‘Happy’ pooch shot

2019-07-18 15:46
Shot Dog by cops.Photo.Moekektsi Mamane,êÎ×]Û×	é½Æ}¢Oî

Shot Dog by cops.Photo.Moekektsi Mamane,êÎ×]Û× é½Æ}¢Oî

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Woodlands residents are outraged after police allegedly injured a pregnant woman while shooting at her neighbour’s dog just four metres away from where her young daughter was sitting.

Mountain Rise police officers arrived at the property in Woodlands on Tuesday afternoon in search of a man wanted in connection with theft when the incident occurred.

Rene Rooi, who is four months pregnant, said police had visited them on Sunday and were looking for a relative.

“We told them he does not stay with us and that he lives in town. Two days later they came back,” said Rooi.

She said it was around 1 pm when a police van drove down their road and parked near their gate.

She said the police entered the yard from the back and her neighbour’s dog, a one-year-old German Shepherd cross Chow, came out of the neighbour’s house (the houses are on the same property).

“He came out wagging his tail and sniffing and the police officer immediately pulled out his gun and cocked it.”

She said at this stage, the officer was at the front of the yard a few metres from where her eight-year-old daughter was sitting.

“I started screaming for him to not shoot because there is a child there but he fired the gun and it hit the dog and then it grazed me.”

“My daughter was so scared she started screaming and ran into the house. She fell and hurt her knee. She is now scared of the police,” said Rooi.

Police reported on Tuesday afternoon that the dog had died at the scene. However, the dog survived the shooting and is currently being treated for its wound at the Pietermaritzburg SPCA.

The one-year-old cross, named Dollars, is owned by Sarah Pillay, who said the young dog was not her pet but her “son”.

“My husband and I cannot have children so Dollars is our son. He sleeps inside with us, and does everything with us.

“The day police entered the yard, I was completely unaware and had left my door slightly open.

“My son heard the officers and came out sniffing, ready to greet them.

“Before I could even call Dollars back to the house, the officer had already shot him.

“He was so scared he ran from the property across the road and I had to go fetch him.

“The officer who shot Dollars then called the SPCA and I heard him asking them to come and fetch a dead dog.

“When the SPCA arrived, they asked where the dead dog was but obviously there wasn’t one.”

Pillay said she told police at the scene that she wanted to open a case but police allegedly told her there was nothing they could do as “it is just a dog”.

Police spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Thulani Zwane said on Tuesday that the dog was “ready to attack” police after coming out of one of the doors and said the officer shot the dog in self-defence.

However, Rooi claimed the dog was “happy and wagging its tail” when it came out.

Rooi said after she heard the gunshot, she felt a burning sensation on her neck and looked down and noticed her thigh was bleeding. She was hit in the neck and leg by a bullet fragment.

“My family told me there was a piece of bullet stuck in my neck.”

The officers left, Rooi said, but she continued to call police to report the incident.

“A van came on Tuesday night and took me to Mountain Rise station. I filled out a form and they said they’ll open a case, but they didn’t take a statement from me.”

She said the ordeal left her daughter, Travana, traumatised and that she is trying to organise counselling for her.

The Witness visited Dollars at the SPCA on Wednesday afternoon.

Shot Dog by cops.Photo.Moekektsi Mamane,êÎ×]Û×	é½

The dog did not appear aggressive, was wagging its tail and was happy to let people stroke and pet him.

The Pietermaritzburg SPCA said they could not comment on the incident. Police were given a fresh set of questions about the incident on Wednesday, but declined to comment further, saying investigations were “sensitive” at this stage.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  police

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