SPCA uncovers dog fighting ring allegedly run by minors in Cape Town

Inspector Mark Syce confiscating the dogs from the Tafelsig property

Inspector Mark Syce confiscating the dogs from the Tafelsig property

  • The SPCA has been granted a court order to confiscate nine dogs in Tafelsig.
  • All nine have been linked to illegal dog fighting in the area. 
  • According to the SPCA, the dogsowners were all minors, with the oldest being just 13.

The Cape of Good Hope SPCA had been granted a court order to confiscate nine dogs involved in illegal dog fighting in Tafelsig, Mitchells Plain.

SPCA Chief Inspector Jaco Pieterse and Inspector Mark Syce, accompanied by law enforcement officials, removed the dogs from the Pyrenees Street premises on Tuesday afternoon after they received an anonymous tip-off, which included video evidence.


The SPCA was accompanied by Law Enforcement on Tuesday to confiscate 9 dogs in Tafelsig

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SPCA spokesperson Belinda Abraham said the dogs’ owners were minors, with the oldest being just 13 years old.

“It is very concerning that the video footage we obtained showed how the children were enjoying the dog fights and encouraging it to happen,” she added.      

READ | SPCA shines light on horrors of using ‘live bait’ in dog fighting

According to Abraham, the inspectors found the dogs on short static chains, with some of them having deep tissue scarring, a clear indication of dog fighting.

Upon inspection of the property, the team also discovered a puppy mill. 

dog fighting

One of the dogs that were uses in illegal dog fighting

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The SPCA said the confiscated dogs were a mixture of pit bulls, pit bull crosses, and German shepherds.

All the dogs, including puppies, have been placed in the SPCA’s animal hospital care for veterinary assessment and treatment, it added.

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The organisation said its veterinarian and on-site animal behaviourist would start working with the dogs as soon as they were settled in.

“The dogs will remain with the SPCA until the conclusion of the court proceedings, and should any of the children be found guilty of animal abuse, it would be up to the court to decide what penalties the minors would face.”

Abraham added in a case where the perpetrators were underage, the SPCA would work with social workers from the Department of Social Development to “rehabilitate” them. 


Chief Inspector Jaco Pieterse putting one of the confiscated god in the van.

Photo Supplied

The SPCA said it was disappointed about the increase in dog fighting.

“We were seeing a decline in these incidents, but as of late, the increased number of dog fighting taking place is quite concerning,” Abraham added. 

The SPCA said it was a crime to be involved in dog fighting.

This includes owning, keeping, training, or breeding animals for this purpose; and buying, selling, or importing dogs for fighting.

“It’s against the law to incite or allow an animal to attack another or to promote animal fighting for entertainment or monetary gain.

“If a dog fight takes place on a property that you own or rent, you’re also committing a crime. Even watching a dog fight – or simply being on the same property where it takes place – is criminal,” said Abraham.

“Dog fighting is a serious offence. Offenders may be liable for a fine of up to R80 000 and/or face two years in prison,” she added. 

In addition, offenders will have a criminal record and can also be denied animal ownership for a period determined by a magistrate.

The SPCA said the dogs would undergo behavioural tests before being put up for adoption.

“Dog fighting promotes and encourages a culture of non-empathy and for children to be routinely exposed to animal abuse is not okay,” said Abraham. 


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