SPCA calls for government intervention as they are overrun with pit bulls

Pit bulls are being dropped off at Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) branches across the country at unprecedented rates amid growing calls to ban the animals in South Africa.
The increase in pit bulls being surrendered to the SPCA has placed a strain on the animal welfare organisation’s resources, while pit bull owners have reported receiving threats and are fearing for the safety of their pets.
“Over the past few weeks there has been an exponential amount of media exposure regarding pit bulls attacking humans, especially children. Pit bulls are being surrendered to SPCAs in large numbers,” said the National Council of SPCA’s senior inspector, Nazareth Appalsamy.
These surrenders are imposing a heavy burden on SPCA resources. Dogs are being brought in as a result of:
Panic/fear caused by the high number of attacks;
Neighbours in conflict with pit bull owners concerned about their safety;
Responsible owners who realise they know little about the breed;
Avoiding possible legal action — concern about the animal’s behaviour and aggression; and
Awareness through the media of the breed and the danger that it poses.
Community threats
“We have had calls on a daily basis from pet owners who want to surrender their dogs. Not because they are perceived as dangerous, but because they fear for their dog’s safety,” said the Cape of Good Hope SPCA’s communication manager, Marisol Gutierrez.
“Some callers have expressed concern at being threatened by community members simply because they have a pit bull-type dog. It is sad indeed that loved family pets are being given up this way, through no fault of their own.”
In areas where owners are not surrendering their pit bulls, there have been instances of vigilantism, according to a statement released by the NSPCA on 23 November.
“Animals are being poisoned, stabbed, beaten and set alight in retaliation from angry communities,” read the statement.
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One pit bull owner said they had been receiving threats online and in their community to put their dog down. They wished to remain anonymous for fear of their safety:
“It started when I began posting [pics of] my dogs and walking them in my community. Most times people would stop next to me and start saying things like, ‘You need to put your dog down before (I) do it’.”
The source had owned pit bulls since they were puppies, but it was only recently, following media reports of pit bull attacks and ...
13 Dec 2022 2PM English South Africa News · Daily News

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