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Trigger warning: The following content may upset sensitive readers.
A 17-year-old bodybuilder from Bloemfontein allegedly broke his dog's leg in an attempt to "test his strength".
The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) in Bloemfontein was summoned to the Bayswater area on Sunday night after 23:00 by someone who heard a dog crying.
Duan Matthee, a local SPCA inspector, found the dog at a house in excruciating pain. Matthee said he was prevented from attending to the dog by a young boy at the house, who appeared disorientated and "hysterical", Netwerk24 reported.
"What we saw shook us," the Bloemfontein SPCA said on its Facebook page.
"We found a puppy lying in a pool of blood and hardly able to move. We struggled to get to the dog as the 17-year-old tried to fight us off.
"We contacted the authorities to help us to get to the dog. While we were waiting for the authorities, we tried talking to the boy and asked him what had happened and why he was fighting us off."
The boy told Matthee that he was a bodybuilder who used supplements and wanted to test his strength.
"He saw on social media how people lifted heavy stuff to see what their breaking limits are. We still wanted to know what had happened to the dog, so we asked him again. He said that he wanted to see what he can lift and how strong he was. So he started by lifting heavy metals and breaking a broom stick, but it was not enough. He then googled how strong bones were and what amount of force can break [them]. He then called his dog and started to press on the dog's leg."
The young boy proceeded to break the dog's leg until the bone pierced through its skin.
'He knew it was wrong'
"He knew what he was doing was wrong and yet continued doing it. The poor dog continued to scream while we were waiting for the authorities."
The boy was allegedly aggressive and the dog could not be attended to until the police arrived. He was arrested and the dog, called Rover, was taken away for treatment which included surgery that amounted to about R8 000.
"The dog suffered an open fracture and lost a lot of blood, which caused him to be very weak. We want to give Rover a better life and a special Christmas. We are asking for the public's assistance to help Rover. We realise that it is a difficult time of year, but we would really like to give Rover a special home before Christmas."
Donations can be made by SMSing the word "Bloemspca" to 42646 (SMSes cost R30) or by visiting www.bloemfonteinspca.co.za.
In November, a farm owner was convicted and ordered to pay R40 000 to the National Council of SPCAs (NSPCAs) after 32 dogs were found in awful conditions on his property in Soweto, News24 reported.
Among the 32 dogs was a puppy with a broken spine that had been left to drag himself around the property, as well as a young pit bull in a cage whose nose had been entirely bitten off. A number of small-breed dogs had rotting teeth that were falling out. The 32 dogs were removed from the property.
In December 2015, a Dobsonville, Soweto, man was sentenced to three years in jail after he was found guilty on 21 charges of animal cruelty, including repeatedly beating an elderly greyhound with a knobkerrie.