Benji’s tale – From a cruel beginning to a happy ending

Jannè Schutte with Gert Ferreira and Xolani Qwabe of Vryheid SPCA and Benji, who has recovered fully from a heinous case of cruelty and is happy in his new home.

Elaine RodwayIF you own a dog and you keep it tied up with a nylon rope around its neck to the point where the rope has become embedded in the animal’s flesh, you are not a pet owner… you’re a monster.

While this scenario sounds too savage to be true to anyone who treats their pets with even the basic level of respect, sadly, this heinous act of cruelty actually transpired right here in Vryheid and, had it not been for the selfless act of a young girl and the gallant efforts of Vryheid SPCA, Benji’s tale may have had a far more tragic conclusion.

It is suspected that this unfortunate canine had spent longer than a year in agony while the nylon rope around his neck tore through the skin on his throat, embedding itself into his flesh, leaving an open wound that must have surely left the dog in constant excruciating pain.

Approximately two months ago, the dog managed to escape this incomprehensible torture and ran away with the nylon rope still deeply anchored into the flesh of his throat. He was discovered, cowering and afraid, near Eland Street, by a young woman named Jannè Schutte, who immediately recognised that the animal was in severe distress.

She rescued the petrified pup and took him home.

Shortly after the rescue, however, Benji escaped again. A few days later, he crossed Jannè’s path once more in South Street and she literally stopped traffic to pull off another brave rescue attempt to get the dog the help he so desperately needed and called in the assistance of Vryheid SPCA.

It was here that the grisly discovery was made. When the rope was removed, it became clear that the extent of the injury was remarkably severe and that the dog would require special care in order to survive his year long ordeal.

Special care is one of the things that our local SPCA is well known for and Benji was treated by the dedicated staff who cleaned his wound and changed the dressing on a daily basis. Jannè also visited Benji often, checking on his condition regularly with Gert Ferreira, the Vryheid SPCA Trainee Inspector and the staff who were looking after him.

you might also want to read this: Vryheid SPCA – Why adopt an older cat? 

On September 11, after several visits to the SPCA kennels, Jannè Schutte decided to adopt Benji and give him the loving home he deserves.

Benji is now completely healed from the physical trauma of his wounds and, with Jannè’s help, is most likely getting over the psychological scars of his ordeal. He hasn’t forgotten his bond with the staff at Vryheid SPCA and has a clear fondness for Xolani Qwabe, who was instrumental in nursing him back to full health during his time at the SPCA kennels.

Vryheid SPCA would like to remind pet owners, as well as those who are looking to adopt pets, of the “Five Freedoms” to consider when caring for your animal.

All pets have the right to the following: Freedom from hunger and thirst, freedom from discomfort, freedom from pain, injury and disease, freedom to express normal behaviour and freedom from fear and distress.

Before Benji found his new home with Jannè Schutte, it’s safe to assume that he was not given any of the above.

If you own a pet, be responsible. If you can’t afford them these basic rights, reconsider your stance on pet ownership. And if you think it’s okay to tie a nylon rope around a dog’s neck until it physically hurts the animal, reconsider your stance as a decent human being. That’s not ignorance… that’s cruelty.

Elaine Rodway

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