‘Cops fail to act on case’

2019-11-29 15:21
Kirston Windvogel’s pitbull Max.

Kirston Windvogel’s pitbull Max.

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A Woodlands man has accused police of refusing to take his dog theft case seriously and investigate the matter even though he says he gave police proof and witnesses able to identify who stole the animal.

Kirston Windvogel says he has spent two months trying to get police to act after his two-year-old pitbull, Max, went missing in October. A frantic search for Max led Windvogel nearly 30 km from home to Mpophomeni where Max was found with a new owner.

But despite the Mpophomeni man being willing to make sworn statements about how he was sold Max, and other evidence about who possibly stole his dog, he is at his wits’ end trying to get justice.

The Witness has been unable to contact the man in Mpophomeni.

Windvogel’s allegations against police inaction have thrown open claims that police generally fail to act against dog theft, which is said to be rife in the northern suburbs.

Windvogel (27) said he finally found Max about a month after he went missing after circulating the message widely on social media.

“When I got there [Mpophomeni] I explained to the owner that it was my dog and showed him pictures of Max. He told me he bought Max for R500. He gave me the dog back but he wanted his money back.”

The two agreed to charge the person who had sold Max to the new owner, but Windvogel said police have not acted. “What can I do? I opened a case. I brought more witnesses to [police] but still nothing is being done,” he said.

Chavonne Chetty, of the Pietermaritzburg Animal Rehome and Rescue (Parr), criticised police for not taking dog theft seriously.

Chetty said pitbulls were targeted by thieves then sold into dog fighting. Some of the dogs are used as “bait” for dogs to practise fighting on. She said she knew of cases of police refusing to open cases for dog theft.

“The charge you can open is theft of property, but for us it’s more like a kidnapping. If this was a child it would get much more attention. But not enough is done because a dog is ‘just an animal’ to police.”

Police did not respond to a detailed query by the time of going to print on Thursday.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  missing dogs

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