A week after Michael Engelbrecht rescued a German Shepherd he subsequently named Buster, the dog was almost killed in a collision with a bus in Westridge, on Monday July 2.
“The details surrounding why and how Buster managed to escape the property are sketchy but it is suspected that he jumped the boundary wall. Was it to run back home or to escape the storm which recently hit the Cape? We can only surmise,” said Allan Perrins, the resource development and communications officer for the Animal Welfare Society of South Africa (AWS).
Buster escaped his ordeal with only a nasty gash to his cheek, Mr Perrins added.
When Westridge resident Mr Engelbrecht initially found and took him in, Buster was bewildered, emaciated and weak. Buster had not been wearing a collar or name tag and wasn’t micro-chipped which made tracking his owner virtually impossible.
“We strongly suspect that Buster, being a pedigree dog, is owned and are amazed that he was not taken in earlier or that no-one has posted a lost notice,” said Mr Perrins, adding that there was a possibility that he may have been stolen and dumped.
When senior AWS inspector Mark Levendal went to collect Buster he commended Mr Engelbrecht for coming to Buster’s aid and explained that he would be admitting Buster as a stray because “finders does not equal keepers” and that due process would have to be followed before Mr Engelbrecht could apply to legitimately adopt Buster.
Mr Engelbrecht, however, did not want to adopt Buster and if no-one comes forward to claim him and his health continues to improve, he will be put up for adoption.
Mr Perrins said there were a number of lessons which could be learned from Buster’s situation and advised that pet owners heed storm warnings and keep pets warm and safe preferably indoors.
Animals get cold and are fearful of stormy weather and will instinctively engage their fight or flight instincts, he said.
He also said pet owners should micro-chip their pets or at the very least ensure that they have a properly fitted, robust collar and up-to-date name tag.
“Make sure your property is safe and secure and that gates have not blown open in the wind,” he added.
If you find a stray animal or as a pet owner your circumstances have changed and you can no longer take proper care of your pet, you can call the Animal Welfare Society Philippi on 021 692 2626 or 082 601 1761 after hours and they will collect your pet for free and make every effort to ensure that they are adopted.