Owners who flee xenophobic violence left animals behind to fend for themselves

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa – Animals bore the brunt of the recent xenophobic attacks and were left to fend for themselves as their owners fled the violence that killed 12 people.

As the owners packed their belongings and left the area, the animals were left behind and by the time they were found, they were malnourished, injured and frightened of human beings.

One has since died from its injuries.

According to Liana Marx of Johannesburg’s Society for the prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA), they received a call on October 18 about the animals that had no one to care for them since the protests. She said they went to Jeppestown and found animals living under a shop that had collapsed.

Marx said there was rubble everywhere and the rescue operation was difficult as the six dogs were hiding under the collapsed roof. According to her, after a few hours, inspectors emerged with “extremely scared, underweight and severely injured animals that had been living there for a couple of weeks.


“One dog’s injuries were so bad that the whole neck was infected with maggots. She had numerous deep lacerations, severe blood loss and was unable to stand. 

“Her injuries were extreme and senior Inspector Ronald Ramalata was shattered by the condition of her broken body. She slowly opened her eyes as if to say thank you for coming. He gave her some water but she was too weak to even open her mouth and swallow. She started  to lose consciousness and passed away.”

Marx said they were taking care of the remaining dogs. She said they were scared of human beings and it took the inspectors a couple of hours to calm them down.

She said the dogs were making progress but it would take them time for them to build trust with humans again.


“A total of 16 animals were collected by JSPCA since the start of the protests.  Animals are often caught up in violence caused by humans – whether intentionally or accidentally, yet man’s best friend has to ultimately rely on us as humans for their well being.  If you notice any act of cruelty towards animals please contact the JSPCA for immediate assistance,” Marx said.

Source The Star

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