Group caught pitting puppy against older pitbull after tip-off
Six teenagers were caught allegedly pitting two dogs – one just a puppy – against each other behind the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, where dog fighting is becoming increasingly prevalent.
Police and traffic officials nabbed five high school pupils and a college student on Friday after a tip-off about illegal dog fighting on the patch of grass between the stadium and the North End lake.
Animal Anti-Cruelty League (AACL) inspector Beverley Rademeyer described the scene as “horrific” as she had spotted two deep gashes on the neck of the five-month-old male pitbull puppy that was forced to fight an 18-month-old black pitbull.
“We have video footage which shows how the little brown puppy was dangled like a piece of meat in front of the bigger one and thrown on the bigger one to irritate it and cause the dog to attack,” Rademeyer said.
“This was not a planned dog fight – it was a bunch of bored teenagers who had nothing else to do.
“The area is a dog fighting hotspot. We have collected several dead pitbulls in that same spot in the past.
“It is a horrifying situation, because we’ve seen an increase in dog fighting around the metro in recent months.
“Fortunately, these dogs both survived. The puppy’s neck wounds have been stapled and we are now looking for good homes for them.”
Rademeyer’s sentiments were echoed by pitbull activist and Pitbull Rescue member Marizanne Ferreira.
“I am aware of several dog fights in that area and it is definitely a dog fighting hotspot.
“The Sydenham area is well known for breeding dogs and pitbulls, in particular, with the intention of using them for fighting,” Ferreira said.
“It’s not just poorer areas – there is quite a lucrative dog fighting ring in the Bay.
“But in the poorer areas it is more rife – in most instances it is teenagers who fight the dogs for bets of R20 to R50.”
Rademeyer said the AACL regularly received reports of dog fighting, particularly involving teenagers.
“It is very hard to catch these people in the act.
“Most times they will be walking their dogs, slip into the bush and return about half an hour later and you can see the dogs have been fighting.
“They always have an excuse for the wounds, ranging from the dog getting injured while trying to escape the yard to a pack of stray dogs attacking the animal.
“But in this instance there is hard evidence, and we are compiling our documentation to open a case.”
Police spokesman Captain Johann Rheeder confirmed the arrest of three juveniles. They had been released on warning and will appear in Nerina House Court today for contravening the Prevention of Animal Cruelty Act of 1993.
The other three teenagers allegedly involved in the incident are aged 18 and 19.
Rheeder, however, could find no record of these suspect’s arrests.