A hungry dog that waited for a long time beside the dead body of its owner has ended up feeding on the decomposing flesh of the deceased.
The body of a 61-year-old man, found in his home in Herlear on Thursday last week, has yet to be positively identified after it was found in a badly decomposed state.
The exact date of death has not been established yet.
The man’s dog, which apparently never left his side, had to be euthanised after it was discovered that it had eaten flesh from the body.
Witnesses on the scene indicated that the dog was extremely distressed when it was found, and that there was no dog food either inside or outside the house.
A relative said that since the death of his wife, the man had lived alone and that they had given him the dog as a companion.
“It was a rescue dog and I was willing to adopt it, I was upset that it had to be put down,” the relative said.
She added that neighbours were given a set of keys to the man’s house.
“I asked the neighbours to keep an eye on him as I was not able to visit him every day. I used to bring meals to the house and we were on good terms. I am still traumatised over what happened and could not bring myself to identify his body.”
She stated that the neighbours had discovered the man’s body after noticing that there was no activity inside the house.
“I do not know how long ago he had died before his body was found.”
She indicated that no foul play was suspected.
“No funeral arrangements have been made yet.”
According to the SPCA, the dog had to be euthanised upon instruction from forensic pathology and the police.
Police spokesperson, Captain Sergio Kock, said that the Kimberley police had opened an inquest into the man’s death, whose body was found at his home on Thursday (July 13) at about 6pm.
“At this stage it is believed that the domestic dog, which was living with the deceased inside his home, started eating on the corpse of the elderly man. An autopsy and forensic tests will be performed to confirm the exact cause of death and the identification of the body. The dog was handed over to the SPCA at the scene. No foul play is suspected at this stage. The investigation continues,” said Kock.