Press release from NSPCA
The National Council of SPCAs reports with disappointment that the case relating to the beating to death of Max, the husky, has been withdrawn after the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) mediated the matter. This was communicated to the NSPCA by Senior Public Prosecutor, Ms C Mortlock.
Max was beaten to death in the White River area in late December 2014. The owner of the dog laid charges of animal cruelty in terms of the Animals Protection Act against a neighbour. Max’s owner subsequently withdrew his statement. He had also been charged and was to be prosecuted for failing to take appropriate and responsible action to prevent his dog from entering his neighbour’s property and chasing / attacking livestock. According to evidence, the neighbour made several attempts by means of phone calls and SMSs to Max’s owner to keep his dog inside his property, which fell on deaf ears.
The only witness in the NSPCA’s animal cruelty case was Max’s owner and now that his statement has been withdrawn, there is insufficient evidence for a case to proceed.
Repeated efforts by the NSPCA to have the case reinstated have been unsuccessful. As a final attempt, the NSPCA will appeal to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to reinstate the case.
The issue was pursued relentlessly by both the NSPCA and the Lowveld SPCA. This involved a great deal of manpower, time, travelling, phone calls and documentation including preparation and submission of a full docket. All the above cost money. The financial impact also included costs incurred during the investigation and the post mortem examination.
Staff time was committed with the dedication of personnel who truly believe that in any case of animal abuse or cruelty, there must be accountability and justice. It is a huge concern that such a serious case of cruelty to an animal can be disregarded with such haste.
“This is a serious case of animal cruelty that was published far and wide, and we cannot allow an example to be set whereby a culprit can torture an animal in this manner and walk away freely without consequences,” said Senior Inspector Jaco Pieterse of the NSPCA.
Any queries relating to this matter can be directed to the Senior Public Prosecutor, Ms C Mortlock, on CaMortlock@justice.gov.za