Ageing Durban Metro Police dogs left to die in kennels

2015-06-17 16:13
Butch (Jeff Wicks, News24)

Butch (Jeff Wicks, News24)

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Durban - The Democratic Alliance’s Dianne Kohler-Barnard has slammed a directive by the eThekwini Metro Police that an ageing police dog - at the end of his tenure of service - cannot go home with his handler.

Barnard, along with two SPCA inspectors and a SPCA-linked veterinarian, visited the two Metro Police kennels on an oversight visit following reports by News24 that the Dog Unit had been crippled by a shortage of puppy food and shampoo, as well as mounting veterinary bills.

The status quo at the City’s Dog Unit worsened on Tuesday when a donation of food, medical supplies and toys for the dogs, worth R15 000, was turned away by management.

“We all agreed that possibly the worst situation exists in the Metro dog units, where a management directive, equating the dogs to filing cabinets, to be destroyed when no longer of use, has been taken,” she said.

“Knowing that the dog one has raised, trained, worked with, and which has probably saved one’s life, will be thrown aside like a piece of trash when it is considered old - between 8 and 10, has destroyed morale and has top crime fighters brought to their knees.”

Kohler-Barnard said that Butch was one such dog at the Isipingo Metro unit, and the handler has been refused permission to take it home.

Two Metro Police sources, who spoke to News24 on condition of anonymity, said that Butch was no longer able to work.

‘Dog will likely die in the kennels’

"Butch is old now and his handler desperately wants to take him home so he can spend time in comfort. Because of all the troubles at the Metro Police, Butch is now sitting in the kennels and will likely die there," a source said.

"There is nothing more his handler can do. Things have reached a breaking point now and this is what it will come to. A man that spends years with his dog, his partner, having to watch him die slowly," he added.

“I found myself wondering if ratepayers who pay for this existence of this unit, know of this directive. That unlike the SAPS units... the Metro units refuses to allow handlers to take the dog home to live out its retirement after it has fought crime day and night for a decade.

“The latest instruction is that the dog must be left at the SPCA where it will inevitably be euthanised.
“That there are reports of huge amounts to be spent on dogs, no dogs forthcoming, and donor dogs being rejected, has me itching to call for an audit to be done.  

“Whatever the reasons, it has been three years since the full contingent of six units patrolled eThekwini.  This while crime is soaring.”

Ethekwini Municipality did not comment at the time of publishing.

Read more on:    durban  |  animals
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