'I won't kill my dogs' – owner of pitbulls that mauled an intruder to death

2018-06-06 16:00
Hlube Radebe with his two dogs Sandy and Riddick, who Radebe said saved his 80-year-old gran and aunt from being victims of crime.

Hlube Radebe with his two dogs Sandy and Riddick, who Radebe said saved his 80-year-old gran and aunt from being victims of crime. (Chelsea Pieterse)

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The owners of two dogs that killed an armed intruder last Friday in Scottsville Extension in Pietermaritzburg will not euthanise the pitbulls.

The dogs, Sandy and Riddick, were in the back yard of the family’s home in the early hours of Friday when two men jumped over the back wall carrying house-breaking implements and a knife.

While one of the intruders escaped, the second was caught and killed by the dogs.

The family’s domestic worker discovered the intruder’s body later that morning.

READ: Dogs maul intruder to death 

The family said although they were traumatised, they feared that if it were not for their two dogs, the men might have broken into the house and hurt the family.

Hlube Radebe, the owner of the dogs, does not live at the house but said yesterday that the whole family had been at the house over the weekend to help wash the dogs and support each other.

“The dogs see me and the family as part of their pack. We cannot demonise them for this. It was also a new and traumatising experience for the dogs,” said Radebe.

“After the incident, the dogs were very quiet, not themselves.

“Sandy appears to have bounced back but Riddick still seems a little down. Otherwise they are fine.

“People must realise that before adopting any pet, they must read up on it first.

“I did a lot of research on their breed [pitbulls] and trained myself to be their owner before I got them.”

Parent24: Why dog attacks happen

Radebe said that his grandmother (80), his aunt and their domestic worker were alone on the night the incident occurred.

His grandmother Nomusa Hlengwa, the owner of the house, is “upset knowing that a young black man has died”.

“She lived through apartheid and therefore sees all children as her own but is still thankful for the dogs and wants them to continue to stay at her house.”

Radebe thanked all those posting messages of support on social media. However, he emphasised that owning a pitbull was not for everyone.

“If you do not have time or love to give a dog, do not get one. The first year of their life is so important and if they are not raised properly, that is when they can become aggressive,” he said.

Police are yet to identify the intruder or arrest the second man who escaped.

Alexandra police spokesperson Captain Kholeka Mhlongo said police would take fingerprints to see if they could identify the man as no one had come forward to formally identify him.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  dog attacks

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