Seven jailed for dog fighting and ill-treating animals
The National Council of SPCAs has expressed jubilation at the sentencing of six people for 2½ years each in jail for their involvement in the underground world of dog fighting.
A seventh person was sentenced to one year in jail for watching a dog fight.
The NSPCA‚ assisted by the police‚ raided an organised dog fight in progress in Atteridgeville‚ Pretoria‚ in June 2018.
The dog fighters had gathered in an isolated area.
Two dogs were writhing on the grass in a bloody battle while the dog fighters and spectators laughed and shouted, when NSPCA inspectors and the police charged in.
Police arrested seven people and the NSPCA rescued 14 pitbull fighting dogs.
Six people pleaded guilty to owning and keeping fighting dogs‚ as well as subjecting these dogs to filthy living conditions.
The Atteridgeville Magistrate’s Court sentenced Kamogelo Mpiyane‚ Tshepo Sejabatho‚ Enos Makhamatha‚ Jabu Mabena and Samuel Mothiba to 2½ years’ imprisonment, with no part suspended and no option of a fine.
Samuel Ribane was sentenced to 12 months’ imprisonment for watching a dog fight.
Mabena was also sentenced to a further six months for the torture of a dog called Mia.
“Mia was kept in a cold‚ dark room‚ chained so tightly to the roof rafters above that she couldn’t lie down‚” NSPCA inspector Wendy Willson said.
The NSPCA said the sentencing reflected a shared sentiment among the South African courts that dog fighting would not be tolerated.
It said that in 2019 alone‚ 12 people had been sentenced to prison terms ranging from 12 months to five years for participation in dog fighting.