Stray Dogs on the Rise, Residents Urged To Keep Them Secure Or Else
The Municipal Council of Manzini has observed, with concern, a rise in the number of stray dogs that roam the city streets. Some of these have owners whilst others seem not to. The Municipality would like to advise residents to ensure that their dogs are kept within secure premises and not allowed out of the residence. Those who keep dogs yet do not have secure perimeter fencing are urged to ensure they always keep them on the leash. Furthermore, residents are urged to sterilise their dogs in order to avoid unwanted breeding. Those who have dogs that they no longer need are urged to contact the Municipality’s Corporate Services Department and they will be advised on people who provide dog removal services. Stray dogs do not only expose residents to the danger of being infected with deadly diseases such as rabies (because there is no guarantee that they are vaccinated) but also cause discomfort to community members as they often attack them. The Municipality’s 24/7 Call Centre (800 2004/2505 7000) is inundated with calls from residents who express discomfort about vicious dogs that are allowed out of residences and end up attacking community members, including children, as they pass by.
Dog owners are urged to always ensure gates to their residences are not left open and that there are no openings on the fence. Another element that makes stray dogs a nuisance to the community is that they scatter rubbish whilst awaiting collection by the Municipality’s refuse trucks. If the situation persists, the Municipality will be left with no option but to resume the programme of removing dogs from the streets; whether or not they have owners. The Municipality has the legislative backing in doing so. Regulation 4(1) of the Urban Government Regulations, 1969 reads: “No person shall keep any animal which is a nuisance or an annoyance to persons residing in the neighbourhood”. Regulation 5 of the same Regulations states that “No person shall set on, urge on, nor, so far as he is able to prevent, permit his dog or any other animals kept by him to attack or rush at any person or animal, or motor cars or cyclists, or in any other way to interfere with the comfort of any member of the public”. Meanwhile, Section 7 of the Registration of Dogs Act, 1953, says a dog which is not under control and custody of any person and which is found trespassing on land may be destroyed forthwith.
…THEY ARE DANGEROUS, PLEASE REMOVE THEM – VET SERVICES
The Manzini Veterinary Services has urged the Municipal Council of Manzini to prioritise removal of stray dogs as they pose danger to members of the public. Veterinary Services’ Animal Health Inspector, Sibonginkosi Mdluli, said stray dogs have no record of vaccination for disease such as rabies. “It is difficult to control a rabid dog hence they can be of danger to humans. Same with stray cats. Rabies is a deadly disease and it cannot be taken lightly. The continued presence of stray dogs in our communities jeopardises efforts to the fight against rabies. As the Veterinary Services we fully support the Municipality on the move to rid the city of stray dogs and cats. Dog owners who allow their pets to roam the streets also expose them to the danger of being infected by rabid dogs”, Mdluli stated. He urged dog owners to ensure their pets are vaccinated against rabies; adding that vaccination of dogs against rabies in the City of Manzini and surrounding areas would take place next Wednesday, starting at 7am, at the usual vaccination stations. He encouraged dog owners to bring their pets for vaccination, adding that the service was provided by the National Government free of charge. The animals may also be taken to the Veterinary Offices for vaccination.
…HOW RESIDENTS CAN HELP MINIMISE STRAY ANIMALS – ADVICE FROM SAWS
(If space allows, use SAWS logo)
The Swaziland Animal Welfare Society has shared the following pieces of advice on the role that members of the community can play in order to minimise the number of stray animals;
- DOG-PROOF YOUR FENCE
Use materials like chicken wire to reinforce the bottom of your fence to prevent them from digging under the fence and/or reinforce the top of the fence to stop them from jumping over.
- PROVIDE PROPER CARE
Make sure to provide them with adequate food, water and shelter. If they are well-fed and happy, they are less likely to escape, roam the streets and forage for food.
- SPAY OR NEUTER YOUR PET
Spaying and neutering your pet is the best thing you can do to help prevent pet overpopulation. The key is to prevent the problem before it begins. Spay and neuter procedures are common surgeries performed by veterinarians and the only humane method of preventing the overpopulation of animals. Spaying and neutering also has other physical, behavioral, and environmental benefits such as reducing the dog’s desire to roam. The surgery can be done by a Government or private veterinarian. The cost of sterilising an animal is considerably less than what it would cost to care for litters of puppies or kittens.
- ADOPT AN ANIMAL FROM SWAZILAND ANIMAL WELFARE SOCIETY (SAWS)
Instead of purchasing a pet, adopt a homeless or surrendered pet from SAWS. When you adopt from SAWS, your adoption fee includes a spay or neuter surgery, vaccinations and deworming. Since the adoption fee includes all of these services, it saves you time and money. By adopting from SAWS, you are also reducing the number of homeless pets in the community.
- KEEP YOUR PET FOR LIFE
Before you adopt or buy a pet you need to understand the commitment you are making. Dogs and cats can live upwards to 13 or even 15 years; some even longer. Your pets are your responsibility for their lifetime. Do not just abandon your pets when your circumstances change. Be responsible and re-home them.
…STAKEHOLDER BUDGET SUBMISSIONS MEETING THIS FRIDAY
Manzini property owners, non-property owners, the business community, banking sector, parastatals, NGOs, public transport sector, health sector, education sector, youth organisations, sports and recreation entities, associations of the disadvantaged and other Council stakeholders are notified that the Municipal Council of Manzini will this Friday, 8am to 10am at the Council Chamber, hold its 2020 stakeholder budget submissions meeting. The purpose of the meeting is to give an opportunity for stakeholders to influence the 2021/2022 financial year’s budget. Due to the Covid-19 protocols, the venue will only allow a limited number of stakeholders and the meeting will strictly run not more than 2 hours. However, stakeholders have the option to make their submissions by email on firstname.lastname@example.org or WhatsApp/SMS message on 7802 3889, Council’s “Manzini News” Facebook page or the Municipality’s website (www.mzcitycouncil.sz). Stakeholder participation in decision-making processes continues to be of the highest priority to the Municipality. The ultimate goal is the delivery of relevant municipal services and achievement of stakeholder service delivery satisfaction.