THE rate at which people are being mauled to death by vicious dogs or unsecured dangerous pets is alarming and demands urgent and serious action by the local authority and others responsible to control the situation.

People need to be sensitised that, in as much as they wish to promote the security of their family and their property by keeping dogs, there are laws that regulate the keeping of dogs and other pets that they need to abide by.

People need to keep in mind that in as much as they care about their security, they need to care about the safety of other people from their pets, particularly the vicious ones.

Recently, an eight-year-old boy, identified as Gift Phiri, of Lusaka’s Meanwood area was been bitten to death by three dogs after the dogs walked out of the yard as the owner opened the gate so he could drive-in.

Zambia Police spokesperson Esther Katongo said the incident happened on July 14 at 12:50 hours and that the owner of the dogs, Womba Samakayi, was subsequently arrested by police and charged with criminal negligence.

In another incident in Chongwe District recently, four dogs attached a 47-year-old man as he walked back from work early in the morning, and left him for dead after ripping open his stomach. The matter was reported to the Kenneth Kaunda Airport Police Post but the owner of the dogs reportedly intervened to stop the officials from killing the dangerous dogs.

More incidences exist of vicious dogs attacking and maiming innocent people while the owners simply either somehow find a way out of the situation or simply brush off the incidents like nothing serious happened. Yet someone’s life was threatened or completely altered due to death or permanent injury.

People who keep pets, like dogs, very well know just how vicious their pets are or could be, and therefore need to take every precaution to ensure that  innocent people or passers-by are fully secured from the ravenous animals hence the need to have the dogs always secured during day and only released in an enclosure during the night.

We need to note here that no person has a right to endanger the life or lives of other people by what they do or what they keep. Equally, no one deserves to have their life or lives engendered or threatened by the activities or passions of others. Every person is born free and is entitled to living freely for as long as they remain within the confines of the law.

The State has a prohibition against owning a certain number of dogs or pets in a particular compound or yard, whether licensed or unlicensed.

However, the other requirement is that any person or persons that keep a dog or dogs considered to be vicious, for the purpose of protecting the lives of the other human beings, should always ensure that such pets are always restrained or enclosed. Indication so far is that most local dog and pet keepers fail to do this.

Our appeal to the local authority and the others concerned is to ensure that the law on keeping of pets, particularly dogs, is implemented to the core to ensure that innocent people’s lives are protected from both dangerous animals and animal diseases like rabies.

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