The NSPCA said an urgent cry for help from the Waterburg Agri System Professional Security (Wasp) team resulted in a pre-dawn road trip by the NSPCA inspectors to Modimolle.
Wasp had suspicions that dogfighting was taking place on a property.
Accompanied by the Modimolle SAPS K9 Unit and Wasp crew, the inspectors discovered 22 dogs chained and caged among the rubble, filth and mud of a Phagameng property.
“The animals’ open wounds and horrific scars told the silent story of dogs that were not only victims of dogfighting, but also of being pitted against wild pigs in illegal hunting and fighting,” the NSPCA said.
Trainee inspector Ayanda Ngcofe’s low whistle brought a cautious tail wag from Lady, the chained-up pit bull cross, her questioning whine also bringing her sister Sassy out of the darkness.
The two frightened, starved and tick-infested mother dogs brought tears to Ngcofe’s eyes, and she quickly cut the chains around their necks.
Both Lady and Sassy trustingly let her gather up their surviving pups and then followed her to safety.
Twenty-two dogs and two young pigs were rescued from the property and taken to safety, as well as three illegally caught tortoises that were also being kept in shocking conditions.
One person was arrested on the scene and remains in custody, facing multiple charges.
“This case is yet another clear illustration that the abuse of one animal not only indicates the likely abuse of other vulnerable animals, but also indicates the existence of additional criminal activity,” said the NSPCA.
Due to the threat that hunting with dogs poses to the biodiversity of the country, combined with the cruelty and injuries that result for both dog and prey, both provincial nature conservation ordinances and national environmental biodiversity legislation dictate that dogs may only be used for pursuing or searching for an animal wounded in a legal hunt - and even then, only with a permit.
National animal protection legislation further states that any person who baits or provokes any animal, or incites any animal to attack another animal, shall be guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to fines and/or imprisonment.
To donate to the special investigation unit of the NSPCA, use the reference WARRIOR and the following account:
Account name: SPCA National Council of SA
Bank: Standard Bank.
Account no: 220639744.
Branch code: 051001
Alternatively, donate via debit/credit card at: https://nspca.co.za/donate/.