Over the past few weeks, there has been an exponential amount of media exposure regarding pitbull’s attacking humans, especially children. As a result, SPCAs around South Africa are facing the difficult task of dealing with the aftermath of these tragic attacks. Pitbulls are being surrendered to SPCAs in large numbers and, in communities where owners have not surrendered their pitbulls, the communities are beginning to take matters into their own hands. Animals are being poisoned, stabbed, beaten, and set alight in retaliation from angry communities.
This issue has also gained the attention of major political parties, National Unions, and National Civic Organisations either quoting or misquoting the NSPCA or threatening/instructing pitbull owners to surrender their dogs to the SPCA.
As the number of aggressive dogs surrendered to SPCAs across South Africa increases, so too does the NSPCAs concern for the effect this will have on SPCAs (especially the smaller Societies operating in outlying areas) as well as what will happen in the areas where there are no SPCAs
The SPCA does not receive funding from the Government. In addition to the vital work that SPCAs are already providing to their communities on limited resources, we are faced with dealing with this issue alone as well.
The SPCA movement is taking action at GREAT risk and cost to assist animals and communities. Realistically, the movement does not have the resources to cover the cost of this national campaign without support from other relevant role-players in this matter.
The NSPCA has formally addressed the Department of Agriculture, Rural Development, and Land Reform to enquire what their plan and strategy to address this national issue is, given that this is their responsibility.
There is an urgent need for Government intervention with regard to this issue, failing which humans and animals could be harmed at an even greater scale.