Cape Town - A dog that went missing on Christmas Day has been returned to its owner, but with its genitals removed.
Lozola Sotyingwa, an animal welfare care officer at the Mdzananda Animal Clinic in Khayelitsha, said this was one of the worst cases of animal cruelty he had seen and it was especially sad that the dog had to go through the procedure without any painkillers.
Sotyingwa said it was not possible to tell whether the dog was male or female when it was brought in by its owner on Saturday morning.
“What the owner explained to me was that he had chained it in the yard and that the dog somehow came loose and ran away on Christmas Day,” Sotyingwa added.
“Then it returned to the house the next day and that was when he noticed that something was wrong. When he looked, he saw it had been castrated.”
Sotyingwa said the dog’s owner believed it had been bitten by another dog.
“But on close inspection at the clinic, we realised its genitals had been cut off.”
Sotyingwa said they had been monitoring the dog since its arrival at the clinic and they were worried at first that it would not be able to relieve itself. However, it had meanwhile started urinating.
What amazed him the most was that the dog was happy (when it was brought in), and showed no signs of pain, he said.
Sotyingwa said he could not rule out the possibility that this had been done in order to use the body parts for muti.
What added to the confusion was that the owner was not at his Mfuleni property when the dog went missing as he spent most of his time at his other home in Town 2, Khayelitsha.
The dog would receive another check-up today and the veterinarian would decide what to do next.
“But the dog is still alive and happy and to put it down is not yet an option,” he said.
“What happened is not the dog’s fault and we are going to look at all the options we can explore in order to try and help it,”
Cases like these were proof there was a need for more education on animals in the community, he added.