Cape Town – A possible dogfighting site has been uncovered in Cape Town, but little can be done without witnesses coming forward with evidence.
A tree with wires and cords, for hanging dogs, was discovered a few hundred metres from an informal settlement in Grabouw last week.
Animal inspector Rico Pentz found a dog carcass there that was a few weeks old. Ropes were found on a tree about 10m away.
“I think the dog was used as a bait dog. What they do is tie a dog up to a tree and train their dogs to attack that dog,” Pentz said on Thursday.
“When they are done, they hang it up to show ‘this is what my dog can do’.”
Those responsible used animals that could not fend for themselves and would not hurt their fighter dogs. Sometimes pet dogs are stolen from people's yards for this purpose.
Pentz, the kennel manager at Animal Welfare Helderberg, said it was extremely difficult to track down those responsible.
“The people that live there are too scared to talk about it because then they will get death threats.”
He said a lot of money is involved in dogfighting, a common phenomenon across the metro. Police required proof in the form of witnesses, photos or video.
“It is only one in every 100 cases that can actually be said there was success,” said Pentz.
He believed those involved in dogfighting should face jail time rather than just a fine.
Dogfighting was prohibited by the Animals Protection Act and often associated with organised syndicates.
According to the Cape of Good Hope SPCA's website, dogfighting was part of a criminal subculture that sometimes included illegal gambling, drugs, theft, and the destruction of communities.
“Illegal gambling is an inherent part of a dogfight, and because money changes hands, weapons are common on the scene,” it said on its website.