The NSPCA’s Special Investigations Unit welcomes the recent ruling in the matter of severe neglect and cruelty to dogs in the Newcastle area. On 27 September 2023, Mr Kamil Gordhan, the owner responsible for the mistreatment of three Dogo Argentino breed dogs pleaded guilty at the Newcastle Court.
The initial investigations, conducted in January 2023, revealed that these innocent animals were living in deplorable conditions. The NSPCA’s Special Investigations Unit obtained a warrant to rescue the dogs, who were found confined to enclosures at a business premises. The dogs were emaciated, surrounded by their own waste, and devoid of food and water. Thanks to the swift action of the Special Investigations Unit, these dogs were rescued from their dire circumstances and provided with the care and attention they so desperately needed.
Mr Kamil Gordhan was sentenced to R20,000 or 10 months’ imprisonment, wholly suspended for 5 years, on the condition that he does not commit a similar offense within this period. Additionally, he is prohibited from owning dogs for a period of 10 months.
Magistrate M. Mthembu, in her judgment, expressed empathy towards animal cruelty cases. She acknowledged the invaluable role played by the NSPCA for its protection of animals, specifically pointing out that voiceless animals are in desperate need of such guardianship. She added that animals are not simply property but living beings and they should be treated as such.
While the NSPCA was hopeful for a harsher sentence we respect the Court’s order, as she was forced into considering that the accused did not waste any more of the courts time, and he took full responsibility for his actions, throwing himself at the mercy of the court.
The time from the rescue of the dogs to the sentence was eight months, which must serve as a warning to potential offenders that the backlog of crimes in the courts will not frustrate the NSPCA in its function, and it will follow through until the case is finalised. The NSPCA personnel, from Gauteng, were in court prepared to testify, if the accused did not enter into the plea and sentence agreement.