NEWS

‘Beaten Up’ Dogs Now Safe

The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) staff and the Police rescued the dogs from a home in Raiwai, Suva, yesterday morning.
09 Jan 2020 09:24
‘Beaten Up’ Dogs Now Safe
A police car outside of the Raiwai home. Photo: Kelera Sovasiga

The two dogs that were allegedly beaten and thrown down from a second-floor balcony are now safe.

The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) staff and the Police rescued the dogs from a home in Raiwai, Suva, yesterday morning.

SPCA co-chair Seema Deo confirmed that the team with Police officers entered the premises of the alleged perpetrator before 7am yesterday.

“The owner was co-operative this morning and he let our staff in to collect the two dogs from the premises and take them to SPCA,” she said.

Ms Deo said the animals were assessed by the veterinarian in SPCA. One of them showed signs of malnourishment and lack of care.

“We will get the formal report by the veterinarian and give more information on the health of the animals,” Ms Deo said.

“SPCA is very grateful to the Police for their help in issuing the warrant.”

She said SPCA took this alleged incident seriously.

SPCA, she said was grateful that the Raiwai was brought to light by a member of the public.

On Monday, when the case was first brought to their attention, the SPCA staff were threatened with physical harm and did not want to risk entering the compound without Police protection.

The SPCA then worked with the Police to get a warrant on Tuesday afternoon.

The Police was not able to get in the premises on Tuesday, even with the warrant as the owner was not in the house.

SPCA has also urged authorities to follow the laws under Fiji’s Protection of Animal Act.

According to the 1954 Act, any person shall be guilty of an offence of cruelty will be liable to a fine not exceeding $100 or to imprisonment for any term not exceeding six months or to both such fine and imprisonment.

The Animal Protection Act gives district officers, police, veterinary officers, livestock officers and other “authorised persons” the powers to enter premises without a warrant in order to feed an animal if they believe it has not been properly fed in at least 24 hours.

One of the dogs at the Raiwai home. Photo: Kelera Sovasiga

One of the dogs at the Raiwai home. Photo: Kelera Sovasiga

However, for all other offences, a warrant is required from a magistrate or a justice of the peace to enter and inspect the animal in question.

“It is a prosecutable offence to assault, resist or unlawfully obstruct someone who is trying to carry out their duties under the Act,” Ms Deo said.

“It is heartening to see all the social media outrage regarding the plight of the Raiwai dog and we hope that all those who expressed anger and concern on social media consider channeling this energy toward public education and perhaps assisting financially with animal welfare in Fiji,” she said.

Meanwhile, Police spokesperson Savaira Tabua said the animals were under assessment by SPCA for any health issues.

“The Police is waiting for the assessment reports and will determine what actions to take,” she said.

Edited by Caroline Ratucadra

Feedback: shreeya.verma@fijisun.com.fj

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