SPCA staff attacked, pit bull burnt to death, after child, 3, killed

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  • Animal welfare staff came under attack by angry community members in the Free State.
  • They were attempting to remove two pit bulls that mauled a 3-year-old child.
  • The child was killed when the two dogs attacked him at a house in Henneman.

SPCA staff, who attempted to intervene after two pit bulls killed a child in the Free State, came under attack from angry community members on Sunday morning.

The 3-year-old boy was playing with other children at a house in Sekoti Mpate Phomolong, in Hennenman at around 08:15 when he was attacked by the two dogs, said police spokesperson Captain Stephen Thakeng.

“These dogs bit him until he died in the yard,” said Thakeng.

“The angry residents wanted to kill both dogs and attack the owner of these two pit bulls. Members of Welkom Public Order Policing were summoned to the scene and removed the owner to a safe place.”

The mob turned on SPCA staff who responded to the incident, said Virginia SPCA’s Ernest Khakhau.

“We had to vacate the place because we were attacked. We left one dog there. The other dog had managed to escape, and we removed that dog, which has been euthanised,” Khakhau said.

Thakeng stated: “We can confirm that the staff of SPCA was attacked by angry residents, but nobody got injured. Members of Welkom Public Order Policing and Hennenman SAPS managed to rescue them."

He added that locals attacked the dog that was left behind, hitting it with garden spades and stones before setting the animal alight.

The latest attack comes days after the funeral of an 8-year-old boy in Mangaung, who was mauled to death by a neighbour's pit bull last week Saturday.

READ | 'Goodbye my lollipop': Teacher bids farewell to Bloemfontein pupil mauled to death by pit bull

The dog mauled him at his parents' home in Bloemfontein, when it managed to break through a palisade fence.

The dog dragged him by his throat, killing him.

Police have opened an inquest case for investigation following the latest attack, added Thakeng.

An inquest docket has been registered for further investigation.

Police remain in the area, he added.

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