Four-footed friends stolen

10 March 2019 | Crime

Swakopmund • Yolanda Nel

Three cases of dog theft were recently reported to the police in Swakopmund. Fortunately, two of the dogs were found.

The search continues for the third.

These incidents are suspected to be related to a syndicate at the coast, which makes use of children to steal dogs.

According to information released by the SPCA in Swakopmund, two children were taken into custody and confessed that the dogs, mostly puppies, are intended to be shipped to Angola for dog fighting.

“They were taken into custody after being caught with a puppy. However, they were later released. They are swift and the dogs are hidden at various unknown locations, but mostly in Mondesa and until they can be transported to Angola or other areas,” according to information shared with this newspaper.

According to the society, breeds like Pitbulls, Staffordshire Bull Terriers (Staffies), Rottweilers, Boerboels and German Shepherds are especially at risk of being stolen, big or small and more so if they have not been neutered or spayed. “You should at no means feel at ease if you don’t own one of these breeds. Any dog or cat is at risk as especially the smaller animals are used as bait for training,” the statement continued.

Still missing

The third dog that had not been found, is a Pitbull called Diesel and the owners are willing to pay a reward for his safe return. They said that Diesel went missing on 23 February in Extension 9, Ocean View.

While the reward for his return was N$3 000, the family decided to up the reward to N$10 000 on Tuesday this week. “Please just help us find Diesel,” the owner wrote on Facebook. “He was rescued from a very sad and hard background.”

But not all animals are intended for alleged dog fighting. Pets are also stolen and sold, sometimes for as little as N$50 just to make a quick buck, to put food on the table.

The SPCA asks that pet owners do not leave their animals alone outside if they are not home, encouraging owners to put padlocks on gates and to ensure that dogs cannot get out of the yard. They also recommended microchipping pets for easy identification.

Any strangers or unusual movements in your can be reported to the Swakopmund neighbourhood watch (NHW) on 085 999. If you suspect that your pet has been stolen, report it to the SPCA, Nampol and the NHW.

Nampol had not reacted to questions by the time of going to print.