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A Cape Town woman is expected to appear in the Mitchells Plain Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday on charges of animal neglect.
The Cape of Good Hope Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) said its inspectorate department received a call about an unwanted dog on August 24, around 2pm.
The call led inspectors to a house in Beacon Valley in Mitchells Plain and upon arrival, SPCA collection officer Mzikayise Mfini found Rockxy, an adult cross-breed dog, in a state of deterioration with two sizeable and festering wounds, one on her abdomen and one in her genital area.
Mfini returned to the SPCA and took Rockxy directly to the SPCA Animal Hospital to be examined by a veterinarian.
“She was found with two ulcerating masses, one on her abdomen and another between her legs, both of significant size and severity,” the SPCA’s attending veterinarian, Dr Ettienne Pieterse said.
“The masses had been left untreated for a prolonged period, causing the flesh to ulcerate deeply. There were definite signs of animal neglect, in addition to the suffering resulting from the severity of the masses on multiple sites,” he said.
Pieterse said the suffering was so severe and the entire affected area measured 17 centimetres, the wound on the abdomen measured six and a half centimetres in length and seven centimetres in width. The open wound on her genital area measured seven centimetres in length and six centimetres in width.
With a poor prognosis and Rockxy showing signs of severe pain and suffering, Inspector Carina Bodenstein had to humanely euthanise the animal.
“The affected areas appeared to have burst open and a foul smell was coming from the wounds.
“Yellow pus was oozing from the wounds and Rockxy’s hind legs were covered in it. She was in too much pain and I couldn’t leave her to suffer any longer,” Bodenstein said.
Chief Inspector Jaco Pieterse said this case extended beyond the mere lack of the desire for a pet.
He said it demonstrated the suffering and neglect that animals can be subjected to when they are unwanted.
“In many instances when a dog is unwanted, their very basic needs are not met, and in cases like this, physical suffering is ignored. It’s a heart-wrenching reminder of the consequences of the unreciprocated, unconditional love of a dog.
“A dog cannot seek out medical help or pick up the phone - they’re completely reliant on their guardians, owners or caregivers to meet their needs. It’s a responsibility that should be met with compassion, not disregard,” Pieterse said.
He said the only thing left to do for Rockxy was to fight for justice.
On August 25, Pieterse and Bodenstein, accompanied by officers from the City of Cape Town’s Law Enforcement Animal Control Unit, returned to the home in Beacon Valley and the owner was arrested on charges pertaining to the Animals Protection Act.
“She was taken directly to the Mitchells Plain SAPS office where she was charged and released on bail. The accused makes her first appearance before the court on August 29,” Pieterse said.
“This case should send a clear message to people who allow their animals to suffer – we will not tolerate animal cruelty. Animal abusers will be brought to book and we will fight for the harshest sentence possible,” he said.