Dog burnt by acid spill at petrol station
AN Mtunzini resident is counting the cost, both financially and emotionally, after his little dog suffered severe acid burns to her legs at an N2 filling station south of Hluhluwe.
Professor Louis de Clercq and his late wife’s dog Gedroggie were in January returning home from Mpumalanga when they stopped at the petrol station for a toilet break.
‘I stopped and released Gedroggie, my late wife’s little pet,’ said Professor de Clercq.
‘She got out of the bakkie, ran where she normally runs through a ditch and her legs were all black.
‘I immediately tried to clean the legs and put her back into the bakkie.
‘Then the poor animal went mad and my hands started burning badly.’
De Clercq said he stopped driving after realising what was happening and tried to wash Gedroggie’s legs with his drinking water, to no avail.
‘This happened in about ten minutes. I rushed home and washed the legs again but no difference.’
He took Gedroggie to the vet early the following morning where she was diagnosed with severe acid burns to her legs.
The burns were so severe that she required constant veterinary treatment and monitoring at home.
The acid burnt through her fur and skin, and the little dog’s open wounds required regular treatment and changes of dressings.
Seven weeks after the incident, two of Gedroggie’s legs have been saved but the other two are still in a bad condition.
The professor said a truck had illegally disposed of the acid in an unfenced drainage ditch.
‘Trucks, cars and pedestrians are using the same area, which is dangerous.
‘It could have easily been a child who ran through the pool of acid.’
Apart from the mounting veterinary costs, Professor de Clercq has, in the absence of anyone else at home to care for Gedroggie and monitor her recovery, been forced to cancel appointments and consultancy work, leading to a loss of earnings.
After having not received any feedback from the petrol station in question, the professor submitted a claim for the almost R40 000 he has lost through the ordeal.
The garage’s insurance company subsequently rejected his claim.
‘We note from the insured’s email that various container trucks visited the site on that day and prior to the incident,’ said the insurance company in official correspondence with Professor de Clercq.
‘We find it difficult to understand how our insured can be held responsible for injuries to the dog.
‘Our insured cannot point out who the responsible party was that dumped the so-called ‘acid’.’
The professor is convinced the garage can be charged in terms of the environmental legislation covering the management of toxic waste.
All four of little Gedroggie’s legs were burnt to the esh