9 Hunters Arrested and 32 Greyhounds Confiscated
9 Hunters Arrested and 32 Greyhounds Confiscated. Photo: iStockPhoto

Trying to escape the jaws and teeth of 32 dogs when you are a tiny scrub hare, juvenile porcupine or small antelope must be a horrific race for survival, says the Bloemfontein SPCA.

The comment comes following the confiscation of 32 Greyhounds, and arrest of nine hunters who were trespassing on a farmer’s land in the Free State. The dogs belong to professional people who pay a lot for the animals, and even more to bet on them.

The SPCA was alerted to the illegal hunters by members of the Goedemoed community.

“We didn’t know what to expect. Usually, complaints about illegal hunting involve 2 or 3 dogs, this time though 32 dogs were reported with the illegal hunters. When we arrived at the police station, I was shocked to see those dogs in the cells,” said senior Bloemfontein SPCA Inspector Reinet Meyer.


The hunters were illegally hunting for wild animals… in fact for any animals in the area. “These hunters do not care about what animals they are hunting. They will hunt anything from hares, porcupine, and aardvark, including endangered species. These hunters are monsters that do not distinguish between prey and neither do they really care for or about their dogs, in this case Greyhounds,” the SPCA said in a media statement.

Apparently the hunters starve the animals before they go hunting to ensure the hunt’s success. This was evident on Sunday when the SPCA discovered the Greyhounds in an “appalling compromised state”. They were severely underweight, and swallowed the food they were given whole instead of chewing it first.

Some had contagious diseases, others had “horrible old fractures” and some struggled to even walk. The SPCA was shocked the dogs were even being used for hunting, and said they could only imagine what cruelty they must’ve been living under. One dog – a female – was struggling to breathe normally. She had a fractured nose and a septic wound.

It was clear the dogs had been chained and/or caged in between hunts. They had overgrown nails and the scars of the chains around their necks “told a heartbreaking story”, said the SPCA.

“This is organized crime, as the hunters will go hunting and see whose dog is the first to successfully hunt. They bet money on the dogs to see which dog will win by hunting the largest prey.

“It came to our attention at the police station that the dogs belong to medical doctors, engineers, lecturers, and advocates. Professional people. These individuals are in a financial position to pay a lot of money for the dogs, and bet even more on them in their blood thirst activity.

“Most of the accused and the owners are from the Eastern Cape. At the Police station the hunters asked that the Greyhounds not be sterilized (or they would) pay for the damage,” said Senior Inspector Meyer.

The SPCA reiterated: “We cannot express the stress and fear this has on the dogs and the animals being hunted. Just imagine 32 dogs chasing you to kill you. This is how little hares, duikers, porcupines, and all other animals feel being hunted. Keep in mind this is not in natural wild circumstances. This hunting is cruel and destructive. There are times when the dog will only injure the animal and the hunter will hit the hunted animal with a knobkerrie or stab the animal until it is dead. Just think of all the cruelty involved during this hunt and the extent of suffering for the animals.

“This is an awful thing, and we see it happen more and more. We ask farmers to notify your nearest or local SPCA and SAPS if you suspect or find hunters on your farm.”

The 32 Greyhounds are currently under the care of Bloemfontein SPCA at an undisclosed location. Unfortunately, due to severe injuries, diseases, and fractures, three of the Greyhounds were humanly euthanized to end their suffering. The other 29 Greyhounds will remain in the SPCA’s care and require medical attention.

“We humbly ask for donations that will go towards the medical cost and nutritional food that will help with the compromised conditions of the dogs,” said the SPCA.

If you can help:

Bank details:

Bank: ABSA

Account name: BFN Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Account number: 927 910 2644 Branch code: 632 005 Savings Account

Reference: Greyhounds

Or

You can send an SMS to 42646 with the word Bloemspca. (SMS cost R30) Or visit their website www.bloemfonteinspca.co.za and click on the donate button to do an easy payment towards lions – reference Greyhounds.

“Thank you to you the supporters that help us when we and an animal need help! We appreciate all your support,” says Bloemfontein SPCA.