Alleged pet syndicate operates in Westville

Moochie, a seven-year-old Chow, is still missing.

A DISTRAUGHT Westville resident believes she stumbled onto an alleged syndicate who steal and sell dogs, while looking for her missing Chow. Moochie, a seven-year-old female Chow, went missing on New Year’s eve and has not been seen since.

“I got home from work and she wasn’t there. She broke through a windowpane in my bedroom. We immediately made posters, shared the information all over social media and I went to the Kloof and Highway SPCA. We still go looking for her every single day,” said Bronwyn van Heerden, the owner of the dog.

Van Heerden said an employee at the Caltex Atholl Heights Service Station in Westville North contacted her daughter, Natalie. He notified her that their dog was in their possession and they could go through and collect it. “We went to the garage but it wasn’t my dog they had there. It was a Husky,” she said.

“I told them that it wasn’t mine but they said that I could still purchase it from them. They never told me the price.”

“My daughter is quite stroppy so she just took the dog from them and put it into our car. The attendants were quite angry with us. They kept calling us and telling us to take it back,” she said.

The mother and daughter met with Lee Bailey of Pet Rescue Pinetown KZN.

“I had already scanned the dog and knew where it was from and who the owner was. A woman called them from the service station to say the dog belonged to her and we needed to return it. She could not give me the name of the dog so that I could test and see if it responded,” said Bailey.

Bailey noted that the dog’s owners were in Ballito and she offered to drop their dog off at the Kloof and Highway SPCA.

“We assumed the dog had been stolen and did not want to take a chance by putting it back in their yard,” she concluded.



Kloof and Highway SPCA weighs in:

“We are shocked and saddened to know that pets are allegedly being stolen from our community and housed at premises within our community. It is very important that these incidents are reported to the SAPS for further investigation to ensure the perpetrators are caught and charged accordingly.”

“We urge all pet owners to be extra vigilant and make sure that their pets are kept safe and secure at all times.”

“If you suspect that your pet has been stolen, please report the incident to the SAPS immediately so the matter can be investigated and a case opened. Thank you to members of our community who are always aware and ask questions when they are suspicious about incidences involving animals being sold.”



Chevron South Africa (Caltex) responds:

Chevron South Africa confirms that a forecourt attendant at Caltex Atholl Heights Service Station in Rodger Sishi Road, Westville North responded to a lost and found flyer for a missing dog on 15 January.

Investigations indicate that a dog was found on the forecourt at around 5.30am. A forecourt attendant at the service station called a telephone number on the flyer which had been distributed and a member of the public came to the service station at 8am to collect the dog.

It transpired that this was not the dog advertised on the flyer. The dog was, nevertheless, taken to a veterinary facility by the member of the public who alleges that the forecourt attendant requested money in exchange for the dog.

Following this incident, an allegation has been made that a forecourt attendant offered to obtain and sell a dog to a member of the public.

Chevron and the franchisee at Atholl Heights Service Station strongly condemn such activities and steps have been taken to investigate these allegations.

We understand that the allegations have been reported to the Kloof and Highway SPCA and the Westville SAPS. Chevron and the franchisee undertake to fully co-operate with any investigation which may be instituted and to provide any evidence necessary to assist in such investigation.



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Lloyd Mackenzie

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