Cape Town – Diesel, a rescue dog, was trying to protect its owners’ Fish Hoek home before it was stabbed by invaders.
Last week, four-year-old Diesel and Todd, a Yorkie, were outside when two men jumped over the fence into the yard.
“When they jumped over the fence I think Diesel confronted them, our other dog must have also barked but is a much smaller dog and nothing happened to him," said Diesel’s owner, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
"They stabbed Diesel in the chest and then ran away. He had a wound of about 10cm. My wife arrived 20 to 30 minutes later, he would have bled to death if it were any longer.
“They moved it (the knife) around in him (and) as a result, his lungs were punctured and collapsed.
"At the vet, he was immediately taken in for surgery. The vets operated on him for about two hours. He stopped breathing during the operation and they had to put the ventilator on. The doctors did not expect him to make it through the night.”
Fish Hoek Community Policing Forum’s project manager Patrick Benade said neighbours contacted Diesel’s owners, who rushed home to find it bleeding in the yard.
“From the nature of Diesel’s wounds, it is believed that he physically took on the intruders. Fish Hoek Veterinary Clinic has been amazing with taking care of Diesel in the time of his need,” said Benade.
“Animals are often victims when robberies or burglaries take place. Often a dog is a deterrent of crime, its barking may wake the household, alert the neighbours or depending on the nature of the dog, they may even attack the perpetrators,” said Meg Wilson, public relations officer for the NSPCA.
Dogs are often poisoned prior to a burglary, she added.
“So often families treat animals as their family, holding their existence in high regard, and when you are talking about a situation where it is a personal attack with the intention of hurting a specific person, it would not be implausible to believe that the person’s animals would be attacked."
Last year, robbers slit a dog’s throat in a home invasion in KwaZulu-Natal. Another was shot in the face.
The Fish Hoek Community Policing Forum has launched the Diesel Animal Support Fund to raise funds to assist in the care of animals injured in crime-related incidents.
“Any criminal incident is traumatic enough for us as humans, but often the traumatic effect it has on our animals are forgotten. The project will be managed and controlled by the CPF with the assistance and guidance of all the veterinary clinics in the Fish Hoek CPF-mandated area,” said Benade.
Diesel is recovering at home but will still need the stitches removed.
“It looks like he is going to be alright. He is still in a lot of pain though. It is sad because it is highly unlikely that we will find who did this. Both our dogs are traumatised,” said its owner.