New home for homeless man’s dog

Dean Bailey and his dog, Roxy

Roxy, the pit bull that had Bothasig residents up in arms after she was confiscated from her homeless owner three weeks ago, has been moved to a new home in Edgemead, but all is not well.

Dean Bailey, who has been living on the streets in Bothasig for the past 30 years, says he got his “best friend” Roxy seven years ago to be at his side and keep him safe on the streets.

But on Monday August 8, Roxy was taken away from Mr Bailey by City Law Enforcement after a man who had been taking photos of Roxy and Mr Bailey was attacked by the dog.

City Law Enforcement spokesman Wayne Dyason said the dog had been given to a new owner for the animal’s own good.

A resident had paid R800 for Roxy to be released, and the dog had been given to the new owner on Thursday August 25, he said, adding: “This case has been closed.”

Roxy had been impounded because she had attacked a 75-year-old man “in a public road and caused injuries”, he said.

Mr Bailey shot back saying the man had been provoking Roxy before the dog had gone for him and bitten him on the arm.

“Roxy has never been a vicious dog. She was 8-months old when I got her and has always been a friendly dog.”

Schoolchildren and pedestrians had passed Roxy daily, and some people had even walked up to pat her, and she had never hurt anyone, he said.

With tears in his eyes, Mr Bailey said: “Roxy is all I have. I have no family here.”

But Roxy’s new owner, who did not want to be named, fearing that he would be victimised by other residents, said he had a “change of heart” about the dog, which he said was not “coping well” at his home and had tried to attack his visitors.

He fears the dog might turn on his 91-year-old mother, who lives with him.

“I wanted the best for Roxy because I am an animal lover. But it has only been a couple of days and Roxy’s behaviour is very concerning and I fear that she will attack people coming in at the gate,” he said.

Bothasig residents gathered outside the Cedar Spar shopping centre on Friday August 12 to help Mr Bailey get his dog back after she was confiscated.

A resident, Nicole Harrison, said she and her son felt safe walking in the community knowing Roxy and Mr Bailey were around.

“Roxy was always tied to her leash and has never been animal aggressive or human aggressive,” she said.

“We have supported Mr Bailey because we know that Roxy was in good hands when she was with him. I’ve known (Mr Bailey) since I was a child,” she said.

Cara van der Merwe, the resident who paid the release fee, said Roxy had never been neglected and had eaten better than some humans. She said Roxy had never attacked anyone who came near her to drop off food for her and Mr Bailey.

Ms Van der Merwe said placing Roxy with new owners was no solution because the dog missed Mr Bailey and was used to being with him on the streets. Nevertheless, she added, “We as community are searching for the best possible options to help Roxy settle in with her new owners.”

The SPCA’s Jaco Pieterse said he could not comment on Roxy’s case as it was being dealt with by the City of Cape Town.