The NSPCA described the dog’s shooting as “unnecessary and cruel” and said while a case had not yet been opened, it would be prosecuting on behalf of the Eshowe SPCA. Picture: Screengrab/Facebook
Durban - Police have confirmed that a case has been opened against a KwaZulu-Natal deputy mayor and his bodyguard after a video of a dog being shot with a high-calibre rifle went viral last month.

Police spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Thulani Zwane said a case of cruelty to animals was opened at Melmoth police station by members of the National Council of SPCAs (NSPCA).

“No one has been arrested yet. Once our investigation is completed, the docket will be sent for a decision,” Zwane said.

The video surfaced showing a man shooting the dog, which was chained to a fence.

At the time, it was alleged the dog’s owner had consented to the killing because the dog was responsible for killing livestock.

Mthonjaneni Municipality deputy mayor Philani Ntombela is seen cheering on the shooter.

According to Meg Wilson, NSPCA communication unit manager, the dog was found alive a few days later despite it being shot a number of times.

Wilson said when they investigated, the findings were worse than originally reported.

“Video footage of the incident surfaced on social media, bringing it to the attention of the NSPCA and Eshowe SPCA five days after the dog was shot.

Alive

“The Eshowe SPCA inspector attended to the complaint and found a dog still alive with multiple gunshot wounds.

“Five days had lapsed and not a single person sought help for this animal, allowing it to suffer for a prolonged period of time,” she said.

Wilson said on closer analysis of the video, it came to light that four dogs were shot.

“One dog was shot multiple times, another dog escaped wounded and two puppies were shot.

“One of the puppies was in the hands of a 9-year-old boy and the shooter took the shot while (it was) still in the hands of the young boy,” Wilson claimed.

A witness had said there was no proof that these were the dogs that attacked the livestock.

Wilson said: “We are absolutely overcome with devastation for these animals which have been failed by humans.

Their “sheer disregard” for the animals was disturbing, Wison added.

She said it was unforgivable to shoot in the midst of children, and particularly when one of the animals was in a child’s hand.

Because of the nature of the case, Wilson said the NSPCA official had to be escorted by an armed guard to lay the charge at the local police station.

Daily News