City of Harare last month said that it will soon be visiting households to check the number of dogs being kept on properties. The dog audit will also see council inspecting vaccination records of the pets.
Only 1050 dogs were licensed by council in the first quarter of this year contributing $6 000 in revenue. Under the City’s dog licensing and control by-laws, households in high density suburbs are allowed to keep a maximum of two dogs while in low density suburbs residents can have a maximum of three.
Premises with dogs should be fenced and gated. If a dog bites someone, the owner of the dog is required to produce proof of vaccination against rabies. CoH corporate communications manager Leslie Gwindi said that the audit is taking place in response to the high number of unlicensed dogs in the city.
“The audit will also help establish the population of dogs in the capital. Dog breeding at residential premises without council authority is also prohibited,” said Gwindi.
Residents in various suburbs of Harare have complained about the high number of stray dogs which often cause road traffic accidents. In high density suburbs, some residents have complained that stray dogs spread litter as they scavenge through people’s bins.
Trymore Shamba (27) from Sunningdale said that council’s move was a positive one considering the number of stray dogs that are roaming in the suburbs.
“Stray dogs are a common problem in Harare and it is welcome that council is acting to control them. Council should also take stern measures against dog breeders especially here in high density suburbs because clearly our yards cannot support that venture,” said Shamba.
Another resident Givemore Jena from Mbare said that it was a good move as this will also help contain dog diseases such as rabies but, said that he was not sure if council will be able to carry out the dog audit exercise alone.
“Right now council is failing to deliver basic services due to lack of resources so I wonder how they plan to do it. What will they do with all the stray dogs in the city because clearly those dogs have no owners,” queried Jena.
One unlicensed dog breeder in Budiriro who refused to be named said that he was not aware that dogs are supposed to be licensed. However, the dog breeder laid the blame of his ignorance on council for failing to carry out public awareness campaigns.