Durban - Two pit bull-cross family dogs were senselessly gunned down by unknown assailants in Newlands, north of Durban on January 25.
Gizelle Chetty, the owner of the dogs, named Prince and Bella, called for justice in a Facebook post which was shared over 500 times at the weekend. Chetty urged the community to provide assistance in finding the culprits.
“I urge the community to please help our family seek justice for our fur babies,” Chetty’s post read.
Chetty said that the incident occurred between 3pm and 5pm on Wednesday, January 25, on Amlock Drive, Newlands West. The dogs were shot 12 times, with neither of them surviving.
The family said that both Prince and Bella were loving and playful and never showed aggression toward anyone.
“We as a family will not rest until justice has been served,” Chetty said.
Recent violence against allegedly vicious dogs or power breeds has been on the increase since last year.
Nicole Jack, founder and chairperson of Durban-based SerendiPitty Rescue, a pit bull rescue and re-homing non-profit said that attacks and violence against innocent pit bulls have spiralled out of control.
“People are terrified for the safety of their beloved pets so they are opting to surrender them to the SPCA or other organisations,” Jack said.
In December last year, a pit bull named Adam was beaten to death in Cape Town. Chevy Fortuin, Adam’s owner, said on Facebook at the time that Adam wandered into a neighbour's yard out of curiosity. Adam then got into a scuffle with the neighbour's two dogs but they were separated.
The neighbour ordered his employee working in the yard to beat the dog with a metal T-pole and when Fortuin’s gardener tried to intervene and stop the beating, he was also threatened with violence by the neighbour.
Fortuin said that the man beat Adam over his head, ribs and groin area until the dog could not move. The gardener assisted Fortuin to drag Adam out of the neighbour's yard and take him to a nearby animal hospital, but his injuries were too severe and he was put to sleep.
“The trauma of witnessing the brutality and Adam’s pain will remain with us forever. Because you were a pit bull, society sees you as a monster but you are just a misunderstood breed. Not once have you attacked your attacker, not once have you bitten any human,” Fortuin said in a Facebook post.
A charge of animal cruelty was opened with the SAPS and a mediation process was initiated between Fortuin and the neighbour, but on January 25, Fortuin and her legal representation successfully declined a mediation process and the matter will go to trial.
Since the incident, a Facebook page was created called “Justice for Adam” which now has over 1 500 followers with regular updates posted on the ongoing court case against the neighbour.