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By Tladi Moloi

A woman from Bloemfontein is fighting for her life in ICU after she attempted to commit suicide when learning that the SPCA had put down her pit bull therapy dog, Chloe.

Liezel Jansen, 44, overdosed on tablets following the bad news that her beloved emotional support animal had been euthanised.

Jansen had taken Chloe to the Free State SPCA for protection following threats from the South African National Civic Organisation (Sanco) on 24 November that they would go house to house taking pit bulls by force if they were not surrendered within seven days.

Fearing for the safety of her dog, she handed it in on the same day, believing the SPCA would keep it safe.

Scrolla.Africa was told that after the dog was handed in, Jansen would constantly call to check if the dog was fine. However, after a time the SPCA stopped answering her calls — at which point she became suspicious.

According to one member of the pit bull community who preferred to remain anonymous, Jansen adopted Chloe as her therapy dog following the horrific death of her husband.

“That dog was like a kid to her. She got it after her husband was burned and killed in his car,” said the source.

Jansen’s son Joshua Sauls said Chloe was vital for his mother’s mental health and added that the dog had made her what she is.

“They robbed us. She loved that dog because it helped her. The dog was never aggressive. The guy from the SPCA made her sign the papers without explaining anything to her. She wouldn’t have signed if she knew what was in there,” he said.

Desiree Barnard, a friend of Jansen, said she started to worry about Chloe’s safety.

“She called the SPCA to come and take the dog for safe keeping because she was afraid it might be poisoned.

“On Saturday we went there on a march and my friend hoped she was going to get her dog back. We asked in front of everyone if the dog was ok and they said no the dog is not alive. Jansen fell on the ground and started crying,” she said.

She said three of the administrators were asked to come in to speak to the inspectors.

“I asked why the dog was killed because it was a therapy dog and we were told the dog was aggressive.”

She said they asked for a report which determined that Chloe’s behaviour was tested and evaluated but were told that the report is confidential.

“They also told us the dog was killed the same day it arrived.”

The SPCA said in the statement they will not apologise for acting on the organisation’s mandate.

“She was not signed in for boarding or safekeeping as is alleged. We stepped up... opening our doors for dogs that would otherwise have been tortured and killed by an angry community. The SPCA did what other law enforcement departments should have done a long time ago. We acted proactively to prevent cruelty to pit bulls,” the statement reads.

Pictured above: Liezel Jansen and her pit bull, Chloe

Image source: Supplied