Dog lovers have already contacted her from far and wide and would like to give her more dogs.
Santie Venter, 53, laughs when she now tells the story of a traffic officer who fined her for having her dog with her in her bakkie. “But I still can’t believe it.”
Venter posted a photo of the fine of R1 000 on Facebook and it has since spread like wildfire. She and her 15 dogs live on a small holding outside Vanderbijlpark.
Venter went to fuel Wednesday morning and she and Pokkels, her eight-year-old Labrador-Great Dane crossing, were on their way home just after 9am, when they were pulled off the road by a traffic officer.
The traffic officer walked around Venter’s 1984 model blue Nissan 1800 pickup. According to Venter, the bakkie may be old, but totally roadworthy and its license is up to date.
However, it was then that the traffic officer asked her if she knew it was illegal to drive in a vehicle with pets.
“I replied that I didn’t know it. He asked me why I had a dog in the bakkie and I told him for my own safety, after which he laughed at me.
“He kept saying, ‘I’m gonna write you’ and I told him it was right that he laughed at me again. I told him I’m not just going to leave the matter here. “
According to Venter, the traffic officer walked over and wrote the fine. She took a picture of it and posted it on Facebook. Venter had already decided to go to the Vanderbijlpark Magistrate’s Court the next morning, and was also advised by social media users to do so.
Pokkels drove again, but this time one of Venter’s workers is also together. The worker usually drives together when Venter is going to be in a shop for a long time so that he can leave Pokkels in the cool.
Venter spoke with a state prosecutor at the court and explained the situation. “She said it was nonsense and after I wrote out a statement, she canceled the fine.”
And now people are contacting Venter to hear if she is still looking for dogs. Venter laughed at this as she adopted two more dogs two months ago.
“I have as many dogs as I can afford. They are my children and everyone has a bed in the house. And here people call and say let’s give her another. “
According to Venter, most of her dogs were killed after being thrown away. Pokkels was only eight weeks old when she got a home from Venter and for the past eight years she has been by her owner’s side every day.
About her light blue bakkie says Venter. “My dad bought him, but I usually drove with him and after my father passed away, I started driving with him permanently. There is nothing wrong with the bakkie and everything is up to date. ”
Howard Dembovsky, chairman of Justice Project SA (JPSA), described the fine as ridiculous.
Dembovsky says the legislation under which Venter imposed the fine stipulates that no cattle, horse, donkey, mule, sheep, goat, pig or ostrich may be hunted on a public road. According to him, it has no bearing on the transport of a dog in a vehicle.
“She has to ask the traffic officer to explain which one of these animals he referred to. Does he know the difference between a dog and an ox or an ostrich or a donkey? “
According to Dembovsky, the interior of a vehicle is not a public road.
“There is no provision in the law that you are not allowed to travel with an animal in your vehicle,” he said. This may be done as long as the animal does not interfere with the management of the vehicle.