Pastor gets jail time over 'horrific' dog fighting

A part-time pastor at a church in Eden Park in Ekurhuleni was sentenced to two years in prison for his role in dog fighting.

The NSPCA's Nadia Hansa said James Bennie, a part-time pastor, and his teenage nephew were accused of dog fighting at a property in Eden Park, Ekuhuleni in August 2016.

Hansa, an inspector with the NSPCA's special investigations unit, and senior inspector Kingstone Siziba of the Alberton SPCA immediately responded to the complaint.

"Upon arrival at the Eden Park property they found a horrifying scene of cruelty and long-term suffering," Hansa said in a statement.

The two inspectors found three pit bull terriers and five crossbreed dogs "in severe distress".

She said the white pit bull terrier, Biscuit, was found collapsed, unable to walk and covered in "deep infected wounds".

"The two other pit bull dogs had similar wounds and were heavily scarred from past dog fights," Hansa said.

She said the dogs were left to starve on short chains without food and water, while crossbreed dogs were similarly mistreated.

"The dual nature of this cruelty makes it all the more horrific," Hansa said.

"The dogs had clearly been used for organised dog fighting but instead of even a basic level of care after the fights, they had then been left chained up outside the back door to die slowly of their infected wounds and callous neglect," she said.

Bennie was on Thursday sentenced to two years imprisonment in the Palm Ridge Magistrate's Court following twenty appearances. His nephew was sentenced to two years house arrest.

The NSPCA commended the magistrate for taking a powerful stand against "this violent and destructive crime".

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