Stray dogs raise rabies fears

Residents here have complained of an increase in the number of stray dogs in the streets and are afraid the roaming pets will spread rabies.

The Mutare City Council Town Clerk, Obert Muzawazi, last week confirmed that there has been noticeable increase of stray dogs in the city.

"This has resulted in an outcry from the members of the public and they are alarmed by this seemingly unnoticed large population of dogs roaming the streets during the night and causing all sort of nuisance on their properties," said Muzawazi.

Residents interviewed said they also feared for their safety as the stray dogs were biting them.

"Last week we had an incident where a woman coming from work was bitten by dogs. It is becoming dangerous and we are very concerned by our safety,"

said George Marahwa a resident from Darlington low density suburb. The other residents feared that this would result in them attracting rabies. Muzawazi confirmed that the city had recorded cases of rabies.

"Mutare City has recorded a few dog rabies cases during the recent past. In the absence of adequate control measures it may not take long before we have a human rabies case in the city," Muzawazi said.

"Dog owners are reminded that it is their responsibility in terms of Mutare (Dog licensing and Control) By Laws (SI 55 OF 1986, Section 13) to ensure that their pets remain securely confined within their properties at all times," he said.

Muzawazi added that Mutare City's health department will soon be embarking on a dog trapping exercise to remove stray dogs from the city's streets.

He added that all the trapped dogs will be delivered to the Society for the Protection of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) where the owners will have seven days in which to reclaim tem at a cost.

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  1. mharakurwa

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