Abandoned dogs doomed to die

  • Hundreds of guard dogs abandoned by their handlers are being humanely destroyed in Zimbabwe

    More than 600 guard dogs abandoned on farms across Zimbabwe have been put to sleep in an operation organised by the Zimbabwe Society for the Protection of Animals (ZNSPCA).

    Many had been left chained to their posts or trees as farmers moved out and surrendered their farms on the orders of the country’s, president Robert Mugabe.

    Until just a few weeks ago, these dogs along with their handlers were deployed by the farm security company Tredar and were intended to keep out intruders and protect farms.

    This company, along with many others, has gone out of business as white farmers obey Mugabe’s eviction orders.

    The ZNSPCA predict that just 50 dogs will be re-homed, while the remainder are destroyed by vets and buried in mass graves, organised and dug by members of the ZNSPCA.

    One of the vets working with the ZNSPCA Ant Donohoe from Banket, north Zimbabwe had the unfortunate task of euthanasing a total of 113 dogs on Thursday 10 October.

    Meryl Harrison from the ZNSPCA has been instrumental in the removal of abandoned animals across Zimbabwe. She along with her fellow workers works tirelessly to help animals both great and small.

    Meryl refuses to be drawn into a political conflict and speaking to HHO earlier this year in September she stressed that: “her only interest was for the animals.”

    Meryl found many of the dogs left without food and water, completely abandoned by their former work partners.

    Speaking to the Daily Mail, she said: “I do find it amazing that these people could work with these dogs for all these years for very long spells and not develop some sort of bond.”

    Meryl says that she tries her best to ensure that the dead animals are kept out of sight of the living, but admits it can be difficult.

    The dogs are put to sleep swiftly and painlessly using a barbiturate called euthapent, however with so many animals having been destroyed supplies of this drug are running low and Meryl has to rely on emergency shipments from South Africa.

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