Why is death-by-dog accepted as punishment for even innocent & accidental trespass?
MOGWASE, South Africa; GREENBANK, Australia; DUBLIN, Ireland––Two December 3, 2022 dog attack fatalities resulting from use of high-risk dogs as alleged crime deterrents, and a new investigative report about pit bull breeding in Ireland, have further fueled rising demands for stricter dog laws in three nations.
None of the legislative proposals, however, as yet address the practice of leaving potentially deadly dogs unattended to “protect” private property.
This is, however, among the most common causes of fatal and disfiguring injury to innocent passers-by, as well as to others who approach such “protected” properties unawares, to deliver mail and parcels, share public notices, visit friends, or pursue other legitimate activity.
Mantraps are illegal but deadly dogs are not
No civilized nation penalizes trespassing, burglary, nor any other crime, by setting dogs on the alleged offender, let alone without a trial.
Applying similar logic, that an alleged deterrent should not impose a punishment more severe than courts would apply to a convicted offender, more than 100 nations have banned the use of steel-jawed mantraps, many of which later extended the bans to the use of leghold traps to catch animals.
But releasing dangerous dogs to patrol property and maul suspected trespassers, in absence of human supervision, remains broadly accepted and usually legal worldwide, more than 60 years since the advent of inexpensive closed circuit television monitoring systems linked to burglar alarms.
ANIMALS 24-7 has confirmed through more than 40 years of logging fatal and disfiguring dog attacks that the use of dangerous dogs as purported crime deterrents kills and disfigures the innocent hundreds of times more often than “guard dogs” harm people trespassing with criminal intent.
Two “guard dog” fatalities in one day
The most recent fatalities resulting from the use of dangerous dogs to patrol private property came only hours apart, in the early hours of the same Saturday morning about 45 miles northwest of Pretoria, South Africa, and at about 10:45 in the morning 25 miles south of Brisbane, Australia.
Floyd Metsileng, 39, a platinum mine worker at the Dishaba open pit mine #44, spent Friday night drinking with friends at a local tavern.
Reported Alfonso Nqunjana for News24, “It is understood the tavern owner had closed for the night and unleashed his dogs at the property.
“Police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Amanda Funani said Floyd Metsileng was a patron of the tavern,” Nqunjana narrated.
“When the time came to close the tavern, the owner did so. He allegedly alerted the people to leave, closed, and left the premises. It is alleged that the owner unleashed his dogs, as he normally does, after closing,” she said.
Returned to the tavern, or fell asleep, locked inside?
Funani alleged that Metsileng then returned to the tavern.
“He climbed over the wall and a dog [a pit bull] attacked him. Ambulance and police were called. The man was certified dead at the scene. We registered an inquest. Police are still investigating,” Funani said.
“Following this report by the police, the community contradicted the police,” updated Lucky Nkuyane of OFM. “One of the community members, who has since shared a voice note describing the incident, alleges that the deceased had fallen asleep around a certain area within the premises.”
Closed-circuit video posted to Facebook showed two pit bulls mauling Metsileng, who appeared to be walking toward the front door from an outdoor drinking area when attacked from behind.
“We do not rehome aggressive animals”
Continued Nqunjana of News24, “The Rustenburg Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals confirmed that when they arrived at the scene, the owner of the pit bulls [presumably also the owner of the tavern] surrendered both dogs to the organization.”
National SPCA of South Africa special investigations unit spokesperson Nazareth Appalsamy told Nqunjana that both pit bulls were euthanized.
“NSPCA policy is that we do not rehome aggressive animals,” Appalsamy said, “so we had no choice but to euthanize the dogs.”
Originally from Saulsport, a nearby community, Metsileng had attended the well-regarded J.M. Ntsime High School in Rustenburg before beginning work as a miner.
Five pit bull victims in less than a month
Metsileng was the fifth South African pit bull victim in less than a month. His death followed those of eight-year-old Olebogeng Mosime on November 12, 2022 in Bloemfontein, three-year-old Keketso Innocent Saule on November 20, 2022 in Hennenman, fifteen-month-old Reuben le Roux on November 23, 2022 in East London, and 37-year-old Zimkhitha Brenda Gaga on November 27, 2022 in Port Alfred.
Altogether, of 99 dogs involved in fatal attacks in South Africa since 2004, 72 have been pit bulls.
Of 56 victims of fatal dog attacks in South Africa since 2004, 38 were killed by pit bulls. The 18 other fatal attacks included seven by rabid dogs, and not more than four by any other breed of dog.
(See “We can’t live like this in a world where dogs eat children”, Baby is 3rd South African killed by pit bull in 9 days; calls for ban rise, and Pit bull attacks inflame pit bull lynchings in South African shantytowns.)
Meter reader killed on the job
Kane Minion, 42, a meter reader of seven years’ experience, “was attacked while trying to read an electrical meter at a property on Ison Road in the Logan suburb of Greenbank,” recounted Australia Broadcasting Company reporter Matt Eaton.
“The owners of the property were not at home at the time.”
Elaborated Rohan Smith for News.com.au, “A bandog bullmastiff and a Rhodesian ridgeback cross attacked the Energex worker in the front yard of the home. He was found unconscious in the front yard of the property with critical injuries. He died at the scene despite efforts to save him.”
.”Minion’s Facebook profile shows him cuddling a Staffordshire bull terrier,” Smith added. “It also reveals he became engaged on December 24, 2021 to his long-term partner.”
Minion apparently tried to read the meter at the property even though the presence of the dogs who killed him had been reported to Energex and should have been known to him.
Child killed by Rottweiler & a cattle dog
Minion was killed four days short of a month after two-year-old Jyedon Pollard was fatally mauled by a Rottweiler and a cattle dog kept at the Country Gardens Motor Inn in Cowra, New South Wales.
Takisha “Kesha” Pollard, mother of Jyedon Pollard, was reportedly in the process of moving into the Country Gardens Motor Inn as a housing authority placement while Jyedon’s father Brayden O’Hanlon, 24, was jailed facing charges including car theft, breaking and entering, assault, and larceny.
“Jyedon was riding his scooter out the front of their room and Kesha went inside to get him a drink,” his uncle Robert told media. “In that split second, the dogs either jumped over the gate or ran out after it was left.”
Motel owner Matt McIIIhatton rushed Jyedon and Takisha Pollard to the nearest hospital, but Jyeden had already suffered fatal bites to his face and neck.
Discrepancies in published accounts included a claim that Jyeden had ventured into the dogs’ pen to play with them, and that Takisha Pollard left him momentarily to get a drink for his five-year-old sister.
“Beefed-up pit bull crossbreed dogs”
Meanwhile in Ireland, where Alejandro Miszan, nine, of Enniscorthy, County Wexford, was on November 27, 2022 permanently facially disfigured by a pit bull, Shane Doran of Extra revealed on December 4, 2022 that “Beefed-up pit bull crossbreed dogs similar to the one who savaged a nine-year-old boy this week are advertised as ‘family and child-friendly pets’ by breeders who are registered and fully approved by the Department of Agriculture.
“The dogs – which one breeder described as being like ‘a pit bull on steroids’ and ‘all muscle’ – weigh up to 65 kilograms and are listed for sale on one website at up to €20,000,” Doran said.
Illegally ear-cropped but no enforcement
“Pictures of the XL Bullies on the home page of one breeder’s website clearly show the animals’ ears have been cropped,” Doran continued.
“Ear cropping is illegal in Ireland but there is no law here yet against owning a dog with cropped ears,” Doran noted.
“The Dublin Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has unequivocally stated that the XL Bullies as well as the American bulldog breeds ‘are not domestic pets,’” Doran added.
“Animal welfare workers said they have been providing the department with adverts and contact details of rogue breeders for the past two years,” Doran finished, “but to no avail.”