The City of Cape Town’s Law Enforcement Animal Control Unit were again at our side when the ugly reality of dog fighting reared its head in Retreat late last year. Disturbingly, five children were the culprits.They had been filmed by an eyewitness who had seen them actively fighting two pitbull-type dogs – but they had fled by the time our SPCA Inspectors arrived. Not to be deterred, the Inspectors searched the area and found the boys with one of the injured dogs. They fled again when the Inspectors attended to the injured dog – and again, the Inspectors searched and found them with the other injured dog.
It was later discovered that the dogs, both of whom suffered severe injuries and puncture wounds, had been stolen from nearby suburbs. According to the boys, dog fighting is a regular occurrence in their community.
The perpetuation of dog fighting – a violent, cruel crime – underlines the need for collaboration between community members, law enforcement, schools and child and animal welfare organisations.
Awareness efforts are critical to educating and sensitising children to the needs and humane treatment of animals – and our ongoing outreach initiatives focus on exactly this. The SPCA’s Inspectorate and Mobile Clinics visit underprivileged communities together to promote the benefits of proper animal care.
Thanks to sponsor Medinox, the SPCA visits different communities every week. During a recent visit to the Du Noon informal settlement, the team spoke to children, men and women about dog fighting – and also examined 27 animals brought to the site by residents. Of these, seven dogs were taken back to the SPCA for sterilisation – a sign of trust in the SPCA and appreciation.