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Power breeds are at high risk of being stolen, SPCA warns

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Zeus, an eight-month-old Rottweiler, was stolen from his owners front yard in Grassy Park. He has a long tail, is very friendly and is not neutered. PHOTO: supplied
Zeus, an eight-month-old Rottweiler, was stolen from his owners front yard in Grassy Park. He has a long tail, is very friendly and is not neutered. PHOTO: supplied

A Grassy Park family is heartbroken after their eight-month-old Rottweiler was stolen from their front yard, which was captured on CCTV footage, on Wednesday 5 January.

Aneequa Rylands, owner of the pup, posted a plea on social media asking for assistance in finding the culprits who stole their beloved pet.

“I was at the police station to open a case yesterday. The neighbourhood watch saw the guys with my dog but didn’t know that he was stolen at the time.”

The neighbourhood watch captured images of the two men that have since been circulating on Facebook.

Describing the early morning that Zeus was stolen, Rylands said they heard one of their dogs barking at around 04:00.

“We have two Rottweilers. Zeus is the younger one and he is very friendly. We heard the female barking, but my husband opened the door probably 20 seconds too late.

“In the CCTV footage you can see guys lifting the gate and playing with Zeus, then pulling him out underneath. Our second dog barked and then ran away from them to the backyard. Initially we thought both were stolen.”

Rylands said they had just moved to Grassy Park five months earlier and it’s the first time they left the dogs in the front yard.

“We only want our dog back.”

Zeus is not neutered, has a long tail and is friendly.

Belinda Abraham, spokesperson for the Cape of Good Hope SPCA, said power breeds are at the highest risk of being stolen.

“Power breeds are at the greatest risk of being stolen for dog fighting and breeding. Dogs that don’t demonstrate a willingness to fight and smaller breeds may find themselves bait for dog fight training purposes or they are to be sold for monetary gain.”

She added that puppies have great emotional blackmail value and for this reason animal lovers should not engage with puppy sellers at robots.

“We are calling on members of the public to stop supporting the illegal trade of puppies and to rather report such incidents to law enforcement on 021 596 1999 or the Cape of Good Hope SPCA on 021 700 4158/9.

“Parting with any money means that you unintentionally perpetuate a cycle of cruelty and abuse where animals are likely being bred in puppy mill-type environments or being stolen from loving homes for monetary gain.”

Abraham said puppy hawkers are likely to steal animals that are owned.

“In addition to this, puppies are often removed from their mothers extremely young, are often unhealthy and in some instances genetically defective. You could also be unwittingly introducing disease and parasites into your home that could affect the health of your pets and your family.”

She urged dog owners to have their pets microchipped.

“Microchipping your animals provides you with undeniable proof of ownership. Neutering and spaying also reduces the risk of theft for breeding purposes as does keeping your pets in an enclosed back garden.”

If you are certain that your pet has been stolen, visit your closest police office with any evidence you may have and lay a charge of theft.

“Stolen pets may be dumped if a buyer is not found so notify all your local animal welfare organisations as well. Raise as much awareness as possible for your missing pet,” said Abraham.

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