A routine drug bust turned into uncovering an alleged dogfighting syndicate on Friday, 10 September in Cape Town.
Cape Town Mayco Member for Safety and Security, JP Smith, said the incident unfolded on Friday evening when Metro Police, the K9 unit and Tactical Response Unit, assisted Woodstock SAPS and the Anti-Gang Unit during a raid of several suspected drug and gang houses. A pit bull was found chained guarding the house at one location.
“Once he was shown some compassion, his whole temperament changed and he became our best friend. He was found to have small defensive wounds on his body. A further search of the premises uncovered 3 additional dogs in a very small, 3m x 1m outside area,” said Smith.
Dogfighting is a serious crime in Cape Town, so much so, the City of Cape Town’s established a joint anti-dogfighting team in March 2021 to deal with several hotspots and create awareness around the responsibilities of dog owners and dogfighting.
According to Smith, the dogs had severe wounds and were in an extremely poor condition. All four dogs were immediately impounded and taken away for medical attention.
“A common occurrence with dog fighting syndicates, is to use vulnerable or weak dogs as ‘bait’ dogs, used to taunt the ‘tournament’ fighting dogs, where the fighter dogs are then set upon the weaker animals. While we were keeping the male Put Bull in the street, still on his chain, the other 3 dogs were brought through. The entire attitude of the male Put Bull changed,” explained Smith.
This behaviour shows that the dog used in fights and the other three were bait dogs.
When the owners appeared they attempted to call the dogs away from authorities but the pit bull cowered behind instead.
“Dog fighting is a cruel and inhumane sport, while often used by gangs to recruit youth, the effects on our youth are often even worse than the horrible deaths many of these animals suffer. We will continue fighting this criminal sport and thank the SPCA for always giving us the support when needed,” he concluded.
To report cases, please call 107 or 021 480 7700 (from a landline).