The Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) has said dog attacks have become a “serious matter”, with some owners of killer dogs having been charged with culpable homicide.
Police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi told The Sunday Mail that some residents are now breeding dangerous dogs, and in some cases, the pets are left unattended. He said:
Some of the dog owners have been charged with culpable homicide.
This has become a serious matter. People are breeding dangerous dogs and instead of exercising maximum caution, they actually leave these dogs unattended, while others do not have the security needed for one to have dogs on their premises.
It is now common for households to own breeds such as the pitbull, boerboel, doberman, bullmastiff, rottweiler and German shepherd.
A community in Southview Park, Harare, is now living in fear of vicious dogs belonging to a family that recently moved into the neighbourhood.
One of the residents claimed they now spend most of the day in their houses for fear of the dogs. Said the resident:
They (the new family) have two big dogs and several puppies, which are making them even more aggressive. The dogs have attacked us on several occasions.
Talking to the owners is not helping, as they have only encouraged us to befriend the dogs to avoid being attacked.
We now spend most of the day in the house, while getting home late at night is now risky.
There is a real possibility of being mauled to death.
Dr. Regis Murwira, a general practitioner, said that there has been an increase in the number of patients being treated for dog bites. He said:
In the past, we would attend to an average of two or three cases per month, but in the last half of 2022, cases spiked to at least seven.
To attend to dog attack cases, the patient should have a police report. We administer rabies injections before attending to the wounds.
For a rabies jab, one should part with at least US$25, excluding the consultation fee.
In 2022, a six-year-old girl was killed by two vicious boerboel dogs while playing in Goromonzi.
Before that, a 70-year-old man died after being severely attacked by stray dogs in Ardbennie, Harare, on his way home.
In 2021, a Grade Five learner died in Chegutu after she was mauled by three dogs on her way to school.