Police confiscate SPCA dart gun

2009-12-08 00:00

STRAY dogs are posing a danger to landing and departing flights at Oribi Airport — and the SPCA cannot dart them because the police have confiscated its tranquiliser gun.

Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) spokeswoman Maureen Vida said the dart gun was confiscated by the Alexandra Road police two weeks ago.

Explaining what had led up to the confiscation, Vida said SPCA inspector Alec Wylie responded to a call about cruelty to a dog in Oribi village two weeks ago.

On arrival at the home, he found the animal chained in the middle of the garden with no kennel or shelter.

“On seeing this, I asked the owner to untie the dog and told him to have proper shelter for it.

“He refused to untie it and I told him that if he doesn’t do it, I would tranquilise and remove the animal from his premises.

“He unchained the dog and later in the day, I was arrested for pointing a firearm at the dog owner, which, in fact, never happened,” Wylie explained.

He was released on R500 bail the same day.

At his court appearance the following week, he was told the docket was handed back to the Alexandra Road police station as the prosecutor nee­ded ballistic testing done on the dart gun.

In the meantime, the SPCA cannot handle stray dogs because this is its only tranquiliser gun.

Vida said: “It is ridiculous of the police to confiscate the only essential instrument that our inspectors have to carry when handling stray animals. Subsequent to the confiscation, we received numerous calls from the airport about dogs that roam the airstrip.

“We cannot catch those dogs without the dart gun and we were told that it would be about two months before we get it back.”

Called for comment on the dog problem, airline manager Christine Smith said only the airport manager Hennie Erasmus can give official comment, but he is out of the country.

Police spokeswoman Inspector Joey Jeevan said she will only be able to comment today.

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