Pit-bull alert: Do you know the whereabouts of the dangerous dog that attacked an Ashburton jogger?

2010-02-11 00:00

HAVE you seen this dog? According to Ashburton residents, it is vicious and attacks without any provocation.

The dog, an 18-month-old pit- bull terrier named Velo, was given away by its owner Keagan Petersen (20), apparently to prevent it from being put down, after it attacked Witness staffer Janice Whitelaw last Thursday.

People in the area say it is not the first time the dog has attacked passers-by. They describe Velo as a menace, adding that he terrorises people and pets in the area.

He has allegedly attacked other dogs through the fences around their properties.

While it has been reported that the Petersens’ gate is always open, a number of people also claim to have seen the dog jump over the fence.

Petersen’s father owns taxis, and it is believed that taxi drivers reporting to the property often leave the gate open.

Petersen has previously owned other pit-bull terriers, one of whom killed the Whitelaws’ dog.

Msunduzi Mayor Zanele Hlatshwayo’s sister, Nana Ngobese, said four of her dogs have been killed by Petersen’s dogs in the past two years.

Hlatshwayo and her sister live on the same street as the Petersen family.

Ngobese told The Witness that they have been reporting the Petersen family and their problem dogs to the police since moving to the neighbourhood three years ago. But they were simply told to negotiate with the owner.

“Our kids have to walk in shrubs to get to the bus stop … and he knows that, but he doesn’t give a damn what happens,” she said.

Ngobese laid a charge against the Petersen family yesterday for keeping a ferocious dog. Whitelaw has also laid a charge.

The Witness was told on Tuesday by the head of the Msunduzi Municipality licensing department, Mandla Sithole, that it has no plans to trace the dog.

His department is responsible for acting against problematic dogs that are found outside their homes.

The SPCA’s Maureen Vida said it has no jurisdiction to impound and destroy vicious dogs without getting authority from the municipality.

Whitelaw’s husband, Gavin, said that by not having the dog caught and put down, municipal authorities are playing with people’s lives.

If you know where the dog, Velo, is, call ‘The Witness’ at 033 355 1127.

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