A dog, found buried alive in a Khayelitsha school sportsfield, has been named Warrior by her rescuers.
In what has been dubbed “one of the worst reported cases of animal abuse in Cape Town yet”, the dog was rescued on Thursday morning after it was found buried alive in a pit at Luhlaza Secondary School.
Two suspects were arrested by police late Thursday afternoon.
Photographs show the dog being dug out of the pit, its small, sand-covered face peering at its rescuers.
Christine Pretorius, spokeswoman for the International Fund for Animal Welfare, told the Cape Times the dog had recovered well from the ordeal.
“The dog’s fine. It’s in good condition. It’s eating ravenously now. The dog is slightly disabled, probably as a result of earlier injuries from a motor vehicle accident. It is limping quite badly. It’s got a lot of sand in its eyes and they’ll continue to flush it out.”
She said the Mdzananda Animal Clinic in Khayelitsha had received an anonymous tip-off at 8.30am to say that janitors at the Luhlaza Secondary School had allegedly been spotted digging a hole on the perimeter of the sportsfield and burying a live dog in it.
“Veterinarian Dr Edson Man’Ombe and Animal Welfare carer Lazola Sotyingwa immediately rushed to the school and apprehended two janitors on the school field. The men initially claimed the dog was dead, but on further questioning admitted the animal was still alive when they buried it,” Pretorius said.
“They said one of the school’s senior supervisors had told them to get rid of the dog as it was being a nuisance by hanging around the classrooms.”
Man’Ombe and Sotyingwa then instructed the men to open the pit and the dog, a crossbreed, was found barely alive at the bottom of a hole between one and 1.5m deep.
It was rushed to the Mdzananda Animal Clinic and the care of professional veterinarians. Pretorius said the names of the janitors, and the supervisor who allegedly told them to dispose of the dog, were known to the clinic and a criminal complaint had been lodged at the Lingelethu Police Station in Khayelitsha.
Police arrested two 59-year-old men yesterday, spokesman Frederick van Wyk said.
The two would appear in court after they had been charged.
“The incident was reported this morning and a case of Animal Protection Act Torturing or animal cruelty was opened for investigation.”
Bronagh Casey, spokeswoman for Education MEC Donald Grant, said: “We are horrified by this incident and our district office is investigating.”
Jane Levinson, clinic co-ordinator at Mdzananda, said the incident showed there was a need for more animal welfare support and humane education initiatives in townships and schools.
“This story is tragic and, as awful as this story is, without access to animal welfare these are the kinds of desperate measures people resort to when they have nowhere to turn for help,” Levinson said. “None of this excuses the decision of a senior, and presumably educated and intelligent supervisor, to instruct his juniors to dispose of a problem dog in such a cruel fashion.
“We can only hope that none of the pupils at the school were exposed to this horrific event.” - Cape Times
Cynthia Scionti, wrote
Hope these sickos get what they deserve!
Douglas Casula - Brasil, wrote
Congratulations, while there is some wonderful people (who managed to save the dog) have people who are showing that they are less worms.
A nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated ~Gandhi
SA is rotten, rotten to the core.
Disgusting and shocking. This cruelty should be dealt with the same as if the attack had been on humans. Life is life.
This inciden has been reorted in overseas newspapers aswell- is this the example SA wants to send out? Barbaric, disgusting & pathetic excuse for a human being. Someone shuld burry them alive & not rescue them. No amount of education will rectify people like this.
Just goes to show again, the stupidity, ignorance and barbaric nature of mankind! People like this should be punished the same way as if they had done this to a human being! Why should the treatment be any different just because its an animal! In fact, torturing an animal is the same as child abuse. Both are defenseless and vulnerable and undeserving of malice and so punishment should be exactly the same! When will we ever learn to start treating other species with respect!!
We are always so appalled at these monsters actions and then we forget about it until the next time - why don't we practise what we preach - "do unto others what you want them to do to you" - so bury those sickos alive for an hour and then take them (if they are still alive) maybe then others will think twice to do the same - let's face it SA will never bring back the death penalty so where does it leave defenceless old people, young children and animals? They rape - cut it off, they torture their victims - do the exactly the same to them, why in some countries if you steal they cut your hand off trust me you would think twice of committing a crime knowing the same is going to hapen to you - forget the criminal's rights!
oh,this is realy sad.
Kate Kenner, wrote
If you haven't learned respect and compassion for others, including animals, by age 59 when do you learn it? What they have done is reprehensible and should not go unpunished.
Although animal cruely happens the world over, this incident reflects very badly on South Africa. The school board need to consider how they can educate the staff and children of the school concerned about animal welfare. I thought China held the record for tortuous acts against animals but this one really is beyond belief. I hope those involved will be severely dealt with.
Patrizia Scally, wrote
The cruelty of man kind have no limitation. VERY DISTURBING
Didn't they have an animal shelter to take it to. Any person in their right mind would think of that first. Maybe they should do the same thing to these men. Have people forgotten we are all creatures of God?
The 3 men involved in this disgusting act should be dealt with in a way that will make others think twice about perpetrating this sort of crime. Let the punishment fit the crime - fair and square!
I had to put my first puppy down due to kidney failure. After holding her whilst the vet put her to sleep I then buried her in my garden. I had sleepless nights feeling so sorry for her down there under the earth, although she was gone. How on earth can people do this to a live animal and not be totally distraught at that poor animal's suffering? I am beyond words and it shames me that this attitude to living things exists in our society. May you face hell one day very soon. And to the doggy - I hope you find your kind loving forever home very soon and know what it is to have warmth and light.
By the way, this type of animal abuse is NOT uncommon in South Africa and is not restricted to the uneducated: read "Slaughter of the innocents" by Hans Ruesch to see the kinds of savagery practiced on animals by researchers in academic institutions, It will make you sick to your stomach!
Dora Ponce, wrote
The following comment says they claim the supervisor instructed them...if so, shouldn't that person be charged as well? I'm so glad this dog will now have a better life than he ever had and hope those perps get the maximum penalty they allow there. “They said one of the school’s senior supervisors had told them to get rid of the dog as it was being a nuisance by hanging around the classrooms.”
Anyone reeling up the apartheidsegregation issues here to justify the horror of what happened to this dog and many other horrors we read about, just zip it, because its not relevant here. This is an issue about how inhumane people have become and we are talking about 'Mans Best Friend'.... but what would uncultured, illiterate people who dig holes for harmless dogs know? It has nothing to do with black, white or pink, it has to do with mentality.......I agree, chop them up and let the dogs eat them because they deserve even less than that!
This type of animal abuse is unusual in South Africa. I am horrified to see that it now exists. Please don't let this country follow the terrible example we set here in America, where animal abuse of the most horrific type is fairly common. Hope this little dog survives and is adopted.
there is animal cruelty in all parts of the world. no race or sex is immune. no cruelty of any kind in any part of the world should be tolerated. what these people did is no worse than dog fighting or the way some countries are cruel to dogs by skinning them alive for food. in the USA there are so many dogs being starved to death in the cities. but i do agree that if cruelty is not punished it will continue and it will get worse.