JOHANNESBURG – The Pitbull Federation of South Africa has clarified that the owners of pitbulls who had handed over their dogs to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) were doing so because they could no longer cope with the dog’s behaviour.
The federation said it was important to note that the dogs were surrendered because they either displayed aggressive behaviour or the owners were not able to control them.
The federation has commended owners for handing them over to an organisation that is professionally trained to handle the dogs.
The call to surrender pitbulls over to the SPCA was made after an eight-year-old boy died after being mauled.
This was not the first child who was mauled to death by his own pet, as dog attacks have increased across the country.
However, the Pitbull Federation’s Lins Rautenbach said that these were not loved family pets: “Passing these dogs along never solved the problem of a potential mauling or a fatality. These dogs belong to people who have become afraid of them, dogs whose needs can no longer be met.”
Rautenbach said that because the victims had not received justice by law, communities were now resorting to vigilante justice.
“When a community has had enough, boiling oil is thrown on the dog, they are bludgeoned to death, they are shot and they are stabbed.”
The federation said these animals were facing unjust retaliation and urged that investigations should be taken more seriously.