File photo: African News Agency (ANA) Archives
Cape Town – A police officer is under investigation for animal cruelty after allegedly shooting a Scottsdene family’s dog at point-blank range.

The Cape of Good Hope SPCA is assisting the family in lodging a complaint.

Police spokesperson FC van Wyk confirmed that a case in terms of the Animal Protection Act was registered for investigation, and “the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) were informed of the incident”.

SPCA spokesperson Belinda Abraham said the organisation only knew that the family was trying to “put the dog away where it would not pose a threat”.

“The matter is still being investigated but the dog was allegedly shot in spite of the family’s request for time to remove it. 

"The remains have been taken to the state vet for a post-mortem. The SPCA is in contact with the family and will be reviewing the case with an interest in assisting with compilation of a docket.”

Abraham said it was heartbreaking when officials demonstrated so little regard for the laws they served to enforce and uphold.

“When a uniformed individual acts in such a callous manner and with so little respect for the sentience of animals, they inadvertently send out a message that cruelty towards them is acceptable. Cruelty is never acceptable or justified.”

According to a family friend, Leandi Everts, the dog was shot between the eyes.

“We’re just waiting on autopsy results and the bullet to be retrieved. We hope the matter will be thoroughly investigated. 

"This dog has a clear shot between the eyes. An attacking dog would have been shot elsewhere.”

She also said the officer shot the dog after the family asked him to wait so they could put the dog away.

Everts said the officer wanted access to the property.

“The owner came out as soon as the dog started barking and the officer wanted to open the gate and the owner said ‘let me put it away’, and he said ‘no, I will shoot the dog’. Then he told the dog to sit and it sat down, and that is when the cop shot it.”

She added that the community had been left distraught.

“Afterwards, he picked up the casing, got in his vehicle and drove off. The other officers there refused to give the name of the officer,” Everts said.

To report cruelty to animals, call the SPCA on 0217004158/9, or 0833261604 after-hours.

Ipid spokesperson Moses Dlamini, however, said it was not an Ipid matter.

“We investigate the deaths of people, in terms of the Ipid act we investigate matters like deaths in police custody.

"Deaths of animals are not in our mandate Sometimes police do refer matters outside our mandate. We look at it and see if we will investigate or refer it to the SPCA.”