andisile’s mind as he drove Bubbles back to the SPCA.

At the SPCA, Andisile called Inspector Elani Graham to come look at Bubbles. Inspector Elani was horrified when she saw Bubbles and took her to our Animal Hospital where Head Veterinarian, Dr Rivona Ramnanan compiled a veterinary report in support of a cruelty case against the owner in terms of the Animals Protection Act.

The team did not want to euthanase Bubbles and wanted to give her a second chance, but legally, they could not do this without the owner’s consent. The owner surrendered Bubbles to the SPCA on the condition that she is euthanased. This left our team in a predicament.

Inspector Elani decided to call the owner in the hope of changing her mind. Inspector Elani informed the owner that the SPCA would like to give Bubbles a second chance and heal her so that she can go to a new home. Not much persuasion was required, and the owner agreed to Bubbles not being euthanased.

Given the green light, Dr Rivona and her team immediately jumped into action. Bubbles was sedated to allow Dr Rivona and the team to conduct a proper examination, and establish how deep the chain was embedded. Upon closer examination, the team found that the chain was so deeply embedded that muscle and skin had started growing through the links of the chains. Because of this, the embedded chain could not be easily removed and surgery was required. After the chain was removed, skin and tissue was extensively debrided. Tissue was reopposed and the wound was stitched closed.

The operation was a success! And Bubbles is on her way to recovery. With Dr Rivona and Inspector Elani visiting Bubbles daily, they both knew it was a long road to recovery.

“What astounds me is that someone hurt and abused Bubbles badly, yet she has no hard feelings towards a human and just wants love. This inspires me to help more animals and to do better.” said Dr Rivona

Even though Bubbles was through severe cruelty and neglect, she was still very friendly, and her tail just kept on wagging. Her owners will now be facing charges of animal cruelty in terms of the Animals Protection Act 71 of 1962. 

Our in-house animal behaviourist has been working with Bubbles to assist with socialization. The journey to rehabilitation continues, and we are hopeful that she will make a full recovery and will be ready to go to her forever home soon!

Bubbles deserve a second chance at life, and she deserves to be loved and shown that there is kindness in the world. If you are willing to give Bubbles a second chance, please contact our adoptions team on 021 700 4152 or send an email to

Donate NOW to help us fight for justice for Bubbles

It is only through YOUR support that we can continue to help animals like Bubbles to have a chance for a better future.

The SPCA receives no funding from the government and relies on donations from the public in order to function

Your continued dedication, ongoing support, and passion for protecting the lives of animals is what makes us successful. Thank you for everything you do to help make this a better world for animals.

Story of Bubbles - life on a chain

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