THE Lusaka City Council (LCC) has said that it has never been its intention to kill stray dogs and has appealed to dog owners to ensure their pets are vaccinated to prevent the transmission of diseases such as rabies.
Speaking to the Sunda Nation yesterday, Lusaka City Council Public Relations manager Habeenzu Mulunda said the shooting down of stray dogs had been prompted by residents who did not want to comply with existing bye-laws on how such dogs should be kept.
Mr. Mulunda said killing of stray dogs was to ensure the safety and welfare of the animals and disclosed that the council had entered into an agreement with the Lusaka Animal Welfare Society (LAWS), an organisation which cares, treats, rehabilitates and provides shelter to abandoned, abused, neglected and stray dogs and cats in Lusaka.
He explained that the council was not interested in killing the dogs and that was why it had partnered with LAWS to make sure the animals were screened and kept well in accordance with the law.
“We have partnered with LAWS and our emphasis is that if there are stray dogs, they are supposed to be taken to those who are willing to take care of the dogs.
We are not interested in killing stray dogs and cats unless there is no other option. We have been shooting down stray dogs and cats but we have since partnered with LAWS so that the dogs can be taken and custody the sociaety,” Mr Mulunda said.
Mr Mulunda, however said that the prospect of killing the dogs would not be ruled out completely as it had remained the only measure for the council to rid Lusaka of stray dogs which he said could be vectors of rabies.
“The programme we have is not to kill the dogs. What we want is that the dogs are vaccinated, confined within the premises of their owners and registered. Unless otherwise, that is when we can kill them but we always emphasise that they are vaccinated and confined,” he said.
“We are not saying we shall not shoot and kill stray dogs but the owners must take responsibility of caring for their pets so that they do not become a danger to residents.
They also become a public nuisance they litter strees and other people premises with their droppings,” Mr Mulunda said.