The story of the husky, Max, that was allegedly beaten to death in White River, after apparently attacking the neighbour’s goats, continues to dominate social media headlines, as support increases for justice to be served in this alleged case of animal cruelty, a tragedy that the NSPCA announced today was sadly “one of many” in South Africa over the festive season.
An Avaaz Community Petition has been launched today, with a goal of gathering at least 10,000 signatures. Early this evening over 1,000 people had already signed the petition which was started by Rowena M. from South Africa, and will be delivered to the mayor of White River, Mpumalanga.
The Petition claims “Max was taken to an outside room by Mr S and his workers and beaten to death. The necropsy showed [they] punctured his lung and he drowned in his own blood. The reason. Apparently he bit a goat on the leg. No animal deserves a death like this. NO fine. NO SLAP ON THE WRIST. WE WANT JAIL TIME AND A CRIMINAL RECORD.”
The NSPCA (National Council of SPCA’s) confirmed in a statement today that the Lowveld SPCA is also working closely with the White River SAPS “to ensure that justice is served for a Husky dog, beaten to death for allegedly attacking goats.”
In the statement – headed “DOG BEATEN TO DEATH” – the NSPCA outlined the history of the case:
“On Tuesday, 30 December 2014, the Lowveld SPCA, accompanied by the White River K9 Dog Unit, went to the scene and investigated the matter. The carcass of the dog was removed by the Lowveld SPCA and taken to a veterinarian for a post mortem. The owner of the dog subsequently laid charges of animal cruelty in terms of the Animals Protection Act against the accused.”
The NSPCA revealed that further charges will be added to this case by the Lowveld SPCA once the post mortem report has been received.
The statement said that the Lowveld SPCA is working closely with the Investigating Officer, Sgt Malatjie of the White River SAPS, to ensure that all evidence is included in the docket. It emphasised that, as with all cases of animaly cruely when the SPCA lays charges, it is essential that a comprehensive and complete docket is submitted to SAPs so that the case is strengthened “with substantiation” and has a better chance to proceed and succeed. They cautioned that this does take time.
“The docket is in preparation,” said Senior Inspector Jaco Pieterse of the NSPCA. “There has been a huge media and public reaction to this issue. We share the outrage and horror but at the same time we ask for understanding. To act in the best interest of the animal, we need to ensure that the complete, final docket is submitted.”
He added that the issue is “emotive” and “sadly, this dreadful case is just one of many cases of absolute horror which took place over the festive season and with which the SPCA movement is dealing.
“Resources country-wide have been stretched to their limit and we appeal to everyone to support the SPCA movement in our endeavours to prevent cruelty to animals and to support us when we take decisive action against perpetrators.”
The NSPCA requested that any donations being made “to assist this case” be made directly to the Lowveld SPCA.
The organisation added that all SPCAs need support as “cruelty – unfortunately – rears its ugly head year-round.”
It may be too late to save Max’s life…but the fact that this case has grabbed headlines could have an impact on how future animal cruelty cases in South Africa are treated. And hopefully the increase in awareness of tragedies like this will benefit SPCAs around the country who work tirelessly on behalf of animals who cannot stand up for themselves.