The NSPCA was alerted by a brave member of the public who reported that a teenage boy and his uncle, Mr James Bennie, who is said to be a pastor, were involved in organised dog fighting at a property in Eden Park, Ekurhuleni in August 2016.
NSPCA Inspector Nadia Hansa and Senior Inspector Kingstone Siziba of the Alberton SPCA immediately responded to the complaint. Upon arrival at the Eden Park property they found a horrifying scene of cruelty and long term suffering.
The Inspectors found three pit bull terriers and five crossbreed dogs who were in severe distress.
A white pit bull terrier named Biscuit was found collapsed, unable to walk and covered in deep infected wounds. The two other pit bull dogs had similar wounds and were heavily scarred from past dog fights.
Instead of receiving treatment for these injuries suffered at the hands of their owners, the dogs had been left to starve on short chains without food or water. The crossbreed dogs were similarly emaciated and had a number of untreated injuries.
“The dual nature of this cruelty makes it all the more horrific. The dogs had clearly been used for organised dog fighting but instead of even a basic level of care after the fights, they had then been left chained up outside the back door to die slowly of their infected wounds and callous neglect” said Inspector Hansa.
The eight dogs were removed from the property and taken to the SPCA for immediate veterinary treatment. The three Pitbulls; Biscuit, Bazooka and Boomer, and two of the crossbred dogs were in such a state of infection, starvation and collapse that they sadly had to be euthanased.
Today, after twenty appearances in court and numerous challenges, the court delivered their sentence. Mr Bennie was sentenced to two years imprisonment and his teenage nephew to two years house arrest. Both of the convicted were denied ownership of all animals.
The NSPCA commends these strong sentences and thanks Magistrate Martini for taking a powerful stand against this violent and destructive crime, in his judgement the magistrate recognised that “these dogs suffered severely in the hands of the accused.”
Following the court’s decision to deny ownership to the convicted, the NSPCA conducted a follow up inspection at the property and found twelve dogs which have been removed.
To report suspected dog fighters, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Account Name: SPCA NATIONAL COUNCIL OF SA
Bank: STANDARD BANK
Account No. 220 639 744
Branch Code: 051 001
Beneficiary Ref: WARRIOR