The Cape of Good Hope SPCA is working hard to abolish the cruel act of dog fighting. They are offering a R15 000 reward for anyone with information that leads to the successful prosecution of individuals involved in dog fighting.
Dog fighting is a ‘contest’ in which two dogs, trained to fight, are placed in a small arena to fight each other for the spectators’ entertainment and gambling purposes.
This multimillion-rand industry is a carefully planned and organised enterprise, using family bred dogs and held in a location specially designed and maintained for the purpose of showcasing this brutal event.
“Dog fighting tears at the moral fabric of society. It condones a level of violence and cruelty that not only has great consequences to the community that tolerates its existence but it also walks hand in hand with other criminal activities,” explains the SPCA on their website.
Speaking to IOL, SPCA spokesperson Belinda Abrahams says that dog fighting is especially bad in the Western Cape, often noted in hotspot areas like Manenberg, Ocean View, Hangberg, Macassar and Hanover Park.
“This is alarming because dog fighting is not only a problem of cruelty to animals, it is also part of a criminal subculture that can involve other criminal activities such as illegal gambling and drug-related crimes and theft,” she said.
The American Pit Bull Terrier has become the most popular dog breed victim of this crime in South Africa, reports the SPCA. They are often purposefully bred to fight, or stolen from their homes. The SPCA explains that fighting dogs are often antagonised, beaten, starved or injected with steroids to increase aggression, and spend their lives chained up or locked in small cages in filthy conditions.
For those that do not perform well in fights, they may die from their sustained injuries or be killed. The SPCA says these dogs can be killed in brutal manners such as by hanging, strangulation, electrocution, drowning or being beaten to death.
The SPCA is appealing to the public to help bring an end to this cruel act by reporting incidents of dogfighting. Reports can be made by calling 0217004158/9 during office hours or 0833261604 after hours, and can remain anonymous. You can also make a report via the “report cruelty” link on the SPCA website: www.capespca.co.za.