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Dog owners’ tricks keep City’s Animal Control Unit on its toes<span><figure class="figure-credits right"><img class="responsive" alt="placeholder" src="" style="width:576px;" /><figcaption> <p>  © City of Cape Town</p> </figcaption> </figure> <p>The City of Cape Town’s Animal Control Unit dealt with 443 complaints in the second half of 2016 – the majority of which involved dog attacks. According to statistics, 60% of the cases related to attacks on humans and the rest were attacks on other dogs. During the period, the Unit impounded 136 dogs and opened 70 case dockets for investigation.</p> <p>Barking complaints are enforced by general Law Enforcement staff, with the Animal Control Unit only becoming involved once all avenues have been exhausted to address a complaint. </p> <p>‘One of the problems that the Animal Control Unit faces is that many complainants demand action, but then withdraw charges as soon as they receive compensation. So our staff members spend an inordinate amount of time compiling case dockets which require affidavits, medical reports, and photographic evidence (among others) only to have it all fall apart. It’s a waste of time and precious resources that we can ill afford,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security; and Social Services, Alderman JP Smith.</p> <span>​<figure class="figure-credits left"><img class="responsive" alt="placeholder" src="" style="width:1023px;" /><figcaption> <p> © City of Cape Town</p> </figcaption> </figure> </span></span>The City’s Animal By-law of 2010 covers a number of aspects, including the number of dogs allowed per household, responsibilities of dog owners in ensuring the animal’s health and wellbeing, and other prohibitions relating to the keeping of dogs. The full by-law is available here: <a href=""></a><p>‘The by-law is straightforward and includes a number of things one would assume to be common sense, but experience has proved otherwise. Animal welfare and public safety are both very important considerations and that is why we are working ever closer with the animal welfare sector. However, just because a dog is well cared for, if it poses a threat to public safety the owner must take responsibility for keeping it fenced in or on a leash when out in public. You can’t know with certainty that your dog won’t bite someone and saying so does little to put others at ease. So just do the right thing and follow the rules like everyone else,’ added Alderman Smith.</p><p>Free-running dogs are a particular concern, both in residential areas and public open spaces – especially beaches. The Animal By-law clearly stipulates that no dog is allowed to be in a public place except on a lease and under control unless the dog is in an area designated by the City as a free-running area. Owners should also not allow vicious or dangerous dogs to be in any public street or place unless the dog is humanely muzzled, held on a leash, and under control. </p><p>‘Dog owners run a number of risks by allowing their dogs to run free in this manner. There’s the risk of the dog attacking a person or another animal, not to mention the risk of the dog possibly being run over, or worse, stolen to be sold or used for dog-fighting purposes. Should our staff come across an unsupervised dog with no form of identification, they are compelled to impound the dog. The same goes for beaches with a prohibition on dogs. The seashore regulations empower the Animal Control Unit to summarily impound the dog. So I appeal to dog owners to please abide by the law and look after their animals for their own sake, but also the safety of others,’ added Alderman Smith.</p><p>The Animal Control Unit has also received a number of complaints about unregistered kennels and other animals for which permits are required. The Unit is working closely with the Cape of Good Hope SPCA to address the illegal sale of puppies at intersections.The City urges the public not to buy dogs in this manner and to report such incidents to the Public Emergency Communication Centre by calling <a>021 480 7700</a> from a cellphone or <a>107</a> from a landline.    <br></p> <span> <p> <strong>End </strong></p>​​</span>2017-02-16T22:00:00ZGP0|#1d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70;L0|#01d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70|City news;GTSet|#62efe227-07aa-45e7-944c-ceebacca891dGP0|#c2b0c302-8c06-4b9c-b2e4-5b72c1331b3f;L0|#0c2b0c302-8c06-4b9c-b2e4-5b72c1331b3f|animal control unit;GTSet|#2e3de6c1-9951-4747-8f53-470629a399bb;GP0|#1cb86dd3-b43c-4384-919d-154c186936b4;L0|#01cb86dd3-b43c-4384-919d-154c186936b4|SPCA;GP0|#b44a75bf-2361-4634-9994-ced103b62819;L0|#0b44a75bf-2361-4634-9994-ced103b62819|Cape of Goodhope SPCA1

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