SPCA plea for help after vehicle arson

Three dogs were burnt alive inside a Ford Bantam belonging to the Lower South Coast SPCA. Picture: Supplied.

Three dogs were burnt alive inside a Ford Bantam belonging to the Lower South Coast SPCA. Picture: Supplied.

Published May 25, 2024


Durban — The National SPCA says the recent torching of a Lower South Coast vehicle in which three dogs were burned alive was “barbaric” and exacerbated their already substantial challenges.

National SPCA spokesperson Jacques Peacock said the Uvongo-Margate SPCA was in dire straits after their Ford Bantam vehicle was set alight, and staff were traumatised over the horror deaths of three dogs in the vehicle.

“The SPCA received a notification from their vehicle tracking company just after 6.40pm on Sunday, May 19, indicating that the vehicle’s tracker had sent off an emergency signal.

“The tracking company, SPCA personnel and the SAPS Search and Rescue Unit initiated a search for the driver and vehicle,” he said. At that stage, it was not known that the vehicle was carrying animals

Peacock said the vehicle and the three burned dogs were found in Nkampini.

“The amount of suffering these animals would have endured is unimaginable. The driver was found unharmed but confused in the early hours of Monday, May 20,” said Peacock.

He said it was barbaric that anyone would commit such a “heinous act”. He said the non-profit SPCA as a whole had extremely limited resources, adding that this SPCA, which was already struggling, had been serving its community to the best of its ability and that this “malicious” act had brought its operational capacity to a standstill.

“The SPCA’s vehicles offer a lifeline to countless animals in need, and without it, the SPCA cannot reach those animals who require assistance.

“This terrible act should be condemned by the community in the strongest terms, and the South African Police Service is called upon to ensure swift and stringent action against those responsible,” said Peacock.

The NSPCA appealed to all individuals, organisations and companies to assist the Lower South Coast SPCA with donations and assistance towards the replacement of the vehicle, or a loan vehicle for the area, adding that they could not afford a single day without the lost vehicle.

Lower South Coast SPCA manager Mike Davis said the incident dealt a devastating blow to the branch because they had already been battling when they had four operational vehicles.

“The case is with the South African Police Service, and an internal investigation is being carried out to establish who is responsible for this. Our vehicles were also our lifeline,” he said.

Davis said they did not want to speculate about what had transpired and were waiting for the police to conclude their investigation.

The dogs were being transported from Gcilima township to the organisation.

He pleaded with people to make donations to the organisation in the form of animal food items and a vehicle.

Provincial police spokesperson Colonel Robert Netshiunda confirmed the incident.

“Police in Margate have opened a case of cruelty to animals following an incident in which a vehicle was found burnt on Sunday, May 19. Police also found three burnt carcasses of dogs inside the vehicle.

“Incidents leading to the burning of the vehicles and the animals form part of police investigation,” he said.

Independent on Saturday