I was completely disgusted when I heard the verdict on the worst animal cruelty case I have seen in a long time.

First, though, a little history lesson. In January, a teacher in the Eastern Cape decided to punish his dog, which had bitten his daughter on her nose, by dragging the dog behind his car for 1.5km along a tar road.

Needless to say, the poor dog suffer severe injuries, and had to be put down. Most of the skin on it’s right side had been scraped off,  his tongue was ripped loose, and his eye had been cut open.

The man was arrested when the SPCA laid seven charges of animal abuse at the local police. The scary thing is that the police tried to persuade the SPCA not to lay any charges as the man was “just punishing a naughty dog”.

The SPCA wanted the maximum penalty of R60000 fine or 2 year prison sentence.

The verdict was handed down yesterday. He is to have an 18 month prison sentence, 9 months of that suspended, or the option of a R3000 fine.

That for me is disgusting.

What is wrong with the law in our country where you can savagely torture an animal and get what amounts to a slap on the wrist. Sure, the guy now has a criminal record, but still got off so lightly. And what is up with our police system, that is meant to uphold the law – which includes the Animal Protection Act – but instead decide to try and get the charges dropped. Do we hold the rights of animals in such little regard.

And as to the the inital incident that made the man ‘punish’ his dog, while the reports are sketchy on the details, dogs seldom bite unless provoked, and if a dog tends to bite unprovoked, then it is how the dog was raised which instilled that behaviour.

The person the dog bite was not a stranger, but the man’s daughter. And the fact the dog bit her on the nose suggests she was playing with the dog, or at least getting close, which could have meant she either accidently, or intentionally, provoked the dog to bite her.

Any way you look at it, the fact the dog bit her stems from a human cause in my opinion, and then to punish the dog so severely for something we caused in the first place is the sickest thing I can think of.

The two stories where I got most of the facts from are on www.news24.com.
Man convicted for dragging dog
‘Naughty dog’ dragged behind car