Brave guard dog recovering after stabbing

2014-09-23 00:00

A VALIANT guard dog that was stabbed twice in the neck by a suspected diesel thief is fast recovering, thanks to lots of TLC from his human handlers.

Themba Dladla (47), a security officer of Security Group, had responded with Castro, a two-year-old Belgian Shepherd dog to an alarm after witnesses saw men allegedly stealing diesel in Empangeni on Friday.

Two suspects were arrested on the scene, but two accomplices had disappeared into a sugarcane field.

Dladla said when they spotted the suspects disappearing onto the field, he let lose Castro, who bolted forward, knocking a suspect off his feet.

“I heard the suspect scream and when Castro returned to me, I sent him back. When he returned again I noticed he was stabbed,” said Dladla.

He said it took only five minutes to rush with the wounded Castro out of the thick bush, but it felt more like a lifetime. “When we finally got out, he was taken to the Zululand Veterinary Hospital,” he said. Dladla said he cried unashamedly as his dog was loaded into the vehicle.

“I know what a dog can do for a man. I was saved so many times by Castro, so when he was stabbed it really hurt me,” he said.

Tanya Erasmus, a secretary at Security Group, stayed with the dog throughout his operation. She said that she was very emotional because of how close she was to Castro. “I kept him calm because he becomes apprehensive when someone he doesn’t know get close to him,” said Erasmus.

She said Castro was discharged on Saturday and is recovering well.

“He went for a four-kilometre walk today and he’s got his appetite back. We aren’t rushing him back to work but he could start light duty in two weeks,” said Erasmus.

Both suspects, including the one that stabbed Castro, made good their escape in the sugarcane field. SAPS spokesperson Captain Thulani Zwane said a case of animal cruelty was opened at Empangeni police station.

• rumana.akoob@witness.co.za

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