A Chained Dog is an Unhappy Dog
Keeping dogs on short chains or ropes is a common trend in Cape Town. Chaining of dogs is one of the most common welfare problems occurring with dogs.
Whenever a dog is kept continuously chained or tethered, the dog becomes neurotic, unhappy, anxious, and often aggressive. It is common for continuously chained or tethered dogs to endure physical ailments because of being continuously chained or tethered.
The Cape of Good Hope SPCA is totally opposed to the keeping of dogs on chains or ropes.
In such cases, our mission is always first to educate the owners to help find a solution so that the dog is not kept chained or tethered. If no solution can be found, then this leaves our Inspectors with no other option but to remove the dog.
Why a dog should not be chained
A chained dog does not have the ability to –
- Develop or function normally – mentally or physically;
- Protect themselves from the elements;
- Search for food or water if the owner does not provide these;
- Defend themselves;
All animal cruelty cases reported to the Cape of Good Hope SPCA are investigated within 24 hours of being reported, unless it is a life-threatening emergency, then our team will respond immediately.
As part of the investigation process, our Inspectors first attempt to educate the owner. As part of the education process, our Inspectors will first issue the owner with a written warning or notice. This forms part of the investigation process, and the building of a dossier should future action be required.
Education is vital in any animal cruelty case; otherwise, the perpetrator will plead ignorance and will most likely get away with their actions. In any court case, we have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the intention of the owner was to intentionally subject the animal to unnecessary suffering and cruelty.
In some cases, the owner will receive up to three (3) warnings, depending on the severity.
If the owner does not comply with the warnings, then this leaves our Inspectors with no other option but to apply for a court order in terms of the Animals Protection Act 71 of 1962, read together with Regulation 468, to confiscate the dogs and pursue criminal charges for animal cruelty.
The Animals Protection Act 71 of 1962 is very clear when it comes to the confinement, chaining or tethering of animals in South Africa. It is an offence for any person to confine, chain or tether any animal unnecessarily or under such condition or in such a manner or position as to cause that animal unnecessary suffering.
2. OFFENCES IN RESPECT OF ANIMALS – (1) Any person who:
(b) confines, chains, tethers or secures any animal unnecessarily or under such conditions or in such a manner or position as to cause that animal unnecessary suffering or in any place which affords inadequate space, ventilation, light protection or shelter from heat, cold or weather; or
The onus rests on the SPCA to prove that the chaining or tethering was unnecessary and caused unnecessary suffering to the animal.
Any person found guilty of a charge under the Animals Protection Act 71 of 1962 can be sentenced to a fine of up to R40,000 and/or 12 months imprisonment with a criminal record. The court can also make an order to declare the person unfit to own or be in possession of any animal for a specified period of time.