Animal

Table Mountain dognapping: Animal welfare body calls for police action, vigilance from pet owners


Jack Russel named Jolie was kidnapped at the Table Mountain on Saturday.


Jack Russel named Jolie was kidnapped at the Table Mountain on Saturday.

  • Animal welfare organisations are urging pet owners to be extra cautious after a dog was kidnapped this past weekend, and a R500 ransom demanded.
  • SAPS say no crime was committed and no arrests have been made.
  • Animal Welfare Society of SA spokesperson Allan Perrins said they were “shocked and disgusted” that no one had been arrested. 

Animal Welfare organisations are up in arms after a Jack Russel was kidnapped on Table Mountain and that no one has been arrested for it.

Cape of Good Hope SPCA spokesperson Belinda Abraham said what happened to the dog over the weekend was appalling.

“Depriving an animal of water is an act of animal cruelty. We encourage all pet owners to please ensure that their pets are microchipped and always placed on a leash when out and about,” she said.

Journalist, Lisette Lombard, 45, told News24 she was in complete shock and became “exhausted” after Saturday’s ordeal.

Lombard said Jolie was running about 20 metres behind her and when she looked again the dog had disappeared.

READ | Canine caper: Cape Town woman pays R500 ransom after dog kidnapped on Table Mountain

What followed was a frantic three hour search for Jolie before Lombard received a “chilling phone call” from four men who had taken her dog.

“They would not give my dog back unless I paid them R500,” she said.

Lombard said she was told where she should meet the men to hand over the cash in exchange for her dog.

After back-and-forth negotiations with the caller, Lombard met a group of four men around 19:00 the same evening, near the Blue Route Mall in Tokai.

“When they met me at my car the man had a broken bottle in his hand and demanded that I hand over the money. He then flagged his car with three other males in it to drive past and proceeded to get back in – when I jumped out and asked him to hand over my dog. They then handed my dog over,” Lombard said.

Lombard said Jolie did not want to go for a walk on Sunday and only wanted to sleep and stay home.

jolie

Jolie was kidnapped on Saturday.

“When I mentioned the word ‘walk’, she shivered a bit – so I just kept her at home for the day. She is very cuddly today but seems to be doing okay. I am also doing better,” she added.

Police spokesperson Brigadier Novela Potelwa said an official involved in the matter indicated that he and a colleague assisted a complainant who came to the Kirstenhof police station on Saturday evening.

Now

“A report from the police official in question does not suggest a crime took place during this period. In as far the question on the prevalence of dog kidnappings in Cape Town, that would require some time to determine and cannot be responded to now,” said Potelwa.

Community Safety chairperson in the Western Cape provincial parliament, Reagan Allen, said the department had written to the provincial police commissioner to enquire if similar cases had been reported in the past year.

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

“I call on the SAPS to investigate the allegations that a dog kidnapping syndicate was operating in Cape Town, although it is too early to speculate if such a syndicate is operating; we encourage dog owners to remain vigilant and to report such matters to the SAPS,” Allen said.

According to the department, there were community safety kiosks that provided residents with an easy access point to policing and law enforcement services and provided for a safe area for victims while awaiting a response from SAPS – which could also be stationed at Table Mountain and or any other area potentially impacted by crime.

READ | Satanic Church offers R10 000 for information of Cape Town ‘serial cat killer’

“There are currently 40 community safety kiosks available, and the plan is to expand to safety partners, hence such matters must be reported to SAPS, so that the department can assist by providing a safety kiosk – as resources are best allocated based on need and data evidence to curb any criminal elements,” the department added.

Animal Welfare Society of SA spokesperson Allan Perrins said the organisation was deeply “shocked and disgusted” that SAPS had not made any arrests after Lombard’s dog was kidnapped.

jolie

Jolie was kidnapped on Saturday.

“There has to be a consequence for the action of these perpetrators. Allowing these men to get away with extorting money from someone in return for their animal is not right. It can be seen as incentivising people for wrongdoings,” Perrins added.

According to AWS, a crime was committed – men stole a dog and demanded money for the safe return of the animal.

“To prevent any more cases like these, we encourage dog owners to be extra vigilant when out with their pets, if a group of men could steal a dog in broad daylight, demand money for the return the dog to the owner after receiving payment and not get arrested, what’s stopping more people from doing the same thing,” said Perrins.





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