Wacth: SPCA Chief Inspector Adopts Terminally Ill Rescued Dog, Fulfilling Heartfelt Promise
Photo Cred: Cape of Good Hope SPCA

SPCA Chief Inspector adopted a terminally ill rescue dog, honouring a heartfelt promise to provide love and care in the dog’s final days.


Western Cape, South Africa (24 October 2023) – Get ready to reach for the tissues because this story is bound to touch your heart. In an act of extraordinary compassion, Chief Inspector Jaco Pieterse of the Cape of Good Hope SPCA fulfilled a heartwarming promise he made to a dog named Rocky at the time of his rescue.

Rocky, a severely emaciated and suffering Boxer, was discovered on a property in Eerste Rivier, Cape Town. Despite multiple warnings issued by SPCA’s Inspector Lwazi Ntungele, Rocky’s owner failed to provide him with proper care, leaving our Inspector with no option other than to obtain a court order for his removal.

The court order was executed on the 29th of September 2023, in collaboration with The City of Cape Town’s Law Enforcement Animal Control Unit, with live Facebook coverage that resulted in Rocky winning the hearts of the nation.

You can watch the full rescue video here:

Rocky was in a desperate state of neglect.

“He was literally a walking skeleton,” says Chief Inspector Jaco Pieterse. “And it broke my heart to see his condition. I promised him that I would find him a good home, and I was determined to keep that promise, no matter what.”

“Following his rescue, Rocky was admitted to our Animal Hospital in Grassy Park, where our team of veterinarians immediately took over his care. Unfortunately, Rocky deteriorated day by day, despite our best efforts, which included a premium diet and consultations with private veterinarians. When tests confirmed our worst fears, we were all devastated, but nobody more than our Chief Inspector. “Rocky was diagnosed with Cancer, his diagnosis was terminal with no hope of recovery, and the fact that I wouldn’t be able to keep my promise to him kept me awake at night,” says Pieterse.

There’s no doubt that working in animal rescue takes courage, but what our Chief Inspector did next showed how brave he really is. He made the decision to adopt Rocky, so he could make good on the promise he made to him two weeks earlier.

“I knew it would be one of the most difficult things I would ever do, but I had to honour my word and love Rocky as hard as I could for whatever time he had left,” says Chief Inspector Jaco Pieterse.

Keeping Rocky pain-free and comfortable was a priority, and with clearance from our veterinary team, our Chief Inspector gave Rocky the full loving-owner experience that included a trip to the beach so he could experience the ocean, a ride in a car with his head out the window, more treats, love, and cuddles than he’d ever had in his entire life. On his last day, he even got a special treat – a trip through the KFC drive-through. The order was simple, “A streetwise two, with no chips, please,” followed by a picnic of deboned chicken on the grass.

When Rocky became too weak to take more than a few steps unaided, and there was nothing more he could offer him other than love, dignity, and peace, our Chief Inspector held him close, like a loving owner would, while we sent Rocky over the rainbow bridge.

“It was a hard hello and an even harder goodbye,” says Chief Inspector Jaco Pieterse. “But as it always is with any animal, he gave me so much more than I ever gave him. I’ll never forget him, and I’ll keep fighting cruelty every single day, in honor of his memory.”

Rocky will be cremated, and his ashes will be spread at the beach he enjoyed so much.

We extend our heartfelt thanks to every person who allowed Rocky’s story to touch their hearts and every person who contributed towards the costs of his care, hoping as we did for his complete rehabilitation.

We are equally thankful to every person who cried alongside us. It is a small comfort, but as one Facebook follower commented, “Rocky died with a Dad and with love and care and pain-free.” We couldn’t ask for more for any dog, anywhere.

Watch the heartbreaking video here:

Sources: Cape of Good Hope SPCA 
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Recognised as one of the Mail and Guardian’s Top 200 Young South African’s as well as a Primedia LeadSA Hero, Brent is a change maker, thought leader, radio host, foodie, vlogger, writer and all round good guy.

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