A group of boys from Manenberg are getting counselling in the hope of being rehabilitated after they were found guilty of animal abuse. However, one of the youth – a 17-year-old boy who recorded the incident – has since died in gangster crossfire in Manenberg on Thursday morning. Manenberg police spokesperson Captain Ian Bennett confirms gang violence in Manenberg has claimed another life.“On Thursday 28 July at 10:55 a 17-year-old youth was shot and killed while standing in Rhone Walk. It is alleged that the (teenager) was standing with his 30-year-old friend when they were caught in a hail of bullets,” says Bennett. Bennett says the two were “caught in ... gun fire as gunmen opened fire from an elevated position. They were cornered and could not get away, even though the shooters were firing from a distance.”Bennett says the teenager was hit once in the chest and died on the scene. The older man was hit three times in the back and was rushed to hospital for emergency medical treatment.“The suspects fled the scene on foot. No arrests have been made. A case of murder has been opened for investigation.”The slain teenager documented the graphic video clip that went viral on social media about two weeks ago. A group of boys are seen dragging a less than limp dog with a nylon rope across an open field. The dog, Sam, was killed and an official post-mortem from the official state veterinarian’s findings show that Sam suffered numerous fractures to his body before death. Injuries present in the skin of the head indicate puncture wounds caused by a large dog bite. Cape of Good Hope SPCA spokesperson Belinda Abraham says the incident was reported to them by a citizen who came across the footage online. “We are nothing short of horrified. The attack was brutal and without conscience and the fact that it was perpetrated by children is extremely disturbing,” Abraham says.She confirms the incident took place at a vlei in Manenberg off Vygieskraal Road and says all involved were identified. The dog suffered extensive trauma during the incident. “The front rostral section of the skull was crushed, with haemorrhaging into the sinus and naval cavities. The liver was damaged due to blunt force trauma and sadly, excess fluid on the lungs indicates that Sam was still alive when thrown into the water where he was disposed of,” Abraham shares.“All of the children involved in the attack on the dog as well as the child who was filming the incident have been identified,”says Abrahams.“A case has been opened at the Manenberg Police Station and social workers from the Department of Social Development offices in Athlone will be assisting the children throughout the judicial process.”Abrahams says social workers are also conducting their own assessments with regards to the children’s behaviour and potential environmental influences. The SPCA has an education programme which aims at countering such incidents. Abraham says the programme aims to mend the link between childhood cruelty to animals and animal abuse and violence. “Our Ani-pals programme teaches children compassion for animals and respect for all living things via an interactive puppet show developed for the Cape of Good Hope SPCA by the producers of Takalani Sesame. The puppet show is supported with a workbook which is approved by the Western Cape Department of Education and aligned to the school curriculum for foundation phase pupils,” she says.Lessons in this workbook can be brought into the classroom to demonstrate the needs of pets to pupils in a simple manner and encourage them to retain and act on the information provided. The programme also enables learners to make informed, morally responsible and accountable decisions about their health and the health of their environment with a focus on pet care.“Education begins at home. It is ultimately the responsibility of parents to teach compassion for animals. For example, if a child pulls the cat’s tail out of curiosity, this is a teachable moment for empathy for animals to be built by parents. When children show intentional cruelty towards an animal that is severe and without remorse (as it is in the video clip) then this should be taken very seriously. Animal abuse is often the first manifestation of serious emotional turmoil that may escalate into extreme violence,” she says. Abraham says inspectors are still awaiting word on when they can safely enter the area to retrieve the second dog in the video. School principals and teachers that are interested in the SPCA education programme can contact Lucille Boonzaaier on 021 700 4181 or email email@example.com.