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Dogs stolen from Cape Town found at Namibian and Angolan Borders

Many of you have probably seen the emails regarding stolen dogs found at the Namibian and Angolan borders. It seems that an Angolan syndicate has been operating in South Africa and stealing dogs for various purposes. The tragedy of this situation hit home for us all when Osman Damon, our chairman, shared with us that two of the dogs taken were his very own Nero and Bonnie. While Bonnie has been brought back to South Africa and is being kept in a place of safety, 10 year-old Nero (Chanteur Salute), a dog whose good looks, health and excellent temperament has contributed so much to the Rottweiler gene pool, did not survive the appalling conditions that the dogs were kept in.

While there seem to be many questions still unanswered and the investigation is ongoing, there may have been various motives for the theft of these dogs. Huskies, Boerboels, Rottweilers, German Shepherds and Bull Terriers seem to have been the chosen breeds, but a number of mixed breed puppies were also taken. It seems that in some cases these dogs were destined for the fighting pits as bait or “warm-up” victims for Pitbulls. Others may have been intended for breeding purposes and for use as mine security dogs. There are also rumours that some dogs were intended as drug mules. Whatever the reasons, it seems that the syndicate is well-organised and has operatives in Cape Town. As more details are released and arrests made, it has been revealed in the media that a Cape Town vet has been implicated and that others in the “dog world” may also be involved.

Recent articles in the newspapers have highlighted the true horror of the situation: dogs were piled into bakkies on top of one another and in some cases held down with chicken wire. They were starved, dehydrated and they overheated in the cramped conditions. The monsters capable of such cruelty do not bear thinking about.

While we cannot always keep our dogs under lock and key, we would like to urge dog owners to take all necessary steps to ensure that their dogs are kept as safely and securely as possible. The following may be helpful:

  • Ensure that your immediate neighbours know what dogs you have and would recognise the dogs if someone other than yourself was walking them down the street.
  • While we want our dogs to be well-socialised and accept people who we invite into our homes, it may be better to keep the dogs away from total strangers like workmen or repairmen who are only coming for short visits and who you may not want to become too familiar with your dogs.
  • Ensure that your dogs are micro-chipped so that you have means of identifying them if ownership is disputed.
  • Never leave dogs in the front garden where someone can easily open a gate and let them out.
  • Always keep puppies out of sight of people walking past the property as puppies are soft targets for thieves.
  • Don’t leave your dogs in an unlocked car or in any car for any length of time. This applies to shows as well – dog shows are an excellent place for criminals to get hold of “quality” dogs.
  • Never allow your dogs to wander the streets.

Above all, please report any suspicious activity to the authorities. Often criminals get away with their crimes because we ignore our instincts and allow them to act right under our noses!

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