Dog fighting ring busted

Five suspects were apprehended last night in Tshepisong, Roodepoort for dog fighting.

This comes after months of tracking and investigating information received from a community member in Tshepisong, Cora Bailey from Community Led Animal Welfare (Claw) in an exclusive interview with the Record said.

She said they took the information to a special unit of the National Society for the Prevention of Animals (NSPCA) and with their help, the five suspects were arrested and eight pitbulls were confiscated.

“The dogs were kept in the most inhuman and horrific circumstances. One dog was kept in a box, in this heat, without water and another dog, who was blind and chained, was also used to fight. The animals received immediate veterinary attention since they have not received any prior,” Bailey said. She added that she cannot disclose where the dogs are kept to not compromise the safety of the animals and the staff.

“Videos were also made available and I can assure you the injuries are horrific. People who do this are, in my opinion, nothing short of psychopaths who enjoy violence of this kind.” Although this might only be the tip of the iceberg, it is a huge breakthrough, Bailey added.

Dogs are usually placed a a ring where they fight until they are too badly hurt or tired, but sometimes they fight to death.

In a press statement released by the NSPCA, the residents of Tshepisong became increasingly concerned about the often atrocious conditions these dogs were being kept in and were growing trend of the constant stream of injured, broken and bleeding dogs as well as the violence of the youth involved in the crime and the threat that these dogs presented to the community and pet owners.

“The community brought these concerns to Claw who operate a community based initiative assisting pets owners in Durban Deep and surrounding areas. Claw also noticed the rapid rise in pitbull ownership, the influx of injured dogs and she had heard rumours of these dogs being used for criminal activities,” the statement read.

It continued by stating that being aware of the seriousness of the complaints, Claw referred the members to the NSPCA. The information received included video clips of violent, bloody dog fights, the dog fighters and the hiding places of the injured dogs.

“Intensive investigations based on these anonymous tip-offs was rewarded when, during the course of the past week, inspectors from the NSPCA and the police officers from the West Rand K9 unit arrested the suspects and rescued the injured and grievously ill animals victims of dog fighting.”

The NSPCA salute who stand up, speak out and take action to eradicate this horrific crime from the communities and raise their voices for the voiceless victims of dig fighting.

The suspects will be charged with cruelty to animals, dog fighting and animal abuse.

Should they be find guilty on the charges, they can face jail time of 15 years, R300 000 fine and are prohibited form owning or caring for any kind of animal again.

The NSPCA rewards anybody with information that leads to the arrest and successful conviction with R15 000.

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Roelien Vorster

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