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LISTEN: City of Cape Town calls for calm amid tensions over dog attacks

LISTEN: City of Cape Town calls for calm amid tensions over dog attacks

Cape Town – The City and the Cape Animal Welfare Forum have appealed for calm amid tensions over dog attacks.

The most recent incident in Cape Town saw communities take matters into their own hands with three pit bulls that attacked a child in Gatesville, Athlone, on Sunday.

Angry residents allegedly beat, stoned and then torched the dogs that mauled the young girl.

The girl had to be rushed to a nearby hospital with severe injuries.

According to the Cape of Good Hope SPCA, this was the second incident of dogs being set alight at the weekend.

Liesl Van Der Schyff · Call for calm amid tensions over dog attacks

The dogs’ bodies were taken to the SPCA in Grassy Park where post-mortems would be conducted.

The City said it took the matter seriously, and its Law Enforcement Animal Control Unit was investigating the attack on the young girl.

“The incident in Athlone this week, where members of the community killed three pit bulls following an attack on a child, has to be condemned in the strongest terms. Firstly, animal owners have a responsibility to ensure that their dogs do not pose a threat to anyone and are kept within their properties, but it is also illegal to harm or torture an animal. If anyone has concerns about a dangerous animal, they must report it to the SPCA or law enforcement so that urgent action can be taken. We cannot have a situation where people take the law into their own hands in this manner,” said the City’s mayoral committee member for safety and security, JP Smith.

“The debate has been raging for months now about a possible ban on pit bulls, in the wake of numerous attacks. It is the City’s position that no animal is inherently dangerous or violent. The real problem is how dogs are raised and trained by their owners, but also inter-breeding, which affects the temperament of a dog. Furthermore, this issue is not pit bull specific.”

The Cape Animal Welfare Forum said challenges around the breeding of dangerous dogs included inter-breeding of dogs for the purposes of selling puppies or for the purposes of dog fighting, and dog owners who were not equipped to train and properly manage what’s known as “power breeds”.

“Dogs need proper socialisation and training. Where a dog is kept in a confined space all day, and not given sufficient exercise or social interaction with other dogs and people, it increases the risk that the animal will be aggressive and potentially pose a danger to others. Animal ownership is a massive responsibility, and we encourage the public to do thorough research before acquiring a dog. If you have any questions or concerns, reach out to your nearest animal welfare organisation. Also, should your dog exhibit any signs of aggression, please do consider surrendering the animal to the animal welfare sector,” said Cape Animal Welfare Forum chairperson, Karen de Klerk.

In the Free State on Sunday, a three-year-old boy was mauled to death by two pit bulls.

The child was playing with others at a neighbours house in Sekoti Mpate, Phomolong when he was attacked.

Residents attacked the dogs and one of them was killed with garden spades, stoned and burnt to death.

Cape Times

Original Article