Written by Reinet Meyer, Manager & Senior Inspector – Bloemfontein SPCA
Professional photography by Xany Jansen Van Vuuren
While everyone was enjoying New Year’s Eve and having a lovely time with their families and friends, very few people spared a thought about animals when fireworks were being let off. Most say that they went to a farm or far away from where the dogs and cats would be distracted, yet they forget about the farm animals, wild animals, or even the birds. We at the Bloemfontein SPCA were extremely busy – almost every five minutes we received emergency calls about animals in need, but we feel like we failed Brody.
Brody comes from the small town of Winburg, about 120 km away from Bloemfontein. The Bloemfontein SPCA received a call from a woman who informed us that she’d seen three children of around ten years old holding down a dog and putting fireworks in its ears. Although she tried to chase the children down, her age prevented her from doing so, so she screamed and shouted at them.
She said that she started to cry, just so they could stop, as they first threw some of the crackers at Brody, and then, to her horror, she saw how they placed a firework in his ear. She first heard a big bang followed immediately by Brody’s screaming and the children’s laughter.
It was 05h00 in the morning when she called the SPCA to tell us that the boys had run away with the dog and that she could no longer see them. When we arrived in Winburg to see if we could find Brody, she showed us where it had happened, and we walked with her all around the area, but we couldn’t locate Brody. We walked for hours to find the poor dog, but to no avail.
Three days later, we received a call from a member of the Winburg community informing us that they’d found a puppy in a manhole. It was Brody. Once they’d managed to extricate him, they discovered his severe injuries, including an ear half torn off. We immediately headed off to Winburg, and what we found was distressing. The woman who’d initially called us about Brody was summoned, and she positively identified him as the same puppy she’d seen being abused.
It’s hard to imagine that children can be that cruel, especially at such a young age. What have our children become – or are becoming? The poor animal was very scared and extremely hurt. We believe that Brody was traumatised, since he was crying and didn’t want us to touch him.
We can’t tell at the moment, but we can only hope that one day Brody will trust humans again; only time will tell. His whole ear had collapsed inside and there were black marks on the ear that indicated where he’d been burnt. Fortunately, the crackers didn’t penetrate through to his brain; however, Brody was very badly injured.
When the veterinarian looked at Brody, she was shocked by what she found. There were maggots in the wound, and he needed to undergo an emergency operation to save his life. His head and brain were severely infected, but, luckily, he’s still able to hear out of one ear.
We needed to raise funds for Brody’s operation and for the medication needed to treat his infection. Thanks to each and every one of you who kindly donated. And our thanks to you, the supporters, who help us when an animal needs our help! We appreciate all your support.
We were thrilled to approve a wonderful home for Brody with Marcelle Gous and know that with unconditional love and care, he’ll live a joyful life from now on.
Marcelle Gous, Brody’s owner, shares…
My boyfriend, Francois Steyn, saw Brody’s story on Bloemfontein SPCA’s Facebook page and immediately knew he wanted to help save Brody’s life. He offered to help pay for the operation, and first thing the next morning I started to get everything in order.
The day Brody came home I was sceptical about his expected behaviour and condition, but he truly surprised me. Within a half an hour he was playing with my other dogs. He took my 11-month-old German Shepherd on as his protector – always following her, only eating something if she ate it, and always being near her. We could instantly see he just wanted to be loved.
He sleeps next to my bed and is already potty trained, waking me up if he wants to go out. He’s playful and just a real pup. He’s also protective of us already. He has the best personality and fits in perfectly with our little family.