Durban - A terrified dog, chained to a towing bracket of a car and dragged for at least 2km along a road in Chatsworth on Monday, had its skin torn off before someone managed to stop the driver.
“At first I could not believe my eyes. I saw the dog bouncing like a ball on the tarmac and being dragged along,” said off-duty paramedic Vinod Dhanpal, who came to the dog’s rescue and alerted the SPCA and police, who arrested the driver.
The dog was later put down due to the severity of the injuries.
Dhanpal, of Crossmoor, Chatsworth, said he was driving along Bilberry Avenue and was about to turn right into High Terrace Road when he saw a dog tied to the back of a car that passed him.
He followed the car and began hooting to attract the driver’s attention, even overtaking it to try and force the driver to stop, which he eventually did.
“I approached the driver’s window, reached for the ignition and switched the car off,” Dhanpal said.
He said he was horrified to see that a short chain had been tied around the dog’s neck and hooked onto the car’s bumper.
Dhanpal unhooked the chain and carried the dog to a shady area on the side of the road. He said the dog was bleeding from several wounds on its body and its skin was sheared off in places.
“I gave the dog some water,” he said, adding that judging by its injuries it was in a lot of pain.
“I called the police and SPCA. They arrived promptly. The SPCA took the dog.”
Dhanpal said he drove back along the car’s route to try to establish how far the dog had been dragged. He said he saw bloodstains for about 2km and took pictures of this.
A pet lover and owner of two dogs – cross German shepherds – as well as fishes and birds, Dhanpal said the incident had left him quite emotional, although he had encountered many gory scenes as a paramedic for 23 years.
“If it was his own child would he have done that? The dog was in immense pain and defecated continuously,” he said.
Dhanpal said he did not know whose dog it was.
A 58-year-old man has been arrested and charged in terms of the Animals Protection Act and was due to appear in the Chatsworth Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday, said police spokesman, Captain Thulani Zwane.
Nish Ramsamy, an inspector with the Durban and Coast SPCA, said he was called by SAPS and he found the severely injured, medium sized, cross-breed dog.
“The skin on its paws, tummy, side and legs had come off and it was bleeding. The dog was in shock.”
Ramsamy rushed back to the SPCA in Springfield Park but, because of the severity of its injuries, the dog had to be euthanised.
“I’ve seen a lot of cruelty to animals but I’ve never seen something like this.”
Ramsamy said the driver had said he was not aware that the dog was behind the car.