Using an Animal for Begging is Illegal

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Last week Chief Inspector Jaco Pieterse and Inspector Carina Bodenstein responded to a complaint of a beggar using a dog to solicit money from motorists using the Racecourse Road off-ramp from the M5 highway in Kenilworth. It was reported that the dog is being carried like a sack of potatoes and that the dog is looking lethargic.


Arriving at the scene

Upon arrival, the Inspectors saw the beggar moving between the cars, begging for money with the dog hanging from his shoulder. The dog looked lethargic and had no access to drinking water. This is not the first complaint about this beggar exploiting animals to generate an income. When the Inspectors approached the man, he became very hostile and refused to comply.

When Inspector Bodenstein picked the dog up from the ground, the man stormed toward her and wanted to grab the dog out of her hands. Fortunately, Chief Inspector Pieterse managed to block the man, and he was unable to get the dog. The man then picked up an empty glass bottle and wanted to hit Inspector Bodenstein over the head. This was when matters escalated drastically, but the Inspectors stood steadfast in their mission and confiscated the dog.

Dog brought to safety

The dog, now called Pepper, was brought back to the safety of the Cape of Good Hope SPCA where our veterinary team examined her. Pepper was given a clean bill of health and is now looking for her forever home.

In the meantime, Pepper visits Inspector Bodenstein in her office daily and is sleeping in comfort with a lot of love and attention until she finds her forever home.

If you can offer a forever home to Pepper then please contact Inspector Bodenstein on 021 700 4158/9 or by sending an email to

What does the law say?

In terms of Section 12 of the City of Cape Town’s Animal Keeping By-Law, it is an offence to use an animal for begging purposes without being in possession of a permit from the City of Cape Town.

Displaying or exhibiting of an animal for show or financial gain (1) No person shall display or exhibit an animal for show or financial gain in a public space or public road, unless such person is the holder of a permit issued by the City or Cape Nature. This includes the use of an animal for begging or fundraising purposes. In the event that the City receives an application from a person for the displaying or exhibiting of an animal for show or financial gain they shall consult an animal welfare Inspector authorised in terms of Section 8(1) of the Animals Protection Act 71 of 1962 for comment and input.

Do not support beggars exploiting animals

We are appealing to the public to refrain from donating to beggars using animals. Not only is it illegal to use an animal for begging, but it also places the animal in a compromising position. Instead, report such incidents to Law Enforcement by calling 021 480 7700 or the Cape of Good Hope SPCA on 021 700 4158/9.

Using an animal for begging is illegal

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