Outrage over puppy's severed ears

11 February 2020 | Crime

No one has been arrested following the outrage that continues to simmer at the coast over a pit bull puppy that had its ears cut off on Sunday.

The maimed puppy was spotted at Independence Beach in Walvis Bay, where residents took photographs and shared them on social media.

“We investigated the case, but no one was arrested,” said Inspector Ileni Shapumba, who is responsible for community policing in Erongo.

This was also confirmed by police spokesman Chief Inspector Daniel Gurirab.

“Nobody has so far opened a case,” he said.

According to Shapumba, the incident was “not directly a case of an animal abuse”.

“It is a traditional way of healing. If an animal does not want to eat, a small piece is removed from its ears to heal or treat it,” he said.

“The wounds are then washed in salt water, which was done in this case.”

Residents spotted the injured animal on the beach, after which photos were taken and published on various social media platforms.

“Such traditional events happen every day. For this reason, you can see many dogs running around in various areas in town districts who either have their ears cut or the tail has been removed,” Shapumba added.

He compared it to another tradition with cattle where bulls have their testicles removed, which allegedly makes them grow bigger and stronger. “It's exactly the same thing.”

Shapumba however described the puppy incident as unfortunate.

“The local animal welfare association (SPCA) must educate and sensitise residents on these traditions,” he said.

“When residents know that they can be assisted by the SPCA, they will rather go there.”

The Walvis Bay Animal Welfare Association declined to comment on the incident yesterday. “The case is in the hands of the police. As soon as the investigation is complete, we will publish a statement,” said kennel manager Alfred Schmidt.

He however assured that the puppy as well as another dog that was similarly injured were both safe and looked after.

Erwin Leuschner

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