Midrand SPCA rescue two dogs stolen by minors

Pam Pretorius and her new adopted Shar Pei, Blue.

 

Midrand SPCA recently fell victim to the theft of two of their dogs from their premises, allegedly by minors.

The search for the two stolen dogs led to the Midrand SPCA discovering the desperate plight of some of the animals living in the community.

“We need your help to keep our animals safe at all times and to deal with the cruelty which is rife in our area. Our staff arrived at work on the morning of 23 July, to find two of our puppies missing,” said Midrand SPCA general manager Pam Pretorius.

“One is a cross-Staffie and it is always a concern because they are often stolen and lost in the illegal dogfighting industry. The second dog was a Shar Pei who had been undergoing treatment for a badly ulcerated eye caused by a condition known as entropia and was awaiting surgery.”

She said they jumped into action. “Our concerned and dedicated team launched an immediate search party for the missing animals, coordinating a massive dog hunt to comb the area, searching high and low for three days, desperate to find our two missing animals and fearing the worst.”

Pretorius revealed that the search highlighted the ignorance of basic animal care in the community, as well as a number of animal cruelty concerns which resulted in the SPCA issuing various warnings, with most of the animals being handed to the SPCA. This was a reminder of how important it is to educate the community about the correct way to treat an animal.

“On the fourth day of the search, we were contacted by a concerned gentleman who let us know that he had seen a Shar Pei that was being walked by a group of youngsters. We asked for the exact location of the dog and the gentleman raced through to the SPCA to collect our team and he took us to the exact location of where he had seen the dog,” she said.

“We found the dog chained to a tree, surrounded by a group of four children aged between 10 and 14. We immediately identified the dog as our stolen Shar Pei. In the time that he’d been away from the care of the SPCA, he’d been without his essential medication, and his eye condition had deteriorated considerably. He will need to undergo a series of painful operations before the eye will be properly healed.”

The society interrogated one of the minors who, after some time, shared where the other puppy was. “The puppy had been chained on a short leash and [was living in an overturned] dustbin where it was lying in the most horrific conditions.”

Both dogs were taken back to the SPCA.

After further interrogation, the minor revealed to the society how he was able to steal the dogs, stating that he and a group of his friends had been watching the dogs for some time and had stolen some food and blankets in the process as well.

“We immediately contacted the police and opened a case of theft. We believe that it is important that we set an example in this case. If children are allowed to start doing crime at this age and never have to face the consequences of their actions and cruelty, what hope do we have for the next generation?

“After this incident, we have taken additional measures to ensure the safety of our animals. We desperately need to erect additional fencing around our kennels to keep our animals safe. Enclosing our puppy kennels is our top priority, but the cost of this project is, as like anything else, enormously costly. We need your help to collect the R40 000 necessary to make the required security upgrades to ensure that we are able to protect our animals.”

The cross-Staffie was subjected to unhealthy living conditions after it had been stolen from the SPCA.

She said the Midrand SPCA is so grateful for the assistance of the kind gentleman who helped them to retrieve the stolen animals, and also to their team who refused to give up on the search.

“The search for our animals made us aware of the cruelty still out there and we realise that the need for a sterilisation programme is also desperately required. Statistically, for every one litter born, we will be forced to euthanase over 7 000 unwanted, desperate animals simply because people aren’t aware of how essential it is to sterilise their animals,” she added.

Pretorius has adopted the Shar Pei named Blue, and community members are also encouraged to adopt some of the animals.

Details: Midrand SPCA 011 265 9935; [email protected]

  AUTHOR
Welisa Nene
Journalist

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