Surge in dog theft cases

2014-03-06 00:00

A DURBAN “pet detective” has warned the public that there has been a surge in dog theft this year.

Amanzimtoti resident Irene Pote, who has for nearly a decade been voluntarily hunting for lost animals, believes there has been a spike in animal theft in recent weeks with larger breed dogs being targeted.

She said recent cases have taken place in Pinetown, Malvern, Isipingo and the Bluff.

Pote, who says she has worked with animals for the last 20 years and runs a Facebook page dedicated to lost and found pets, believes the theft of dogs is linked to the dog fighting trade while specific breeds are targeted for breeding, guarding and even domestic use.

“The theft has been almost daily.

“On Tuesday alone I was informed that three pit bulls went missing on the Bluff. These dogs are used to fight. It is a terrible situation,” said Pote.

She said she is currently assisting with the search for a three-year-old rottweiler that went missing on the Bluff last week.

But the SPCA’s national special investigator Wendy Willson said the public are often quick to claim their dog as stolen when in fact it may be missing.

“People don’t report their dog stolen to the SAPS. Also the idea that dogs are regularly stolen from homes to be used as bait in dog fights is highly unlikely due to the large stray population in this country.

“But in order to mitigate against your dog going missing or, in the case of pedigree dogs, being stolen, owners must secure their property, sterilise their pets and even microchip them,” said Willson.

However, she conceded that online and print classifieds that traded in animals were of concern and could be used for nefarious means.

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