Cape Town - The SPCA has withdrawn from four key areas of animal rescue fearing they will be caught in the crossfire of violent attacks related to the taxi industry.

Allan Perrins, chief executive of the Cape of Good Hope SPCA, said his staff would no longer patrol and service the areas of Gugulethu, Nyanga, Philippi and Khayelitsha, where violence this week resulted in one man being shot dead and eight buses set on fire. “I simply can’t afford to risk my staff’s lives,” Perrins said. “It’s a warzone out there.”

The areas usually constitute a big part of the society’s work, because people living there could often not pay ordinary veterinarians to help their animals. SPCA staff respond to requests for help as well as looking out for abused or neglected animals.

“It’s dangerous under normal circumstances; it’s suicidal now,” Perrins said.

A pitbull was caught in the crossfire over the weekend.

“The trajectory of the shot was through the top of the head. The bullet exited via his lower jaw blowing out most of his teeth resulting in extensive damage to his jaw bone.”

Perrins said the dog survived, and they had managed to remove the bullet, but he would need extensive reconstructive surgery.

Perrins added that he was caught up in the violence on his way to work on Tuesday when a

taxi dangerously cut across his SPCA vehicle on the R300. He said a group of five traffic officers simply watched and did nothing.

He has written a complaint to the City of Cape Town and is waiting for a response.’

Cape Argus