Yet another child in South Africa has tragically been mauled by pit bull dogs… who then met a tragic end themselves when members of the Cape Town community turned on them, brutally stoning the three dogs before setting them alight.
The SPCA said on Monday that it was alerted to the brutal killing of three pit bulls who were also set alight by community members in Gatesville, Athlone.
According to the report received by the SPCA – the second incident of dogs being set alight in one weekend – the dogs had attacked a young girl in a Gatesville field. The child sustained severe injuries and had to be rushed to a nearby hospital for treatment.
The community took matters into their own hands and attacked the dogs – stoning, stabbing and hitting the animals with various objects before burning them to death, said the SPCA.
SPCA Inspector Jeffrey Mfini, who rushed to the scene after the SPCA received the report, found the dogs still burning. Mfini extinguished the fire but all the animals had succumbed to their injuries. (See video here. Not for sensitive viewers.)
The dogs’ bodies were taken to the SPCA premises in Grassy Park, where post-mortems will be conducted.
“We urge the public to contact the SPCA if a dog behaves aggressively or tries to bite someone. We will take the dog immediately. People must not take matters into their own hands – no animal deserves to endure brutality and suffering,” said the SPCA’s Chief Inspector, Jaco Pieterse.
“It is tragic that a child was harmed and in turn, the animals were brutally attacked. No dog should be roaming the streets. Responsible pet owners ensure their animals are kept within their properties. If your home is not adequately fenced, don’t get a dog,” added Pieterse.
One local witness told IOL: “We are tired of these people wanting to parade with their pit bulls knowing they are a danger to society. It’s not enough our children are being slaughtered by vicious criminals, and brazen gangsters.”
According to the BBC, South Africa has one of the highest rates of dog attacks in the world per capita. Pitbull Terriers are becoming the “notorious representative” of dog attacks in SA, said the NSPCA, although other breeds have also been responsible.
There has been a call to ban Pit Bulls in South Africa, with Sizwe Kupelo Foundation’s ‘Ban The Breed’ Petition signed by over 90,000 people. The Cape of Good Hope SPCA says the SPCA movement does not support the petition to ban or outlaw pit bulls – but “fully supports the motion to develop and implement stronger regulations/legislation with regard to the keeping and breeding of power breed dogs.”
A three-year-old boy is also reported to have been killed by two Pit Bull terriers in the Free State.
The BBC reported a week ago that almost 50 pit bull pets had been handed in to the SPCA in Bloemfontein following a Pit Bull attack on an eight-year-old who died in a house in Vista Park. The dog had allegedly escaped, jumped a fence and entered the neighbour’s compound last Sunday afternoon.
The NSPCA says not only people suffer from these dog attacks, but other animals too, due to some irresponsible owners who lack the skills to handle power-breeds. The organisation said the petition advocates for the “protection of people and responsible pet ownership. The petition calls for all Pitbulls to be castrated/sterilized which would prevent the current rate of uncontrolled breeding.” It also calls for permits.
The NSPCA urges all owners who no longer wish to keep their dogs to take them to their local SPCA, animal welfare shelter, or private veterinarian. Dog owners in Cape Town who wish to surrender their pit bulls to the SPCA should contact the Inspectorate on 021 700 4158/9 or 083 326 1604 after hours. Community members are also urged to report cruelty to animals using the same numbers.
Please donate to the SPCA here.