Caring South Africans and animal lovers countrywide can celebrate with the NSPCA’s Special Investigations Unit, knowing that four dog fighters and particularly evil animal abusers are behind bars tonight.
Before handing down the four sentences of imprisonment without option of a fine, Magistrate van Biljon stated that “the actions of the accused are inhuman and so cruel it is beyond any normal person’s comprehension”. She went on to state that this kind of behaviour will not be taken lightly and the Court’s sentence must both discourage re-offending as well as deter others from engaging in this crime.
Animal lovers worldwide were shocked and horrified at the video footage that showed the prolonged suffering of a terrified street dog being used to train another dog to fight. Her mouth was tied tightly closed with duct tape and she was dragged along by a chain rendering her defenceless and with no chance of escaping the powerful dog which was set upon her in a frenzied attack.
Magistrate van Biljon commented about the character of individuals that would engage in such planned and premeditated violence for entertainment purposes and expressed concern that perpetrators so young could be so ruthless.
The video footage, which is in the possession of the NSPCA and is available here (WARNING: VIDEO CONTAINS GRAPHIC MATERIAL) is extremely disturbing, a sickening revelation of the heartless, unrelenting and barbaric cruelty inflicted upon a helpless dog. Inspectors were told at the time that this poor animal was used as bait in three “training” fights on one particular day and possibly as many as 6 times in a 3-day period.
When she was so injured and weak that she was of no further use to the callous dog fighters, they let her final attacker maul her to death. To us she was never just a nameless victim. To us she was always worth fighting for. To the NSPCA she is a symbol of the horrendous so-called training process and the lifetime of suffering of all dogs forced into the criminal world of dog fighting in whatever way.
The four perpetrators of this merciless crime were all found guilty on all charges laid against them under the Animals Protection Act 71 of 1962 in February 2016. Today, almost two years after committing the crime, NSPCA Inspectors watched as they were led away to jail. Each of the perpetrators was sentenced to imprisonment without option of a fine of which only half the jail time was suspended for five years on condition that they did not re-offend during this period.
Lois McMaster Bujold said that the dead cannot cry out for Justice. It is up to the living to do so for them. The NSPCA wishes to express our heartfelt thanks to State Prosecutor David Molokomme for his dedication to the case and our sincere appreciation to Magistrate van Biljon for giving a voice to the voiceless and dispensing justice for one who could not defend herself.
The National Council of SPCAs is committed to bringing all those involved in the heinous crime of dog fighting to justice, secure in the knowledge that our judicial system will pass sentences that will serve to warn others of the dire consequences that await youth that entertain themselves with animal abuse or blood sport.