Justice for animals

Posted on 2020-01-06 09:02:28


Patience and perseverance pay off for our hardworking Inspectorate team, who notched up a record six convictions under the Animals Protection Act. One of the recent convictions – against Lassie’s owner – dated back to November 2016. The wheels of justice do indeed turn slowly! But we are encouraged that the courts are finally taking these cases seriously and ‘speaking up’ for animals. Special thanks to all those who signed our anti-cruelty petitions; your actions contributed to a much harsher sentence for the owner of the Dog with No Name. We are also grateful for the financial donations we receive to continue the fight against aninal cruelty. Please click the button below to add your support. Thank you!


Case #1: Fergy – neglect/failure to provide veterinary treatment
Apart from being severely emaciated, Fergy, a nine year old German Shepherd cross, had a huge untreated tumour on her hind leg. The tumour was so heavy, the dog could not lift her leg off the ground, and had to drag the useless limb behind her. It must have taken months for the growth to reach this size, causing prolonged suffering. Yet her owner failed to take Fergy to the vet, even after being instructed by our Inspector to do so.
Sentence: R2 000 fine or two months’ imprisonment, wholly suspended. R2 000 fine payable to the SPCA. Denial of ownership of any animal.

Case #2: Male Pitbull – failure to provide veterinary treatment
Apart from being in very poor condition, this dog had lived with a large, infected mass around the groin and penis for a prolonged period (more than six months). The mass eventually ruptured, oozing pus. The growth had also started to push upwards, dislocating the hip and causing the dog to lose the use of one hind leg. He was in terrible pain and had difficulty moving and urinating.
Sentence: R5 000 fine or five months imprisonment. Denied the right to own animals.

Case #3: Ollie – cruelty and neglect
Ollie had a severe case of Demodectic Mange, causing fur loss and crusty skin, that had cracked open in places, oozing pus. He was also covered in fleas and infested with roundworm.
Sentence: R5 000 fine to be paid to the SPCA within 30 days or five months in prison. Denial of ownership of any animal for a period of five years.

Case #4: Lassie (pictured)– chained up, starved and neglected
Following a tip off from a member of the public, Inspector Nkomo discovered Lassie, an adult Pitbull cross, in a terrible condition, chained up with no food or water on a property in Newlands. She was emaciated, dehydrated and listless, had flystrike on both ears, and severe flea, roundworm and hookworm infestations – plus a large (6m diameter and 3cm deep) infected pressure sore on the pelvic bone.
Sentence: 12 months’ imprisonment, wholly suspended for five years. Declared unfit to possess or be in charge of any animal for five years

Case #5: Dog starved to death at the end of a chain
One of several similar distressing cases that we prosecuted last year, this cross breed dog was already dead when Inspector Ngcobo visited the premises in Chatsworth.
Sentence: R1 000 fine or three months in prison. Declared unfit to own or be in charge of any animal for a period of five years.

Case #6: The Dog with No Name – starved to death at the end of a chain
This case was opened by Inspector Ramsamy in March 2017. After two and a half years, we finally achieved justice for the Dog with No Name.
Sentence: R5 000 fine, payable to the SPCA within 30 days or 12 months’ imprisonment. Denial of ownership of any animal for a period of 10 years.

What the law says
Under the Animals Protection Act of 1962, it is illegal to:

  • Overwork, ill-treat, neglect, torture, maim, beat, kick or terrify any animal;
  • Chain or confine any animal in any place which affords inadequate space, ventilation, light, protection or shelter from heat, cold or weather;
  • Starve or deny water to any animal;
  • Keep an animal in a dirty or parasitic condition or fail to procure veterinary treatment in the case of disease or injury;
  • Lay a trap or poison – except for the destruction of vermin, protection of property or the prevention of the spread of disease;
  • Transport any animal in such conditions or for such a period of time as to cause it unnecessary suffering;
  • Abandon an animal in circumstances likely to cause unnecessary suffering.


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