Recently, the NSPCA received the judgements of two harrowing cases of animal cruelty, including the barbaric act of dog fighting. Prosecution of the perpetrators was initiated by the NSPCA, who pursued each case with vigour and dedication to obtain justice for the animals that suffered at the hands of their abusers.

In June 2020, the NSPCAs Special Investigations Unit responded to a complaint in Meadowlands, Soweto. Our inspectors were appalled to find two dogs in a body condition that resembled that of walking skeletons. Their bodies were covered in wounds and scars and they were infested with external parasites. Neither of these dogs had been provided with the urgent veterinary attention they needed by their owner.

One of the dogs was found confined to a short chain in a dark, damp area. He had no space to move, no food, no water and was living in his own excrements. The second dog was found sleeping on the cold, damp concrete floor with no other alternative available to him and no access to food or drinking water.

Both dogs were removed by the NSPCA and a case was opened. The abuser, Mr Mashudu Collen Setsheni, was found guilty on all nine charges of animal cruelty brought against him. The Meadowlands Court has, on the 29th of September 2021, sentenced Setsheni to three years imprisonment suspended for five years.

In September 2018, enroute from another complaint in Protea Glen, Soweto, the NSPCAs SIU intercepted 3 young men walking a severely injured Pitbull. Our inspectors stopped immediately and began investigating. Fresh, bleeding wounds were found on the dog, as well as multiple severe scar wounds.

The owner, Mr. Sithole, refused to sign the dog over to the NSPCA for veterinary treatment- which he failed to provide prior to our intervention. Sithole then fled with the dog but our inspectors refused to give up. Together with the community, they were able to track down Sithole’s property.

Not only did our unit find the injured pitbull, they also found three other dogs, under the control of Sithole, who were used for the purposes of breeding and dog fighting activities. All four dogs were confiscated by the NSPCA, and Sithole was charged with animal cruelty.

When handing down judgement, the magistrate stated, “[Dogs] are sentient beings and hurt as much as humans do…The court fears that if you can do this to animals, what can you do to humans?”

Sithole was sentenced to 2 years imprisonment, suspended for 5 years and has been denied the right to own animals in the future.

“One can only imagine what misery those innocent dogs were subjected to. The fighting, the starvation, the pain they would have felt for those wounds and broken teeth…and the lack of care. I know in their final moments, our team showed them what it feels like to be loved and cared for, and we have fought for their justice.” – Marcelle Meredith, Executive Director.

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