Dogs stranded on seized Zim farm rescued

2016-02-02 20:58

Harare - Two dogs left stranded on a Zimbabwe farm that was taken over by a UK-based doctor have been rescued, an animal welfare group has announced.

Oaf and Spike had to be left behind when armed police forced Phillip and Anita Rankin off their farm in Centenary last week. 

But now they're safe, thanks to Zimbabwe's Veterinarians for Animal Welfare (Vawz) group.

Vawz said its officers were given a police escort on Monday, and removed the two animals "without any hindrance".

"Oaf, a black and white male crossbreed, and Spike a [Staffordshire Bull Terrier], were collected [on Monday] and are now in a place of safekeeping," Mel Hood, an animal welfare officer with Vawz, said in a statement.  

On Friday, more than 20 paramilitary police were reported to have arrived at the tobacco farm in the northern Centenary district.

Farm owner Rankin was handcuffed and forcibly removed from his home of more than 30 years to make way for a UK-based Zimbabwean doctor who has been allocated the farm under President Robert Mugabe's controversial land reform programme.

Rankin has now been released.

His family is now resigned to not returning to the farm.

In her statement, animal rescuer Hood said armed police were still on duty guarding the farm on Monday but did not prevent them from taking the animals.

"We were given access to the animals immediately and with the assistance of the Rankins' staff were able to load the dogs and leave the farm without any hindrance," she said.

Read more on:    zimbabwe  |  southern africa

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