Es­tranged couple in tug-of-war over pet ter­rier

CityPress - - News - JACO NEL news@city­press.co.za

A Capeto­nian man would have been happy to be rid of his ex-girl­friend, if only she had not “stolen” his Jack Rus­sell ter­rier, Zeus, and given it away.

Nickey van der Walt (31), an IT con­sul­tant, thought his re­la­tion­ship of more than two years with Bianca Kruken­berg (23), along with all its com­pli­ca­tions, was over. He even changed the locks on a house they had pre­vi­ously bought to­gether.

But when he ar­rived at the property in Park­lands near Blou­bergstrand, Zeus was gone.

Van der Walt re­ported the dog’s dis­ap­pear­ance to the po­lice as a case of house­break­ing and theft be­cause he be­lieved a win­dow had been forced open.

Ac­cord­ing to a charge sheet at the Cape Town Mag­is­trates’ Court, Kruken­berg was in­deed charged with house­break­ing, but the case was with­drawn in Novem­ber so that the couple could re­solve their dis­pute in­for­mally.

On pa­per, they each own half of the house and Kruken­berg had signed the pa­per­work to adopt Zeus. Their lawyers are han­dling the mat­ter.

But this does not help him much, an emo­tional Van der Walt told City Press’ sis­ter pa­per, Rap­port.

Zeus was dropped at Fisan­tekraal An­i­mal Wel­fare (FAW) in Durbanville, where they had ear­lier adopted him. This or­gan­i­sa­tion, de­spite Van der Walt’s pleas, found new own­ers for Zeus.

Van der Walt does not know who they are and whether his pet is happy.

Cor­re­spon­dence Rap­port saw showed how even Van der Walt’s mother, who lives in KwaZulu-Na­tal, pleaded to adopt the dog to en­sure Zeus stayed in the fam­ily.

She even of­fered to buy a plane ticket for the ter­rier.

FAW main­tained that they could not al­low dogs to be adopted in other prov­inces.

Van der Walt is fu­ri­ous with FAW and feels the an­i­mal shel­ter acted im­prop­erly.

Winette Klop­per, man­ager of FAW, con­firmed that Zeus had been well looked af­ter and Van der Walt cer­tainly did not mistreat the dog.

How­ever, she said their pol­icy for­bade them from giv­ing the dog back to him.

“On pa­per, Bianca is the owner. She brought the dog back and signed a form that ex­plic­itly said they could no longer care for him.

“Ac­cord­ing to our pol­icy, nei­ther Bianca nor Nickey will ever be able to adopt an an­i­mal from us again.

“Zeus be­came a chess piece be­tween two peo­ple who hate each other. It is very sad.”

But no one is more heart­bro­ken than he is, says a re­sent­ful Van der Walt.

“Bianca never loved Zeus. That is why we agreed the dog could stay with me. The only rea­son for her to re­move Zeus was to be spite­ful to­wards me.” Kruken­berg says she did noth­ing “un­law­ful”. “I broke up with Nickey and he can­not get over it. He must move on.”

Kruken­berg still has her “own dog”, a Chi­huahua named Gizmo. He is older and goes to a dog cen­tre dur­ing the day. Zeus was too young for her busy sched­ule, says the per­sonal as­sis­tant.

“I owe no one any ex­pla­na­tion. I took the dog back pre­cisely to en­sure he finds a good home again.”

PHOTO: JACO NEL

AT A LOSS Nickey van der Walt and his pet in hap­pier

times

PHOTO: FACE­BOOK

HOLD­ING

FIRM Bianca Kruken­berg re­turned

Zeus

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