SPCA: Smuggled pups had no food or water

2011-11-24 21:19

Cape Town - It is highly unlikely that dogs that were saved from being smuggled into Angola at the Vioolsdrift border post in the Northern Cape were to be used in dog fighting, the SPCA said on Thursday.

More than 20 dogs, most of them puppies, were found by border police. Four Angolan men who were transporting the animals were arrested. They had come from the Western Cape and were to be transported through Namibia to Angola.

The dogs found in the trailer had no water or food. They were “quite weak and very scared”, the SPCA’s national inspector for wildlife, Wendy Willson said.

She said she doubted the dogs were going to be used in fighting, as had been previously speculated, as they were mostly the wrong breeds.

Bull mastiffs, Rottweilers, Alsatians and one pitbull were in the trailer.

In fact, most puppies that are smuggled are used for purposes other than fighting such as private security, she revealed.

Northern Cape police said that the puppies could be sold for as much as R84 000 each. The police and members of the SA Revenue Service took part in the bust.

Willson said that puppy smuggling is on the increase but is also a phenomenon not unique to Africa.

Most smugglers transport animals via plane but Willson said that there is an increase in smuggling by land.

The Angolan men were caught as part of an ongoing investigation into animal smuggling which started at OR Tambo.

  • Marion - 2011-11-24 22:06

    Now why would anyone pay up to R84 000 for a dog for 'private security'? I think this info which I picked up on recently is the more likely scenario here. "In addition to the fate which awaits fighters or even dogs likely to become fighters, often "bait" animals are used to test a dog's fighting instinct. With the use of "Adoption Wanted" or "Good Home Needed" posters to track their "bait" which is used in the training for these "fighters". The "bait" is mauled or killed in the process. Often "bait" animals are stolen pets, as officials with the Sheriff's Department in Pima County, Arizona say they were shocked to discover a few years ago, according to a story by National Geographic News. According to news reports compiled by the National Humane Society, the snouts of bait dogs are wrapped with duct tape to prevent them from injuring pit bulls being trained for fighting. Some bait animals have been recovered with their teeth ground down to the gums to render them helpless against fighting dogs. Other animals, such as cats and rabbits are also reported to be used as "bait" for fighting dogs. Experts have said small dogs, kittens, and rabbits are more at risk of being stolen for bait than larger animals.

  • Adrian - 2011-11-25 05:33

    How many Chinese are in Angola that enjoy eating dogs?

      Stephanie - 2011-11-25 06:34

      Seriously, is that your contribution??

      Monique - 2011-11-25 07:39

      Turns out not just the chinese like eating our best friends. There are African tribes that eat dogs too, like in the Congo and Nigeria. Sic!

      Wouter - 2011-11-25 11:11

      The last count 25k

  • Wessel - 2011-11-25 07:21

    The R84 000 also seems far fetched.

  • gillian.sanderson - 2011-11-25 07:51

    So glad they were rescued - hope they all find the good loving homes they deserve.

  • Ian - 2011-11-25 08:09

    The more I read things like this the more I hate people, as Gandhi said, 'A nation and its people are judged by the way they treat its animals' as for the accused, hang the filthy scum and stop wasting tax payers money

  • gcshrimpton - 2011-11-25 09:35

    Well done to all involved. Thank You

  • Leandra - 2011-11-25 09:48

    Where are the confiscated puppies now? Are they up for adoption??? Who can we contact about it? Please let us know. We would love to provide good homes to them. :(

      Kamal - 2011-11-25 10:19

      Leandra, if you receive information or contact number, please will you forward to me. My Boxer and Jack Russell would love more company. Email me on or 071 687 3857. (Kamal)

      adelejv - 2011-11-25 13:23

      Leandra, as I can understand they are at the Upington SPCA, maybe you can look up a number for them :) Hope you come right!!!

      adelejv - 2011-11-25 13:29

      SPCA Upington - DBV Upington contact details. Phone +27 (0)79 986 3635

  • Shirley - 2011-11-25 10:39

    And scientists say we are the superior species!!!??? Animal cruelty in this country is horrendous,the punishments implented are a joke. No wonder we cannot get along as humans and heal our country! If people are feelingless towards defenceless animals,how do they treat people around them. Ian I share you feelings. Humans are a very hateful species at time. But the culprits will get a R100 fine and go on and do the same again!! Instead of voting in stupid laws-government should bring in laws that matter! Please to all the decent animal loving folk out there-give these adorable creatures a loving home!!!!!!

  • Leandra - 2011-11-25 14:46

    I called the SPCA in Upington. The puppies was taken to Johannesburg. :( The smugglers are out on bail!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Charges against them for animal abuse and fraud. I HOPE THEY GO THE JAIL AND ROT THERE THE FREAKING SCUMBAGS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • dangerdayle - 2011-11-25 14:59

    R84 000 really no ways

  • peter.dickman1 - 2011-11-25 16:53

    Cannot believe they are out on bail, they should be in a closed trailer and hauled 1000km's which is the same the puppies had to endure. I bet we would then get the right story. Sad very sad.

  • hadedah - 2011-11-25 17:24

    In all probabilty they are used for food as well?

  • cakushika - 2011-11-26 21:19

    angolan loves dogs .

  • cakushika - 2011-11-26 21:20

    dogs are very scares in angola .

  • sharon.houghton.984 - 2012-08-23 09:41

    I think it's shameful that such people feel thay can just "take" what does not belong to them. Not only that but I also beleive they are used as bait for fighting dogs. In America in some cities it's big business and on a Discovery programme relating to the above they said puppies are used as bait. This scum should have thier hands chopped off and perhaps more!

  • johleneh - 2012-08-23 12:20

    This is just sick, disgusting stuff, wtf is happening to the human race??? I think Marion Friedenthal has it correct. What a sick bunch of greedy idiots humanity is!

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