All that was left to identify Malakai as a Husky breed was his blue eyes. He was so severely ill that he had to be put down.
Date: 22 October 2017 By: Isabel Venter
Mahatma Gandhi once said that the greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated. So what is the greatness of Louis Trichardt and its residents?
Last week, the Louis Trichardt Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) had to put down another dog. What made this dog different from other strays, however, was the extreme nature of the abuse it had suffered. It left many a resident in a complete state of shock.
All that identified the dog as a Husky, was its distinct, piercing blue eyes. Apart from being completely malnourished, the dog was almost completely hairless and covered with sores as a result of mange, a parasitic skin disease.
“It was one of the worst cases of mange our committee has come across,” said the local SPCA. “We were horrified that he did not reach us much sooner, because then we would have had a chance to save this poor animal.”
The mange was so severe that it had gone past the stage of only affecting his skin and causing hair loss, but had started to eat holes into his skin, causing awful open wounds. This caused considerable physical pain, not to mention emotional suffering.
It would have taken the SPCA months and considerable funds to nurse the dog back to health, if it managed to survive. Therefore, the decision was made to end his suffering humanely…
The committee christened him Malakai (from the Biblical name Mal’akhi, meaning “my messenger”), so that his tragic death might not be in vain but instead serve a purpose to enlighten and educate.
“It is never necessary for any animal to suffer like Malakai had to,” said the SPCA, which is an open-admission shelter. This means that no animal, whatever the case might be, will ever be turned away. In some cases, animals are simply left behind when the owners relocate to another town. It is then usually left up to real estate agents or neighbours to notify the SPCA. In some other cases, the owner(s) struggles to maintain the health of the pet, usually as a result of financial constraints, and instead of asking for help, leaves the animal to deteriorate.
The SPCA does not pass any judgement in such cases, but instead welcomes the chance to give assistance. “…no animal will ever be turned away, and any owner struggling to maintain the health of their animals are urged to contact our inspector, Lawrence Khodobo, long before the point of no return is reached,” said the SPCA.
In Malakai’s case, if he had been handed over into the care of the SPCA when still in good health, he would have found a new home in no time.
Following this sad case the SPCA urged the public to take better care of their animals. This is because animal abandonment in terms of the Animal Protection Act (Act 71 of 1962) is a criminal offence that could land guilty owners in serious trouble. “That is why it is important to remember that animal cruelty is not only restricted to cases involving physical harm. Animal cruelty can take many different forms and include the failure to provide appropriate or adequate food and clean water, proper treatment for disease or injury or safe and appropriate living conditions,” warned the SPCA.
Furthermore, said the SPCA, persons who keep animals as pets should not allow them to breed unscrupulously. Breeding of cats and dogs should be left to reputable, registered breeders. Overpopulation is a starting point for many abuse cases. “We should all heed Malakai’s message and stop looking the other way when we witness animal cruelty; we have to be a voice for those who cannot speak for themselves,” said the SPCA.
Isabel joined the Zoutpansberger and Limpopo Mirror in 2009 as a reporter. She holds a BA Degree in Communication Sciences from the University of South Africa. Her beat is mainly crime and court reporting.