Capetonians have always undying love for their four-legged friends, with a majority of families around the Province having either one or more pets, which is usually a dog. However, there are a few individuals around the city that use their k-9 friends for more nefarious purposes, chief amongst which is illegal dog-fighting.

To help put this issue to bed once and for all, the City of Cape Town announced on Thursday, March 11, that it has established a dedicated anti-dogfighting team. According to a statement released by the city, the new team has already been deployed into several hotspot areas to create awareness around the responsibilities of dog owners and dogfighting.

The anti-dogfighting is made up of a variety of members who specialise in different fields. This includes City Law Enforcement Animal Control officers, welfare inspectors from the Society of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA), and members of the Safety and Security Investigations Unit (SSIU).

Dogfighting is a real, vicious and barbaric activity which is rife across the metropole. Often the only time this dark issue comes to light is when a resident has enough courage or compassion for the animals involved, to call authorities,” said City of Cape Town’s Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security, Alderman JP Smith.

As part of their duties, the anti-dogfighting team will be tasked with dealing with the following issues:

• Deal with all dog attacks
• Monitor and patrol identified dogfighting hotspots
• Scrutinise dogs impounded and those that have been attacked for visible signs of regular/intermittent dog fighting
• Impound dogs involved in dogfighting and attacks
• Arrest offenders involved in dogfighting where necessary
• Monitor cases and prosecution of offenders
Along with saving dogs from a life where they are forced to fight for their owners’ entertainment, JP Smith also said that the team was established to prevent children in these areas from getting desensitised to suffering and pain that the dogs feel they’re forced to fight.
This is particularly important because the more desensitised a child becomes from seeing these horrific fights take place on a day-to-day basis could lead to them entertaining the idea that there is nothing wrong with illegal dogfighting.
“Children who witness these fights can become desensitised to suffering and pain, it can make them more willing to accept physical violence and they’re less able to empathise with others. This is not the legacy we want to leave behind,” added JP  Smith.
To report cases, please call 107 or 021 480 7700 (from a landline).
Picture: Pixabay

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