Pitbulls rip dog apart

2019-04-24 15:55

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A Copesville woman and her three young children have been too scared to return home for over a week after watching their beloved dog being mauled to death by two pitbulls.

The woman, who asked not to be named, said she has been staying at her mother’s house with her children and her puppy since her neighbour’s dogs attacked her two other dogs, killing one of them.

The woman’s Jack Russell was severely injured in the attack and is still in the care of the Pietermaritzburg SPCA vet receiving treatment.

The incident occurred on April 12, into the early hours of April 13.

“I was trapped in my own home with my children, screaming and crying for help while my neighbour’s dogs were mauling my Deeno. Nobody would help,” said the Copesville woman.

The woman said she had been having problems with the dogs since April 4.

She said they had got into her yard three times before and attacked her dogs, but it was not “too bad”.

“The fourth time they came in, my puppy was sitting near the front door. My Jack Russell cross was also in the front near my window and Deeno, my labrador cross pitbull, was at the back of the yard.”

She said the two pitbulls immediately grabbed her Jack Russell.

“I was screaming, trying to pull her in through my bedroom window when Deeno came around from the back to help.

“I managed to pull my Jack Russell away from the pitbulls and get her into the bedroom. One of the pitbulls jumped up against the glass and actually broke the glass trying to get to us.”

She said her oldest son grabbed the puppy through the front door without the pitbulls seeing them.

“I didn’t know what to do. I hit the dogs with an iron through the window to try and get them to stop attacking Deeno.

“I had to watch as those two dogs ripped my Deeno apart.

“I could not leave the house. I tried but the dogs would start coming toward us, growling.”

The woman said the owners and police were called and one of the pitbulls was removed from her property but the other remained for another few hours.

“I don’t know why they only took one dog. They left that other dog sitting by Deeno’s body for hours.”

She said when the police did arrive, they said there was nothing they could do as no person had been injured. She was told to go to the SPCA instead to report the matter.

The woman said she had heard from another neighbour last Sunday that the pitbulls also attacked and killed her dog.

“I had asked the owners to put up more secure fences before this happened.

“I feel too scared to go back home. My children and I have been living with my mom since the attack.”

She said she had approached the municipality and the SPCA regarding the issue but had not heard back from them.

She showed The Witness a letter written by an official of Msunduzi’s environmental health services asking colleagues to be guided as to how to deal with these types of complaints.

Msunduzi municipal spokesperson Thobeka Mafumbatha said “as a matter of courtesy”, Clive Anthony (of the municipality) referred this matter to the SPCA, SAPS Mountain Rise and the Msunduzi Public Safety Unit for their attention.

Pietermaritzburg SPCA general manager Alec Wylie, however. said he had not received any notice about the attack and that the matter was out of their hands as the municipal by-laws dealt with keeping ferocious animals on a property.

“The municipality can issue a warrant and put us onto it so we can act, otherwise our hands are tied.”

Owners to blame for dog attacks

Pitbull Federation of South Africa (PBFSA) president Jeanette Erasmus said in cases such as this, the dogs are usually blamed when the owner should be held accountable.

“You have to be responsible. You have to ensure your dog is in your yard and not on the streets.

“Pitbulls have to be trained and socialised properly.”

She said pitbulls would be aggressive to other dogs because they had not been socialised or had been taught aggression.

“In such cases, one can euthanase the dog but the owner could just move elsewhere and get a new dog and train it the same way.”

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  dog attacks

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