Dog theft on the increase

2015-09-15 06:00

HILLCREST police and animal rights organisations warn pet owners about the increase in dog theft in the area.

Pit Bull Terriers, Rottweilers, Bull Terriers, Staffordshire Terriers and German Shepherds are mostly sought after for their fighting capabilities, which are used in dog-fighting rings locally and nationally.

Hillcrest SAPS CPF public relations officer Steven King said the police have seen a definite increase in such cases.

“A Botha’s Hill resident had both his Pit Bull pups taken over a period of a week,” he said.

King said they believe the pups are being stolen for dog fighting.

“We canand#039;t confirm, but there is always a possibility that this is the work of a syndicate and that eventually these dogs will make their way across the border into neighbouring countries. People must ensure that their pets are safe and that they are micro-chipped, which makes it easier to identify and trace the owners.”

SPCA’s Lisa Gadd was also concerned regarding the incidents of dog theft. “The Kloof and Highway SPCA is aware that the theft of dogs is on the increase in the Upper Highway area.

“Any dog is in danger of being stolen regardless of breed, sex or age. Unsterilised males dogs are at risk as we have received information of male dogs being lured to property fence lines, with material smelling of the discharge of a female dog in season. Puppies and younger dogs are also at risk as they are easier to handle,” she said.

Gadd said that a stolen dog may end up living a miserable life and may be exposed to horrific cruelty and suffering.

“One of the worst possible fates for a stolen animal is to be used as ‘bait’ for the training of dogs used for dog fighting. These dogs are attacked repeatedly by other dogs that are set on them by their trainers in order to reinforce their lust for blood and fighting. Sadly the bait dog is unable to defend itself as usually its muzzle area is taped up with duct tape, and it may also be restrained using various methods.”

The Kloof andamp; Highway SPCA urges dog owners to help prevent their dogs from being stolen by:

• Ensuring that your property is secure and that your dog is unable to escape or be lured outside your home.

• Ensuring your dog is sterilised as sterilised animals are less likely to wander or to try and escape from their homes while females are in season. Most vets are able to sterilise animals from three months and up.

• Ensuring that your dog has identification tags and preferably a micro-chip. A collar with an identification tag is easily removed.

• Report missing animals to your nearest SPCA immediately and open a case of theft at the nearest SAPS if you have witnessed or have witnesses to confirm dog theft.

The Kloof andamp; Highway SPCA Inspectorate can be contacted on 031 764 1212/3 or 073 335 9322 for after-hour emergencies. - Supplied.

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