A Johannesburg man accused of sexually assaulting a dog appeared in court yesterday.
The alleged incident took place late last year, but, according to the National Council of SPCAs (NSCPA), when the dog’s owner, who said he witnessed the incident, initially tried to open a case with the police he said he was turned away.
It was then reported to Community Led Animal Welfare, which, in turn, contacted the
NSPCA. “The animal victim was taken for immediate assistance and examination by the special investigations unit, a case was opened and the suspect was arrested,” Wendy Willson, the senior inspector of the unit, said yesterday.
The case has been postponed to next month.
Willson said that bestiality represented “terrible animal cruelty”.
She added that those who committed it were often a risk to “vulnerable human individuals in the community, especially children” as well.
“Bestiality is rarely a standalone sexual crime. The link between the sexual abuse of animals and human cruelty is real and important and the NSPCA encourages communities to give this sexual crime a voice.”
Women and Men Against Child Abuse, which is also following the case, said yesterday that there was a significant amount of research to support the existence of a link.
“It has been well researched since the ’80s that cruelty towards and abuse of animals is a significant indicator of violence towards humans and this includes rape, child rape and murder,” founding director Miranda Jordan said.
Jordan called on courts not to show leniency to perpetrators of bestiality. “The seriousness of animal cruelty cannot be minimized by the courts when perpetrators are brought before them by giving them a slap on the wrist as they allow a dangerous person back into the community.”