SPCA man 'stung to pieces' rescuing dogs from bee attack

2015-04-15 14:50
(The Witness)

(The Witness)

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Pietermaritzburg - With three of his beloved dogs killed in a bee attack, Justin James says he owes his two surviving dogs’ lives to the Pietermaritzburg SPCA.

The recent attack occurred shortly after James and his family noticed a swarm of bees building a hive in their garden.

“Something must have upset them and they went on a stinging rampage.

“Everything that moved got stung, not even the birds in our aviary were spared.”

James said he immediately asked his son-in-law to get his grandchildren into the house and then tried to get his dogs away from the furious bees.


“They were running around yelping and we were trying to catch them, but they kept running away from us. It was just this vicious cycle.

“My son-in-law jumped into the swimming pool with one of the dogs to try and stop the onslaught, but the bees circled above the water waiting for them to resurface and then they would attack.”

James said by the time he managed to get all of his dogs into the safety of his house, they had all gone into shock, with one dog getting stung over 50 times around his groin alone.

“They are my children. I didn’t care that I had been stung, I wanted them to be okay,” he said.

“The bees were circling our house and holding us hostage. We phoned the SPCA for help as the dogs had started going into shock, and Ruan Pretorius from Pietermaritzburg SPCA came out immediately.

“He was stung to pieces but got to our dogs and rushed them to the SPCA, where their vet gave them immediate medical attention.”


Three of James’s dogs died from the attack, and for a while he thought his two other dogs, TJ and Baby, would also die - “it was touch and go for them for 10 days. They have had ongoing treatment at the SPCA and thanks to a miracle, fantastic care, love, and the dedication of the SPCA clinic staff, my dogs have been able to return home.

“I wish more people could see what happens behind the scenes at the SPCA, as I have no doubt that if it had not been for them, I would have lost all my dogs.”

Pretorius said as he walked into the property, a swarm of bees immediately surrounded him and he dashed towards the house. “When I got into the house, I saw the dogs lying on Justin’s bedroom floor, and two of them were in a really bad condition.

“We carried the dogs out to the van, and each time we went outside, the bees would attack. Some bees were buzzing in their fur.”

He said the clinic did all they could, working on all five dogs at once.

“We’re glad we saved TJ and Baby,” he said.

He added that the bees were removed humanely a few days later and were not killed.

Managing bees

Pietermaritzburg SPCA public relations officer Lynne Jackson said it was important to have bees removed as soon as one noticed them in one’s garden.

“We have a list of bee removers who do not kill the bees, but move them to a different area. We do not want the bees harmed,” she said.

Jackson said should a swarm of bees attack, it was vital that one’s animals should be moved into a different area immediately.

If they were stung, they should be taken to the SPCA or a vet for immediate medical attention.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  good news  |  animals

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