The Bloemfontein SPCA has confiscated five dogs from the Mangaung Metro Municipality Law Enforcement Department, following concerns that they were keeping their five security dogs in old, rusty and broken kennels. The dogs have been reported to have suffered severe musculoskeletal problems as they could barely keep their bodies up with hip problems. It is reported that the dogs should have been retired years ago but never retired. Instead, the dogs stayed in kennels for years.
“When we arrived at the kennels, we already saw concerns. The grass was long, and the bushes were growing everywhere. The training equipment was barely visible through the long grass. When we walked to the kennels, we could hardly see the pathway leading to it. To us, that indicated that nobody had visited the kennels in quite a while. We could also smell a nasty faecal odour in the air. The smell alone made me nauseous. Imagine how the dogs had to feel living in that terrible smell the whole time,” said Charmaine Engelbrecht, an inspector at the Bloemfontein SPCA.
The dogs had severe hip dysplasia, they couldn’t stand long as they hips are giving in their toenails was long it caused pain to the dogs when they would stand or walk. According to SPCA reports the dogs had broken-rotten teeth and the dogs struggled to eat the hard pellets.
“Senior dogs like these security dogs struggled to eat as their teeth are in bad condition and their jaws isn’t as strong anymore, they need special food. They only received normal adult dog food that was too hard for them. It was painful to see how these dogs struggled just to stand up as you can see the pain in the dogs. The have lost so much muscle mass in their body. These dogs suffered unnecessarily,” said inspector Engelbrecht
“My heart broke when I saw the dogs. The conditions were terrible, knowing that they had to stay in those kennels most of their life. The Department could at least have had a retirement plan for them but never retired the dogs and instead just left them in the kennels,” said inspector Engelbrecht. “The dogs could hardly walk to the vehicle; we had to help them. These dogs were in such severe pain and showed clear signs of neglect,” Engelbrecht continues.
“Suffering in this heat with those thick coats and struggling to walk due to hip dysplasia. It’s a disgrace. You could see that the dogs wanted to cool down as they had tried to sit in their water bowls. It is so sad because when they knocked over their water in the morning, they would have no water until the next day; when someone had time to attend to them,” said Inspector Engelbrecht
According to the handlers, there is no disinfection or dipping plan in place. “Once a day in the morning, we come in and spray water, give food and leave,” said one of the handlers. If there is no disinfection plan the dogs will obtain diseases. The dipping bath is broken for a long period of time and these dogs gets ticks and fleas and will cause unnecessary parasitic conditions. Due to this no-care attitude and the concerns mentioned above, the Bloemfontein SPCA obtained a warrant to remove the dogs and took them straight to the veterinarian. According to the veterinarian, the dogs were not fit for working conditions at all. The poor dogs were old and weak and had severe musculoskeletal problems. Consequently, and unfortunately, the dogs had to be humanely euthanised to end their suffering. Numerous visits were done previously and warning was given to better the condition of the animals. No action was taken by the authorities. Therefore, the Bloemfontein SPCA confiscate the animals which was in the custody of the Mangaung Metro Municipality.
The Bloemfontein SPCA is opening a case of animal cruelty against members of the Manguang Metro Municipality Law Enforcement Department, and management in terms of the Animal Protection Act 71 of 1962.