The dogfighting world is a dark and sinister place with money often changing hands for winning dogs, drugs, weapons and other antisocial activities.
The Cape of Good Hope SPCA’s inspectors are committed to ending the age-old blood sport by raising funds for their rescue efforts.
Last Sunday, 18 October, the inspectors took on the Sanlam Cape Town Virtual Marathon, sponsored by My School My Village My Planet, to raise awareness and funds for their very personal fight against dogfighting.
The inspectorate unit, which deals with the carnage of the dog fights, has been sharing its rescue stories on the SPCA’s Facebook page and fighting for justice by giving these dogs a voice in a court of law.
Some of the most recent incidents include the rescue of two dogs in Elsies River on Monday 28 September, and another two rescued in Eerste River on Tuesday 29 September. According to the SPCA, both dogs were found restrained and have the “undeniable scarring patterns that result from dogfighting”.
Belinda Abraham, Cape of Good Hope SPCA’s spokesperson, told People’s Post that dogfighting is highly prevalent in the Western Cape. Hotspots include Ocean View and Mitchell’s Plain’s Cape Flats areas.
Head of the inspectorate unit, chief inspector Jaco Pieterse, leads the teams in their rescues and encounters the worst-case scenarios when rescuing these abused canines.
“I hate dogfighting because people take advantage of a dog’s best qualities – their unconditional love and loyalty – so that they will endure pain, fear, ripped flesh, blood loss, broken bones and even death; all to please their owners,” he said in a statement.
The SPCA says there is no real reward for the winning dogs in dog fights because “there will be no veterinary treatment to ease their pain, no comfort and no care; and they will have to do it all over again”.
And the losing dog is often killed – either by the winning dog or even by its owner in an attempt to save face.
“Dogfighting is not only a problem of cruelty to animals; dogfighting is also part of a criminal subculture that can involve other criminal activities such as illegal gambling, drug-related crimes, theft as well as contributing to the destruction of communities,” Abraham said.
According to the SPCA, research has shown that people who are cruel and abusive towards animals invariably treat people, especially women and children, the same way.
As part of the marathon the inspectors completed last Sunday, the unit has managed to raise more than R139 592 towards investigating tip-offs, responding to reports of dog fights in progress and rewarding those brave enough to come forward with information that leads to a successful prosecution.
Of the #TEAMSPCA’s 29 runners on the day, 12 were inspectors of the unit.
The SPCA is confident that its #SweatToMakeItStop campaign drove home the important message that when it comes to dogfighting; #ItsACrimeNotASport.