Dogfighting is a massive problem in South Africa and more so in the Western Cape, so the City of Cape Town has established a team to tackle the problem.
South Africa (15 March 2021) – The City of Cape Town’s newly-established joint anti-dogfighting team has already ventured into several hotspots creating awareness around the responsibilities of dog owners and dogfighting. In Hanover Park, 27 dogs and five cats were surrendered to the team; three dogs and two cats were sterilised, while 29 other animals were treated for a number of other ailments.
The team, whose mandate is to tackle dogfighting and deal with canine attacks on people and animals, comprises City Law Enforcement Animal Control officers, welfare inspectors from the Society of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA), and members of the Safety and Security Investigations Unit (SSIU).
“Dogfighting is a real, vicious and barbaric activity which is rife across the metropole. Often the only time this dark issue comes to light, is when a resident has enough courage or compassion for the animals involved, to call authorities. The team that’s been assembled tackle these complaints and have already made inroads,” said the City of Cape Town’s Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security, Alderman JP Smith.
The team was established after the Cape Animal Welfare Forum engaged the City with their concerns around organised and informal dogfighting in the Western Cape.
‘Dogfighting eats away at the moral fabric of society and its devastating effects have long been a priority for the City’s Animal Control Unit. The newly integrated team aims to gather intelligence and information from dog attacks and injured dogs admitted for treatment, with the end goal of successfully prosecuting offenders. For too long, these perpetrators have got away with these inhumane crimes.
‘Dogfighting is an underground activity and despite the outcry, it remains in the shadows and draws crowds. If we are going to end these barbaric events, we need the public’s assistance,’ said Alderman Smith.
The team will, among others:
- Deal with all dog attacks.
- Monitor and patrol identified dogfighting hotspots.
- Scrutinise dogs impounded and those that have been attacked for visible signs of regular/intermittent dogfighting.
- Impound dogs involved in dogfighting and attacks.
- Arrest offenders involved in dogfighting where necessary.
- Monitor cases and prosecution of offenders.
‘I want to appeal to residents to report dogfighting as the consequences extend beyond the suffering of animals and arrest of the perpetrators. Children who witness these fights can become desensitised to suffering and pain, it can make them more willing to accept physical violence and they’re less able to empathise with others. This is not the legacy we want to leave behind,’ added Alderman Smith.
To report cases, please call 107 or 021 480 7700 (from a landline).