Summer Greens dog put down after pit bull attack

Charnelle Capes, left, and Valerie Capes.

A horrific dog attack has left a Summer Greens family feeling unsafe on their own property.

Valerie Capes said a pit bull from two doors down came into her front yard and attacked her dog, Patches, on Friday March 3, at about 10pm.

The 76-year-old said Patches was dragged out of the gate and down the road where he was left to die.

“I heard the gate open, and I thought it was strange because we don’t get visitors that late at night. I looked through the window, and I saw this brown dog dragging Patches out of the gate,” said Ms Capes.

She had run out of her house screaming after the dogs. The pit bull, named Beast, had dropped Patches in front of his (the pit bull’s) home and gone inside.

Ms Capes said she had been screaming at her neighbours, who were having a party at the time of the attack.

“They didn’t even care. They were carrying on as if nothing happened.”

Ms Capes’s daughter, Charnelle Capes, was woken by her mother’s screaming and was left to pick up Patches who had suffered severe injuries to his windpipe and oesophagus. Patches was laid down in the living room where he bled all over the floor and furniture.

“I tied his neck with an old towel because pieces of his chin were falling off, and his insides were falling out,” said Charnelle.

Patches was taken to the Animal Anti-Cruelty League in Epping the following day. Vet Mpho Hlalele said Patches had been “humanely euthanised due to the severity of the injuries sustained from the incident”.

He said no case had been opened with the Cape of Good Hope SPCA.

Ms Capes said the police had come a few hours later to take a statement and law enforcement had come on Monday.

Beast’s owner, Marius Martins, claimed Ms Capes was lying and that Patches had frequently roamed the street and had been in front of their gate when Beast attacked him.

“We were having a braai at the back. Someone left the gate open, I don’t know, and that is how Beast attacked their dog in front of our house,” said Mr Martins.

He said they wanted to help pick Patches up but Charnelle had been swearing at them and making threats about getting people to make his dogs disappear. Mr Martins also has a female pit bull.

Mr Martins received a notice from law enforcement warning him to keep his animals secured on his property and on a leash when in the street. On Monday April 3, Mr Martins said a law enforcement officer had come to his house and said he was there to take his dog away.

“I told him you can’t just take my dog away when you haven’t even heard my side of the story,” said Mr Martin’s.

His neighbour, Omega Maramba, said Beast was not a threat to anyone and was always in the yard.

“Marius’s dogs are always inside. Their dog (Patches) was always outside,” said Ms Maramba.

Ms Capes said they had been living in Summer Greens for 17 years and had never had anything happen like this before.

“Patches was such a peaceful dog. He was a stray we took off the street, and children used to play with him. We put up a gate after we got him to keep him safe.”

She said she was waiting for law enforcement to take action.

“Law enforcement has all of our statements. We need all the paperwork back to take legal action.”

Wonder Mandla, who lives between Ms Capes and Mr Martins, also fears Beast might attack his family.

He said the Martinses had left their gate open several times, making it easy for Beast to escape.

“I’m thinking of taking my wall up. My wife hangs up the washing in the yard and I have children and they play in the yard with their friends. This dog is very aggressive. He doesn’t bark, he just attacks,” said Mr Mandla.

Suzette Little, mayoral committee member for area north, said law enforcement was doing a “full investigation” and would give Ms Capes feedback this week.

The pit bull could be impounded if it was found that its owners had contravened the Animal By-law.