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2016 | Bunny Park animal cruelty case

EST - 1966

2016 | Bunny Park animal cruelty case

EST - 1966

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Upholding Justice: Benoni Bunny Park Staff to Face Animal Cruelty Charges

In a somber yet pivotal event in the history of the Benoni Bunny Park, we must acknowledge the darker shades of our story that unfortunately unfolded in the spring of 2016.

The Incident Unfolds

On May 2, 2016, a grievous act was alleged to have occurred within the boundaries of our park—a place that stands for joy and the gentle care of animals. Three Bunny Park employees were reported to have caused intentional harm to two of the park’s residents: a rabbit and a chicken. The members of the Bunny Park Animals 911 Group, always vigilant, tragically reported these acts to authorities.

The next few days bore the weight of truth as the Benoni SPCA stepped forward, declaring a quest for justice. Vicky Finnemore, the senior inspector and acting manager of the SPCA, spoke of imminent charges against those accused of cruelty. Their actions, as recounted by the volunteers and members who witnessed the events, spurred a wave of sorrow and outrage.

The Response to the Atrocities

The SPCA’s decision to euthanize the chicken, coated in motor oil in a misguided attempt to treat fleas, was made with a heavy heart. Meanwhile, the rabbit, who had experienced undue trauma, perished under the benign watch of a Bunny Park Animals 911 volunteer. Shelly Owens, the co-chairperson of Benoni SPCA, asserted that should the post-mortem indeed confirm the inhumanity of the events, legal steps would be taken without hesitation.

The Pursuit of Justice

As the SPCA received the veterinarian’s report on May 12, confirming the suspected abuses, the decision was made to press charges. On May 13, the organization announced its intention to prosecute, promising accountability for the transgressions observed.

Metro spokesperson Themba Gadebe expressed the necessity of following the investigation’s progress, shedding light on the steps taken within the municipal framework to address the employees’ conduct.

The Community's Role

The Bunny Park’s narrative is not solely shaped by the growth of its foliage or the carefree hops of its rabbits—it is also formed by the response of its people. In this case, it was the vigilance of the Bunny Park Animals 911 Group and the integrity of the Benoni SPCA that rose to the forefront, pushing for the park’s present and future to resonate with the principles of compassion for all creatures.

The Consequences and Commitment

As the authority on the park’s digital pages, we document this incident with transparency and a commitment to honoring the voiceless. It is a marker within our chronicle that symbolizes a profound lesson in stewardship and the moral compass required to guide us.

While the park has since focused on nurturing a culture of kindness and empathy, we look back on this period as a sober reminder of the responsibility entrusted to us—a responsibility to safeguard the joy and sanctity of Benoni Bunny Park for every being that calls it home.

For an in-depth understanding of the events and the responses from those involved, the original articles by Kevin van der List can be found on the City Times website:  and .

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