In an act of compassion, Cape of Good Hope (CoGH) SPCA chief inspector Jaco Pieterse has bid farewell to a rescued boxer named Rocky that died a few days after adoption.
Rocky was found severely emaciated on a property in Eerste River in September.
SPCA spokesperson Belinda Abraham said Rocky’s previous owner failed to provide him with proper care, leaving inspectors with no option other than to obtain a court order for his removal.
Following his rescue, Rocky was admitted to the CoGH SPCA’s Animal Hospital in Grassy Park, where a team of vets took over his care.
“Unfortunately, Rocky deteriorated a little more every day, despite of our best efforts that included a premium diet and consultations with private veterinarians.
“When tests confirmed our worst fears, we were all devastated, but nobody more so than our chief inspector,” Abraham said.
Pieterse said Rocky was diagnosed with cancer.
“His diagnosis was terminal with no hope of recovery and the fact that I wouldn’t be able to keep my promise to him kept me awake at night,” he said.
Pieterse said he made the decision to adopt Rocky so he could make good on the promise he made two weeks earlier.
“I knew it would be one of the most difficult things I would ever do, but I had to honour my word and love Rocky as hard as I could for whatever time he had left,” he said.
After a few days, Rocky became too weak to take more than a few steps unaided.
“It was a hard hello and an even harder goodbye,” said Pieterse.
“But as it always is with any animal, he gave me so much more than I ever gave him. I’ll never forget him, and I’ll keep fighting cruelty every single day, in honour of his memory,” he said.
Rocky will be cremated and his ashes will be spread at his favourite beach.