Puppy buried alive for days

2010-01-07 00:00

A PUPPY that was buried to its neck for three days, and stabbed in an apparent witchcraft ritual, was rescued in Azalea by the SPCA yesterday.

The SPCA said this was the third incident of a similar nature they have attended to in recent times.

The residents in the area said the puppy was buried on Sunday evening by two sangomas and a man.

They said the puppy had howled since Sunday, but no one had the courage to dig it out as they feared being bewitched.

When The Witness arrived yesterday morning, the puppy was still trapped. Two spears that had been pushed through its hind legs were protruding above ground.

Some of the residents had managed to remove the earth above its head to allow it to breathe, while they waited for the SPCA.

When a senior inspector from the SPCA removed it from the ground, they discovered that it had been buried with two dead chickens and numerous candles of various colours. Its legs had been poked with needles.

The community described the scene as an act of witchcraft.

A sangoma, who witnessed the incident and spoke on condition of anonymity, said in 30 years of working as a sangoma, she has never seen such callous cruelty.

She said “on Sunday evening, two sangomas and a man came and star­ted a fire next to my house … It was only after they had left that we realised that they had buried a dog, alive.”

She said when it started howling she thought it was a neighbour. She only saw in the morning that the howls were coming from the grave.

The sangoma conceded that some rituals to cleanse oneself of bad spirits are conducted in similar fashion, but they are never done with dogs or with such cruelty.

“… similar rituals are performed, however, never with such cruelty, and never in a residential area.”

The local councillor, Musawenkosi Mchunu, described the incident as cruel to animals, and urged the community to report those involved so they can be prosecuted.

Maureen Vida of the SPCA said the puppy sustained serious injuries to its leg where the spear penetrated. She said the organisation will need a sponsorship of R6 000 for the dog to have a leg operation.


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