Kenosi Molebatsi’s prize-winning American Pitbull named Peaches, is the latest of several dogs stolen in the Govan Mbeki municipal area.
Peaches is a white one year-old pure bred pitbull red nose with distinct tan (almost peach) markings. According to Kenosi, his “four-footed baby” was stolen from his locked up yard in Lauts Street in Secunda’s Sunset Park on Friday night, 15 July.
His daughter, Nellie (8) is traumatised by the loss of her best friend. “We deeply love this animal.
“She is so well-trained and is not aggressive.”
Kenosi reported the theft of his dog to the Secunda Police.
“I suspect someone who knows us has stolen Peaches.
“I have been told in jest before that Peaches is a magnificent creature worth stealing.
“I’m terribly afraid that the culprit has taken my dog for dogfighting,” said Kenosi.
Several other residents have also complained about their pets being stolen – some of these animals are evidently strong enough to be used in dogfighting while other, smaller dogs might have been snatched to be used as bait dogs.
Although Lt Col Bettina Zondo, Secunda Police spokesperson, said on Wednesday that the police are not aware of dogs being stolen or about any dogfighting operations in this area, the Highveld Ridge SPCA’s Jenneth Geel stated the opposite.
Jenneth is a senior inspector at the SPCA.
She is convinced dogfighting is growing rapidly in this area. During the past two years, numerous carcasses, as well as severely injured dogs, were found dumped in fields between Secunda, Evander and eMbalenhle.
According to Wendy Wilson from the NSPCA dogfighting in South Africa has “blossomed” over the past few years.
Dogfighting is a sadistic “contest” in which two dogs are placed in a small arena to fight each other for the entertainment of spectators and for gambling purposes.
Wendy said it is an incredibly violent organised crime that is most often linked to other criminal activities, such as illegal gambling, possession of stolen property; manufacture, possession or distribution of controlled substances; unlicensed alcohol sales; racketeering; and practising veterinary medicine without being licensed.
Spectators provide much of the profit associated with dogfighting.
The money generated by admission fees and gambling helps to keep this cruel “sport” alive. These spectators are “willing participants” who support a criminal activity through their paid admission and attendance.
Wendy said in an interview with the Police magazine SERVAMUS that a dogfighting investigation requires many of the same skills and resources as an undercover narcotics investigation, and challenges the resources of any agency that seeks to respond to it.
The NSPCA, SAPS and other law enforcers engage in joint operations when it comes to tackling dogfighting. For this reason, the NSPCA has produced a specific document, entitled “Guidelines for enforcement of animal fighting laws”.
The community can help by alerting the police and the local SPCA to any suspected or actual dogfighting activities in their area.
If you have any information about dogfighting, contact the NSPCA at 011 907 3590 or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org – Arisja Misselhorn.