Posted on 2021-08-31 08:39:04
After receiving a tip off from a concerned member of the public, inspector Sabelo Ngcobo went to a home in Chatsworth where he found a Labrador so thin and weak that it was unable to walk. Little more than skin and bone, the dog was just lying there, waiting for death to end its suffering.
The owner signed the dog over to us for euthanasia – but we felt strongly that this was not enough. We had to make sure that this wouldn’t happen to another hapless animal, so we opened a case against the owner under Section 3 of the Animal Protection Act. He pled guilty and paid an admission of guilt fine of R1 000. In addition, he was declared unfit to own, or be in charge of, any animal for a period of five years.
After almost two years of court appearances, our team finally achieved the successful conviction of a Verulam man who failed to provide veterinary treatment for his dog, Snoopy – even after receiving a warning from our inspector.
Snoopy had a tumour, weighing almost three kilograms, hanging from his abdomen. By the time someone reported the dog’s condition to us, the tumor was dragging along the ground and had become ulcerated and infected as a result. Our vet, Dr Muchopa, estimated that it would have taken at least a year for the growth to reach this size . . . a year of pain and suffering which poor Snoopy endured without any veterinary treatment.
Thanks to the perseverance of our Inspectorate team, the owner was eventually brought to justice. He was sentenced to a fine of R10 000 or six months in prison, wholly suspended with conditions, which include that he may not own, or be in charge of, any animal for the next 15 years. In her judgement, the Magistrate commended the SPCA and our inspectors for their hard work in pursuing the case until justice was served.
Another case that dragged on for two years finally resulted in the successful prosecution of a Wentworth man who kept 12 German Shepherds in squalid conditions without food, water or adequate shelter. When inspector Ramsamy investigated the complaint, he found puppies eating faeces to stay alive. All the dogs were desperately thirsty.
Inspector Ramsamy issued written warnings, which were ignored, and then returned with a warrant authorizing us to seize the animals. The owner pled not guilty to the charges against him. But after hearing testimony from our inspector and vet, the Magistrate sentenced him to a fine of R8 000 or eight months in prison, half of which was suspended.