A 66-year-old Ocean View man has been arrested on a bestiality-related charge involving the family’s dog.
He was allegedly caught sexually abusing the animal by its owner who reported him.
Provincial police spokesman Warrant Officer Joseph Swartbooi said the matter had been reported on Friday.
“According to reports, the complainant arrived home and looked for her dog. She found the dog in another room with a man known to her lying on top of the dog. The dog jumped out and the man dressed himself. The dog has since been removed and placed in an animal shelter for safekeeping,” he said.
The man appeared in the Simon’s Town Magistrate’s Court on Monday morning August 23, on a charge of contravening the Sexual Offences and Related Matters Amendment Act.
National Prosecution Authority spokesman Eric Ntabazalila said the case had been postponed until Monday August 30 for a bail hearing. The man was remanded in custody.
A vet from the The Emma Animal Rescue Society (TEARS) confirmed the dog had been violated. It was taken to Tears in the company of an SPCA inspector and the police where a rape kit was used to collect DNA samples for further testing.
Tears operations manager Mandy Store said the DNA samples were handed over to Ocean View police.
The dog was being treated for infection and injuries, but was expected to make a full recovery, she said.
It was the third bestiality case that had been brought to her attention in the past five years, but many more went unreported, she said.
SPCA chief Inspector Jaco Pieterse agreed and said people did not take the “hideous crime” seriously enough. Without evidence and people willing to make a case, many abuses went unpunished, he said.
Ms Store said the other incidents she was aware of had both involved pit bulls, one of them just a puppy, and both had died from their injuries. Neither of the alleged perpetrators – one from Ocean View and the other from Masiphumelele – had been punished due to technicalities in collecting evidence samples, she said.
Ingrid de Storie, from 1 Kennel at a time, said she had seen cases like this as a result of gang initiations. “In those cases, you could still see the finger marks on the dogs tummies,” she said.
Belinda Abraham, manager of the SPCA of Good Hope, said there were no current gang initiation related bestiality acts that she was aware of.
Ms Store and Ms De Storie said the young owner of the dog was badly shaken and had asked both of them not to reveal her identity.
Ms Store said there was a link between animal abuse and the sexual abuse of children and domestic violence.
Ms Abraham agreed and said this was supported by research, with one study finding that 71% of abusers were also likely to abuse animals.
Ms Abraham cited studies that found pet abuse to feature in 88% of 53 families where various forms of child abuse had taken place; that 40% of men who said they had been sexually abused as children or adolescents had reported having sexual contact with animals; that 41% of the women in physically violent relationships experienced some form of forced sexual contact with an animal, or had it requested of them; and that bestiality was forced on children who were also sexually abused and involved in the production of child pornography.
Mr Pieterse said all animals were potential victims of bestiality, and cases had involved cows, sheep, cats, chickens, dogs, donkeys and goats.
Cruelty reports can be made in confidence by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0217004158/9. Or visit capespca.co.za/report-cruelty/