Cape Town - A dog which was rescued after being used by children in a cruel “game” of tug-of-war may have found a new home.
Dubbed “Freeway”, he was rescued last Tuesday by the city’s mayoral committee member for safety and security, JP Smith, who spotted a group of children torturing the dog.
“They appeared to be trying to pull the dog apart like in tug-of-war with one rope tied around its neck and the other around its leg,” said Smith.
Smith had been travelling from a meeting with an official and had just turned on to the N2 from the R300.
“I saw them thrashing the dog aggressively (with sticks). I charged them and separated the dog from the boys and then they even started to threaten us as well.”
It was only when the police arrived on the scene that the children retreated, but the damage had already been done with Freeway sustaining multiple injuries to his body, including a gash to his eye.
The dog was collected by the city’s animal control unit and taken in by the Animal Welfare Society in Philippi, where according to Smith he is making a remarkable recovery.
“I thought he was going to die because he was struggling for oxygen, but since the last time I visited the Animal Welfare Society the injuries have healed nicely and he was wagging his tail,” said Smith, adding that he had brought Freeway a collar encrusted with gems to make him look like a “celebrity”.
Chief executive of the Animal Welfare Society in Philippi Hilary Henderson said that when she first saw Freeway it was as if he had given up the will to live.
“He was just lying there on the floor as if he was dead.”
He was severely malnourished and had mange.
“He is responding so quickly to the care here and what I find amazing is that he is still accepting of humans,” Henderson said.
Smith said that Freeway’s case was just one of many in the city and that he would be addressing the mayoral committee for additional funds for animals that are in welfare. He said this incident was shocking and that he was worried about the city’s youth and their behaviour.
“It was distressing; you can’t believe that children can do such a thing,” he said.
Freeway is still recovering at the Animal Welfare Society, but is already in the process of adoption into a loving home with the facilitation of Adopt-a-Pet’s Cicely Blumberg.