Sunnyridge residents living in fear of pit bull

Residents of Landa Avenue in Sunnyridge extension are living in fear of a neighbour’s pit bull, which is prone to attacking, maiming and killing other dogs.

One resident said the pit bull escapes its owner’s yard and gains entry to neighbours’ properties. It has allegedly killed two puppies in the last year and two weeks ago, allegedly severely wounded a third dog.

The owners of the wounded dog were forced to spend close to R500 on medical bills to enable the dog’s recovery.

One resident said: “I am worried that one day the dog will gain access to my yard when my children are alone and they will be left vulnerable because that dog is out of control.

“There are other people in our area with pit bulls but those people ensure that their walls are high enough for the dogs not to escape.

“We, as a community, have tried to persuade the owner of the violent pit bull to take stronger security measures, such as establishing a higher fence around their home.

“Initially the owner agreed to this and told us to wait until March 31 for the fence to be erected but this deadline has come and gone and nothing changed.

“We want this pit bull gone because we have tried to reason with the owners, but they are uncompromising.”

The SPCA was contacted but have since said they are unable to remove the dog if the owner does not surrender it willingly.

The SPCA advises that a case be opened by the SAPS, and the court will decide what should happen with the animal when the case is finalised and what costs should or should not be paid to the victim.

Earlier this year, the SPCA was forced to intervene when the community in Bhongweni were rounding up pit bulls in the area by force to hand them over to the SPCA.

SPCA manager Nazareth Appalsamy told the Daily Dispatch that officers from SPCA were sent out to educate the community on the Animals Matters Amendment Act, which prescribes contacting either BCMM law enforcement or SAPS in the case of a dog attack.

The owners of the pit bull at Landa Avenue are unwilling to surrender their dog because of security risks.

SPCA officer Keshvi Nair said that the owners of a violent dog are responsible for ensuring that other dogs wounded by their own, receive necessary medical attention.

Nair said: “Owners need to take responsibility for their pets and liaise with the owners of the other animals to try and resolve the matter amicably.

“Often, if this is not done, it will result in a case being opened and charges being laid.

“Owners need to take responsibility and accountability if their dogs are dangerous and aggressive. They should be taking every precaution to ensure that their dangerous animals do not cause harm to other people or animals in the community.

“If an attack has occurred, owners need to take reasonable steps to ensure that it never occurs again. To own a pit bull, it is vital that one has the relevant experience and expertise to look after the dog.

“Even the most well-trained and well-kept dog has the capacity to attack under certain circumstances if the correct stimuli are present.

“Often when a dog attack has occurred, we hear reports of how the dog had first attacked a smaller animal like a cat or a bird, but nobody reported it because nobody took it seriously. We also hear how the animal had previously escaped and chased someone, or bit someone but it wasn’t a ‘serious injury’, so it was not reported.

“Don’t wait until a fatal attack has occurred to do something. It is important to report dangerous and aggressive animals to the municipality as soon as possible, especially if the animals are not properly kept inside the property.”

ENFORCING PROTECTION: The SPCA team intervening at Bhongweni community earlier this year. Picture: THEO JEPTHA


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