SPCA probes shock collars

2010-09-29 10:48

Cape Town - The use of shock collars, which give dogs a huge electronic shock when they bark, is being investigated by the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) research unit.

Customs officials in Cape Town confiscated a batch of these collars, which had come into the country from America, amongst other places.

The shock collars don't meet the requirements of the South African Bureau of Standards.

One of the devices, which works with a remote control and which has been sent on for further testing by the Cape of Good Hope SPCA, has a range of 0 to 10, indicating the intensity of the shocks. There is no indication, however, of the strength of the electronic shock being emitted.


"This is one hell of a device. It is being sold for about R2 000. I regard it as being used illegally. It has the ability to be used purposefully to cause pain," said Allan Perrins, executive head of the Cape of Good Hope SPCA on Tuesday.

Perrins said the Animal Protection Act was being contravened.

Michelle Moll, senior inspector in the SPCA's national office, said the association's research unit was busy testing the effect of the impulses that were being emitted by the shock collars.

"We want to establish precisely how many impulses are activated with it and how strong the shock impulses are.

"You wouldn't believe how much the use of these shock devices has increased," she said.

"The device is shocking. It causes pain and fear, said Karen de Klerk of Animal Rescue in Ottery.

  • BIGshow - 2010-09-29 11:00

    "The device is shocking"
    HAHAHA, umm we already know that!

  • Grant - 2010-09-29 11:12

    Hope the SPCA bans the use of these collars. I have seen them in use, and they are terribly cruel!!!!

  • Summermoon - 2010-09-29 11:18

    Funny that this should happen so soon after the City of Cape Town made law the ridiculous bylaw that our dogs are not allowed to bark for longer than 5 mins every hour it seems people have found a way to stop the barking....this is revolting and cruel

  • David - 2010-09-29 11:20

    Here's a thought... Why not test it on the owners to determine how strong the shock is.

  • Nina - 2010-09-29 11:21

    I do not get what is the point of having a dog if you are going to go to such cruel lengths to keep it quiet!!?? there is even a municipal law that says (correct me if i am wrong) that your dog may not bark for more than a few minutes at a time!!!!! I really do not understand this country. im gatvol!

  • Aswell - 2010-09-29 11:23

    This is disgusting and disturbing. In my opinion, put the collars around the neck of the owners and shock the living shitte out of them. See if they like it.

    Freedom of speech even for dogs.

  • Mandy - 2010-09-29 11:25

    May people who come up with these outrageous ideas rot in hell with electric shocks and flames for all of eternity - these are one of those times when you can truly understand how an individual can murder another human being in the most painful way! We've all had to put up with a neighbours barking dog, sometimes for years, how is shocking the poor thing going to help. It's the owners fault after all - I think we should put shock collars on the owners and everytime the dog barks, they get shocked!!! It disgusts me to the pit of my stomach!!

  • Concerned - 2010-09-29 11:26

    This is really disturbing that people will actually use things like this! We should put them on you!! They should be done away with!!

  • Offbeat - 2010-09-29 11:29

    I have seen these collars in action, and I was disgusted, to say the least. It's nothing more than a fad for people who are too lazy to train their dogs. Not to mention the cruelty involved.

  • Cyber Demon - 2010-09-29 11:31

    I hope the SPCA dished out strong punishments for owners and distributors alike.

  • @spca - 2010-09-29 11:31

    Can you please test a couple on the owners that leave there dogs at home over weekends and neighbours have to listen to the dogs barking continiously. But then since you do not care about the human species, it is probably the wrong people to ask. Because your issue is with people and not will ill-disciplined or wild animals. At least the rock hitting the dog will be better that teaching it manners. Watch the dog wishperer of NatGeo, you might learn something

  • A normal human - 2010-09-29 11:37

    Ban the lot of it. Owners should get training on how to train a dog. These excuses of "my dog just barks" or "my dog doesn't want to listen" is the owner, not the dog. You selected the breed, and the you picked the dog, now it is you responsibility to train the dog, nog just beat the dog into submission (either using a stick, wip, shock colour etc). If you love dogs, then you will give the dog the love and attention, and use positive reinforcement. If you can't do this, then don't get a dog, it is better for the dog. An example of the negative effects of shock collars:

  • CoffeeDrinker - 2010-09-29 11:43

    Ok, now I seriously dont understand Human Beings. They shock the day or night lights out of a Dark that barks. However is it not the onus of the owner to check on the dog and see why it is barking. But then on the other point as well, Cape Town, WTF are Ministers thinking with the by law of barking. Sorry, I work during the day, and not at home to watch my dog all day. Are they going to police the area and stand in plain site of the dog and say no it barks for more than 6 minutes in an hour. THEY MUST GET REAL. For Fudge Sakes!!!! See No brains in the ministers or for the people that do cruelty to Animals.

    I want to take a Stand for this, as this is not acceptable! Who will start standing up for this with me, the more the better, and lets go world wide.

  • CLIFF - 2010-09-29 11:44

    Find out who has imported them then fit it to them see how they like it

  • ZeeBee - 2010-09-29 11:49

    So now dogs are not allowed to interact with other dogs (by barking) or they get shocked, barking is the way dogs communicate to other dogs, their owners and "telling" you that there is something going on. @SPCA that commented @11:31.56, how would you like it if someone tosses a rock at you for talking in the middle of the night Stupid - the dogs did not asked to be left alone for a weekend - try hitting the owner with the rock next time

  • Marras - 2010-09-29 11:50

    There is an alternative to the "shock" collar, in which the collar Vibrates sharply when the dog barks, for the duration of the bark. No electric shock is administerred, but the outcome is the same.

  • Karen - 2010-09-29 11:51

    There is no such thing as a bad dog, only a bad owner. Watch the Dog Whisperer and educate yourself. Would you put that collar on your child? The mentality is the same.

  • DAV - 2010-09-29 11:51

    To all the people that say these devices are disturbing and cruel,you need to live next door to one of these dogs that constantly bark for no apparent reason, i have a neighbour who owns a huskie that howls and a collie that barks almost non stop from 6.30 in the morning until 8.30 at night,when you confront the owners they say sorry, but it continues on and on and on,i hate to say it but it drives you to despair and you feel like throwing some poisoned meat over the wall to get some respite from the constant noise,i wish the owners of these dogs would buy collars to allow me some peace.

  • Alex - 2010-09-29 11:59

    Some humans think they are smart, but they are not!! They think the torture of dogs in such a manner is mind blowing!! So the should shut the hell up when their property is broken into!! Why cause they had their dog was silenced by this stupid device!! I say FREE THE DOGS & COLLAR THE HUMANS!!! People who do this to their pets should be shot!!!!!

  • Hoof hearted - 2010-09-29 12:04

    I want one for my neighbours dog please

  • Johnathan - 2010-09-29 12:11

    Well, someone's hand has the ability to purposefully inflict pain to an animal and we're not banning that, are we? I'm not saying anyone should be cruel to an animal, that is deplorable, but giving your dog a slap because it did something undesirable is sometimes the only way that it learns not to do it again. Animals can't understand a logical argument - you can't explain to them that you do not want them to dig up all your flowers by speaking to them - physical measures are needed. That said, those collars should conform to standards - if the shocks are much too painful to animals, they should not be allowed, just as we would not allow someone to hit their dog with a spiked club. I also think that the shock collar has the additional drawback of the dog not knowing that it is the human owner that is doing the disciplining, so the extra factor of the dog not wanting to displease the owner does not come into the learning process.

  • Disgusted - 2010-09-29 12:14

    Use them on people that are cruel to animals. Let them feel the pain then lock them up and throw away the key.

  • Barry - 2010-09-29 12:16

    They need to put one around Malema's neck.
    Every time he opens his dumb mouth he will recieve the shock of his life

  • Danie - 2010-09-29 12:22

    Maybe the thing should be strapped onto the owner. If the dog barks, the owner will be shocked and hopefully the owner will start giving attention to the dog. A barking dog is very irritating if you are a neighbour of a barking dog and you can not sleep at night.

  • TN - 2010-09-29 12:30

    @Hoof-hearted... How about using one on your neighbour? Even better, put one on yourself at the same time.

  • Edenvale - 2010-09-29 12:31

    We have recently aquired a Rottweiler puppy, after one of our "big" Dogs were poisoned. (We suspect the neighbours ... as we live in a boomed area) Unfortunatley she barks at night and in fear of her being poisoned we have investigated the shock collars - however found them to exspensive. Unfortunatley we live in "super safe South Africa" with "super save and understanding neighbours" it is not for lack of training or lack of Love it is simply to keep the "neighbours" happy and our beloved puppy safe - barking after all is a natural thing for a dod to do !!!

  • Maccie - 2010-09-29 12:34

    Last weekend there was a dog whisperer episode where he used one of these collars to stop a dog that was going after moving vehicles on a farm, he was biting their tyres and had already been injured twice.

    I dont advocate these, but I also, many years ago, spoke to a man with pointers, they use these collars to teach their dogs not to go near puff adders.

  • @karen - 2010-09-29 12:37

    Agree in principle, but just a warning about "The Dog Whisperer". There is a lot of controversy regarding his methods, especially between the dog and animal trainers in general. I will be honest and say I have not seen it, but the name of that story pops up weekly, lovingly from the general public, with warnings from the animal caretaker community

  • peter - 2010-09-29 12:40

    My neighbour (after a 2 year struggle) bought one of these collars for his yapping dog. I am not sure whether it was cruel or not when he used it but lets just say the problem of his dog barking has been solved.. Maybe a little zap is cruel to a dog but a constant yapping is definately cruel to the human neighbours. I would trade a shock for peace and quiet any day!!

  • Unquiet - 2010-09-29 12:40

    A dog should NOT be made to suffer because of the inability of it's owner to train it correctly or because the owner cannot give the dog the time and attention it requires to stop it or prevent it from barking. Inflicting cruelty on animals is despicable.

  • Dig Whisperer - 2010-09-29 12:41

    The Dog whisperer used this collar himself and said it is 80 percent effective and if used in the propper manner, not cruel at all.

  • Edwin - 2010-09-29 12:41

    I have 2 dogs. Both my neighbours do not have dogs. My dogs bark as soon as they hear something suspicious in the evening. They have prevented 2 house burglaries in our complex, and they made sure one thief has a huge hole in his leg and arm. My neighbours have no problem when the dogs bark, and they praise the dogs.

  • Vrye Denker - 2010-09-29 12:46

    You know, this just shows that stupid people should not own dogs. Firstly, dogs are biologically programmed to bark. They even have tougher vocal chords than humans to allow them to do so.

    Now, if you absolutely MUST have a dog AND it should be quiet, do some research. For instance, the japanese Tosa Ken, which looks almost exactly like a bull mastif, hardly ever barks. On the flip side, little maltese never stop and then you have everything in between.

    Also keep in mind that you live among people who are not necessarily ammused by your dog's constant barking.

  • @PAR - 2010-09-29 12:47

    Well said , I just think the owners might find the shock usefull to get them UP again

  • Simon - 2010-09-29 12:54

    Trust me, when you are constantly barked at in your own yard by your neighbours mutt or kept awake all night by street roaming yapping rats, those collars are too good for them.

  • spindoc - 2010-09-29 12:55

    here we go again...always protect those who break or disregard the law.Most barking dog owners are blissfully unaware of the incessant barking behaviour of there pets.When confronted they get agressive and defensive...I say sneek the collar on and turn it up to 10!!!!

  • @DAV - 2010-09-29 12:55

    You probably ARE one of those people who throw poisoned meat over the wall, aren't you? Try putting one of those collars around your neck for a while. Maybe have it activated for when you attempt to post unnecesarily stupid comments on forums.

  • Anti SPCA - 2010-09-29 12:59

    Want one for my neighbour!!!

  • Francois du Plessis - 2010-09-29 13:01

    My ex-boss Jaco Van Tonder of Always-On broadband used one of these on his Husky. One day in a meeting the dog started barking and he asked me to pass the remote. I refused and took the dog outside. That is where our working relationship changed as I had challenged his authority. In the longer term I was forced to resign as life was made impossible for me at the company.

  • Carol - 2010-09-29 13:03

    I am horrified at the thought....there is no ways my dog will have such a collar. My dog barks when he has heard something. Put the collar round your own bloody neck. Dog Lover

  • DAV - 2010-09-29 13:03

    Obviously due to the fact that your dog was poisoned it must have been one of those that constantly barks and irritates your neighbours, and obviously you are one of those people that cares little for the people around you, and obviously you do not know how to train or look after animals, here is a little tip, take some rope and tie one end around the dogs neck, then tie the other end around the dogs genitals, ( dont leave any slack )now when the dog lifts it's head to bark, (you get the picture,) and it only costs a couple of Rand for the rope.

  • Cat Lover - 2010-09-29 13:12

    Dog's are dumb animals that barks at nothing an change their tails for no apparent reason. Rather get a cat.

  • Charmaine - 2010-09-29 13:13

    I think these collars that shock should be banned, as people who wish to use them can easily modify them to give a larger shock. So Just ban shock collars. Should anyone find the need for a remote control collar devise, you get the ones that have a nozzle in the front of the collar and spray water or citronella sented water. A stern command usually stops barking dogs. But you find that it is the dog owner that need the training and they do not even try and stop their dogs barking.

  • Suzarne - 2010-09-29 13:13

    Really not necessary for a dog to wear, they are only doing what comes naturally and they protect their property. Why not put it on the owners who purchase this. Any type of collar that inflicts pain is cruel. Burn the all collars that shock. My dogs bard when there is someone in the street or the pavement, we always go out to see when they bark, and their barking have saved many a bad situation. That is why we have dogs, but owners should take them for training at a dog training school. So many people have dogs and then go on holiday leaving the dogs alone at home. This is traumatic for dogs, then they bark and cry all day, the penalty for such a CRIME should be that the owners wear a "barking collar" and hand me the remote.... PLEASE!!! We have such neighbours from HELL, if it is not their kids raising hell it is their dog. Our boys are our kids and they are where we are.

  • Hear Barry - 2010-09-29 13:17

    Hear! Hear! Barry.

  • @peter - 2010-09-29 13:21

    who do you (human beings) think you are, superior creatures who get to control every other animal and decide what their appropriate behaviour should be?? So its ok to inflict pain on a animal, its just a dog after all, because you the almighty can’t sleep at night, or its irritating or whatever stupid reason anyone has in hurting an animal??!?! I sometimes hate being of the humankind, we are the most ignorant, arrogant breed of creature!

  • cruiser - 2010-09-29 13:26

    @ Dig Whisperer... Cesar used the vibrator collar, not electro shock collar!! Excessive barking is due to a owners inability to own the dog breed he has. Some breeds are bred to guard - and barking is an important part of that. it's the exessive barking that drives us all mad, so ClAP the owner not the dog. Ant to all future dog owners, make some effort in fining out if the dog you desire is in fact suited to your life and surounding...

  • Ds - 2010-09-29 13:33

    Lets all jump to conclusions and say these collars are cruel! These collars have been around for many years and certainly the ones I have seen, does not deliver a potent shock, anycase the electrical shock can be turned on to beep or vibrate which has the same effect. The collar is used to remove undesirable behaviour not as a form of curelty and punishment. Before all get onto the bandwagon and judge before actually understanding the purpose of the collar, just think of the other cruelties humans subject their pets to, such as over feeding, giving dogs/cats milk (they are lactose intolerant!), dressing dogs up, letting fireworks, buying a working dog and never using it for the purpose intended, leaving a pet in the car whilst going to the shops, never walking your dogs, and etc... the list can go on and on. All I am asking is think before posting a response saying owners using such collars are all cruel. The collar IS intended to be used in specific circumstances and not to stop barking or minor issues on a domestic level. The collar has been used widely in the working dog community to get behaviour right and its use is certainly intended to be a very short duration not a prolonged torture instrument which sadly again comes back to not blaming the instrusment but the human. The collar is completely harmless until a human gets involved.

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