We all make mistakes, but there are mistakes and there are monumental blunders. In the instance of supporting, endorsing and promoting Dani Cappri (real name Daniel Boylan) of Gudwulfs ROC I took folly to previously unexplored depths. Recently seeing the disturbing pictures of conditions where his ‘rescued’ canines were kept turned my stomach as did allegations of a dog’s throat being slit there. *See the SPCA report below.
My mother often refers to what she calls “squealing feelings”. I am deeply ashamed that I did not listen to my squealing feelings about Dani. I ignored them because he was ‘such a great guy’. I would tell anyone willing to listen that he was the finest quality human I had met in a long time. On the face of it Dani seems remarkable, a devoted father to his 2 young children, a person who claims to be absolutely dedicated to animal rescue, specifically canine power breeds such as pit bulls. The part which I still struggle to get my head around is that he is gifted with animals, you can’t fake that BUT I have now come to question whether he has abused that gifting to achieve self serving ends.
Let me start at the beginning. Toward the end of 2015 I set about finding a dog trainer to train our disobedient dogs. I found Dani then operating as Canine Cappri. His ‘dog whispering’ ways so impressed me on our first meeting. On his next visit he arrived with a folder detailing our dogs behaviour and areas to be addressed, particularly Floppy’s depression resulting from the death of her friend Liquorice. With that folder came the first squealing feelings, his documents suggested anti-depressant medication but when reading that out to me Dani expressed the opinion that he does not advise meds. The thought crossed my mind that he had printed someone else’s work off the internet, and this may not have been his carefully compiled personal report as claimed. Of course because I thought that he was the berries I squashed that nasty thought.
On the first day of ‘training’, Dani asked for the R900 fee as upfront payment. After paying, very little in the way of training took place. The only thing that my dogs learned from him was not to fight over food at meal times. My friend Stacey also paid up front for training and he never really started their training let alone finished.
Despite untrained dogs we became friends and I really liked him. I believed that he had a heart for animal welfare. He looked after our animals several times when we went away (for a reasonable fee). I do however regret leaving my house keys with him. I regularly cooked meals for him and his children. During many chats over coffee, I picked up numerous lies and exaggerations, generally while he spoke question marks would pop up constantly in my mind. I ignored them because he was ‘such a great guy’. Dani is quick witted, intelligent and humorous. His ready smile is disarming. Many of his tall stories were almost laughable, and he gained nothing from telling them. One of many such tales was the one about Anacondas gobbling up wildlife on his relatives farm. When I queried their non indigenous presence (which would surely make news headlines) he said that special poison toads were being brought in to kill them. Instead of being angry at the insult to my intelligence, I laughed it off. He sold me dog treats which he claimed to have baked, they were identical to those made by our local Spar, I could have challenged him, I didn’t. He told me that he couldn’t register to vote in elections as his ID book was stolen, weeks later I took him to get a new SIM card , he took along his ID book (had it been replaced, it would have been the new card type). These are just a few of many examples of his casual relationship with the truth.
Dani claimed to be a few years into veterinary studies through Onderstepoort. I very much doubt that this strict educational institution would allow him to study on the purported flexi-time arrangement which he claimed they supported. I have not checked out the Onderstepoort claim. My daughter and a friend both adopted cats from Dani, in both cases they were told by Dani that the cats were female. A quick look at my daughter’s cat led me to say to her “your girl cat has balls, I doubt that she is a she”, both cats turned out to be male.
Dani rescued a street dog outside the premises of a financial services company, he nursed Sport to good health. As a result the financial company owner offered to set up a trust and NPC (non profit company) at no cost. Dani needed another person to sign as director and trustee. I offered to do this without thinking through the seriousness of signing legal documents in taking this on.
Last year I had far less contact with Dani, and he moved away from Boksburg. It began to trouble me that I knew nothing of the day to day running of Gudwulfs. He looked after my dogs and chickens in December but he let down my friend Abbey, after making arrangements to care for her dogs he ignored her calls until she called from a different number. She was left having to find last minute kennelling at great cost and stress. In January I started trying to extract myself from the trust and NPC, through e-mail resignation notices, but my resignation was not processed. After a conversation with CIPC, who confirmed that I was still listed as a director, I was under the impression that a meeting needed to be held to formalise my resignation. I sent many messages to Dani requesting a meeting date but these were ignored. Eventually he said that we could meet on the weekend of 25 March. When once gain I tried to confirm the meeting, he replied that he was stuck on the Onderstepoort farm more than an hour’s drive from Boksburg. Half an hour later I bumped into him in Mica hardware in Boksburg.
I am in no position to comment on the SPCA issues or the conditions under which he kept dogs as I have not seen this with my own eyes. I only saw the Boksburg premises which were acceptable. I do however feel that I will never again support a rescue organisation who’s credentials and premises I have not seen and verified. For instance donations made to ‘Gudwulfs’ go into Daniel Boylan’s personal bank account, the trust and NPC never opened an account (thank heavens or I would be linked to his financial dealings), the account details which he gives for Gudwulfs are his own and this can be verified with FNB who hold the account. I have a copy of the bank document with account details.
There are other very disturbing facts which I cannot share here as they have been told to me confidentially and others which cannot be shared without proof.
I feel like an absolute idiot for falling for Dani’s bs but I have have learned a few tough lessons. I really need to trust those squealing feelings. After being lied to so much by Dani, I now question absolutely everything that comes from him. I question whether the focus on power breeds could be a front for sinister activities. I question how he makes ends meet, he claimed to spend 200K on his one move, how does a person who hardly did any dog training get that kind of money? The maths does not work.
The biggest lesson for me, is never to accept or tolerate being lied to even if the lies are ‘harmless’ to lie is to show absolute disrespect for the person whom you are lying to. If you think about it, every crime has it’s roots in disrespect for fellow man from theft to murder. As a parent this reinforced how absolutely imperative it is that children must be taught that lies are never acceptable.
This post was very hard to write, but previously I wrote 2 blog posts supporting and endorsing him (now removed) I am responsible for misleading people as I was misled and I have to remedy that now, my conscience will not allow otherwise.
To those who have dealt with Gudwulfs and Dani I would appreciate if you comment below with your experiences.
NOTE : Gudwulfs facebook page has changed to Gudwulfs Projects.
Update Nov 2018, Gudwulfs (Daniel) has changed the facebook name yet again, if you are looking for their page it is now Gudwulfs Pit Bull Rescue
*THE SPCA REPORT
INSPECTORATE REPORT: GUDWULFS ROC, PLOT NUMBER 270, TORTELDUIF STREET, ONDERSTEPOORT
Please accept or apology for the delay in responding to you personally.
We have been inundated with cruelty complaints over the last few days, likely owing to the long weekend. We have limited resources and since we have to prioritise our time to give preference to investigations, reporting under these circumstances takes a little longer.
Herewith the Tshwane SPCA’s summary report on your complaint lodged with the NSPCA in respect of Gudwulfs:
The above property was inspected on 24 April 2017 at about 11h30. A comprehensive inspection was conducted by three Tshwane SPCA Inspectors namely, Senior Inspector: Carlos Fernandez, Inspector: Andrew Kekana and Inspector: Mishack Matlou.
1. At the time of inspection the Inspectors observed 19 dogs being kept in various camps. Some of the dogs were kept in pairs and others individually. Four Bull Terrier-crosses were kept together and six dogs were kept in cages of about 2m x 1.5m respectively. Two dogs were roaming in the house, and the rest were being kept in camps of about 6m x 4m.
2. The Inspectors observed that the camps had adequate shelter and that provision for water and food was made.
3. The Inspectors further observed that two dogs (black and white Pitt-cross and a brown and white dog) had healed injuries and the owner provided a Veterinarian’s report as to the care and treatment of the relevant black and white dog. The injuries to the brown and white dog (belonging to the owner) also occurred some time ago and have healed after receiving veterinary care. Both dogs appeared in good health with no obvious signs of physical trauma or neglect.
4. At the time of the inspection no other injured or sick dogs were noticed. However, the Inspectors observed that the dogs all appeared to have fleas. The owner stated that the area is infested with fleas and they cannot control them as they are everywhere in the surrounding grounds and not only on the dogs. The Inspectors noticed various parasites control products being used on the property, but the owner indicated that the products only provide temporary relief.
5. The owner stated that he is working to relocate the dogs (without owners) to a suitable environment and stated that some of the dogs have owners. The owner stated that he is in contact with the owners of the dogs to arrange for their relocation.
6. The Inspectors then addressed the owner on the provisions of the Animals Protection Act. The Inspectors expressed their rejection of the owner’s initial relocation plan as there was not clear indication given as to when this plan would be executed.
7. The Inspectors issued the owner with a deadline to enforce the relocation of the dogs, and to provide the Inspectors with a detailed ledger of all the dogs on the property, and their relocation details and addresses. The aforementioned directives where issued in the form a warning to the owner.
8. The owner accepted the warning and further agreed to ensure that the dogs are all assessed by a veterinarian during the relocation process. Owing to the history of this matter the Inspectors advised the owner to close the shelter. The owner subsequently complied with the directives of the warning.
9. The animals were attended to by veterinarians during the relocation process.
10. Inspector: Andrew Kekana and Inspector: Mishack Matlou and Trainee Inspector: Mpho Lebethe, conducted a follow-up inspection at the property on 28 April 2017 at about 10h00. The Inspectors found no dogs on the property and the owner informed the Inspectors that the dogs had been relocated to other suitable premises.
11. In this regard, the Inspectors were provided with a detailed ledger of the new locations of the dogs.Further location inspections were done and no welfare concerns were noted. Going forward follow-up inspections will be conducted at the various relocation premises (with the assistance of the relevant SPCAs) to follow-up on the welfare of the relevant dogs.
12. As to the Facebook matter; we laud the public for the valuable contribution they make in the fight against animal cruelty, but we ask that due process be respected to ensure that offenders can be brought to book, on proper evidence.
13. The posting of photographs and commentary on social media (in this case Facebook) may provide would-be offenders with an opportunity to rectify the apparent cruelty by for example, cleaning the premises / doing away with animals etc.
14. However, we know that the posts were made with the best of intentions to aid the relevant dogs and we thank you caring for these dogs.
Please be assured of our best efforts at all times.