Posted on 2020-03-20 08:23:31
Once again, animals have been let down. Our Inspectors have limited powers and we need your help to fight on for the voiceless victims that fall prey to sick human beings who repeatedly abuse them.
Last April, our SPCA Inspectors removed 100 dead and dying dogs from a filthy, squalid house in Clare Estate – in what was one of the worst cases of animal cruelty we’ve ever seen.
Of the 80 dogs found alive, not one could be saved. They were suffering from starvation, dehydration, coccidiosis (from eating faeces), tick bite fever, hookworm and round worm infestations, blindness, infected bite wounds from fighting among themselves, severe tick and flea infestations, deformities caused by inbreeding, and open, foetid wounds. All of them displayed severe behavioural problems.
The owner was charged on 80 separate counts of animal cruelty, and 6 different charges. This entailed preparing 80 detailed reports – one for each dog – describing its condition and the findings of the veterinary examination performed by our Dr Muchopa, along with photographic evidence of the animal and its living conditions.
Based on this compelling evidence, the State agreed to prosecute the case. The owner of the dogs was medically assessed and found fit to stand trial. Since then, she has appeared in court on ten different occasions and our Inspector has attended every one of these appearances. The trial has finally been set to begin in the Durban Magistrates Court on 28 April 2020 . Again, our inspectors and vet will be present to take the stand as witnesses to the suffering of the animals seized.
But in the meantime, the accused remained free. Our inspectors visited the property on countless occasions to make sure she wasn’t accumulating more animals. Sydenham SAPS also conducted regular drivebys. Unfortunately, the grounds are extensive. It’s impossible to check from outside the gate and the owner refuses to let anyone onto the property. She has the law on her side.
Neither the SPCA nor the police may enter a property without the owner’s consent. We have to apply to the magistrate for a warrant, which will only be granted if we have proof – not mere suspicion – that animals are being ill treated.
After receiving photographic evidence from a neighbour that there were at least three dogs living on the property, Inspector Sadayan immediately prepared a warrant. The magistrate was unable to sign it on legal grounds that there was no proof that animals were suffering.
Inspector Sadayan then prepared a second warrant, highlighting the complete lack of utilities and running water on the property for animals to drink. This was granted.
The following morning, 12 March 2020, a team from our SPCA, comprising inspectors, our vet and the general manager, went to the property, accompanied by two SAPS captains. The owner was verbally abusive and physically attacked us when bolt cutters were used to open the gate. She had to be restrained by the SAPS.
On this occasion we removed 17 adult dogs, 9 newborn puppies, 2 cats and a chicken, which were living amid wall to wall faeces, dirt, debris and rotting dog corpses. There was no trace of drinkable water or food for the animals. 21 dog skulls were also removed from a bathroom containing the remains of countless dogs in varying stages of decomposition. New cruelty charges will be laid.
We have to stop her. Permanently. And the only way is through the courts. Please sign our petition now.
With the trial due to start on 28 April 2020, we don't have much time. Please share on social media and ask your contacts to get involved too.
We want to deliver this petition to the magistrate with 10 000 signatures to get the message across that animal cruelty is not a 'low level' crime. We demand justice for the voiceless victims.