Part-time pastor sentenced to jail for animal cruelty
A part-time pastor and his nephew have been sentenced to two years in jail and house arrest respectively for organised dog fighting in Ekurhuleni.
A member of the public alerted the National Council of SPCAs (NSPCA) who reported a James Bennie — a part time pastor in the Apostolic Faith Mission of South Africa — of involvement in organised dog fighting.
Upon arrival at an Eden Park property, NSPCA officials were met by a horrifying scene of cruelty and neglect.
The inspectors found three pitbull terriers and five crossbreed dogs in severe distress. A white pitbull terrier named Biscuit was unable to walk and covered in deep infected wounds. Two other pitbull dogs had similar wounds and were heavily scarred from past dog fights.
Instead of receiving treatment for these injuries, the dogs had been left to starve on short chains without food or water. The crossbreed dogs were similarly emaciated and had a number of untreated injuries.
“The dual nature of this cruelty makes it all the more horrific. The dogs had clearly been used for organised dog fighting but instead of even a basic level of care after the fights, they had then been left chained up outside the back door to die slowly of their infected wounds and callous neglect,” Inspector Nadia Hansa of the NSPCA.
The eight dogs were removed from the property and taken to the SPCA for immediate treatment. The three pitbulls; Biscuit, Bazooka and Boomer, and two of the crossbred dogs were in such a state of infection and starvation that they had to be euthanised.
After 20 court appearances, Bennie and the minor — in addition to their sentences — have been forbidden from ownership of all animals.
The NSPCA conducted a follow up inspection at the property on Thursday and found 12 more dogs, which have since been removed from the property.