Man’s best friend can be worst enemy

Lei2Leisure Reporter
Unlike other countries, Zimbabwe does not have a Dangerous Dogs Act, and as such, there are no breeds that are illegal to keep.
In the United Kingdom, for instance, owners of killer dogs face up to 14 years in jail if their dog attacks someone, even if that attack happens in the dog owner’s yard.

And after the recent legislative changes that ended decades of lax rules, it is now possible to prosecute if a dog attacks someone in the owner’s home, closing a much-criticised loophole. Since 2005, 20 people in the United Kingdowm were mauled to death by dogs but the owners only faced up to two years’ imprisonment.

But after the changes to the Dangerous Dogs Act, the sentence for a dog attack that leads to an injury has been increased from two to five years.

According to dangerousdogs.net, the five most dangerous dogs, in order of viciousness, are the Pitbull, Rottweiler, German Shepherd, Huskies and Alaskan Malamutes.

In September last year, an 8-year-old child was mauled to death by two boerbull dogs in Bulawayo’s Cowdray Park suburb after the pets escaped from the premises they were locked in. They escaped through an open gate while the owner of the house was parking his car.

Owner Bruce Dhliwayo was reported as having acknowledged that his dogs escaped through the gate without him noticing them and attacked two of his neighbour’s children who were playing outside their home.

In April, police in Honde Valley area investigated the mysterious death of a 60-year-old man whose headless body was found lying some metres from his head, parts of whose flesh had been bitten off by dogs.

Across the country’s borders, police investigations in Namibia revealed that Tendai Chiweshe — son to Judge President George Chiweshe — fell off a perimeter wall trespassing into private premises housing a tuck-shop from where he intended to purchase some petty groceries and was mauled to death by vicious dogs.

According to Namibian Chief of Police, Inspector General Sebastian Ndeitunga, in his desperate moment of trying to flee the charging dogs, he fell and was mauled by the vicious pets.

He was taken to Windhoek Central Hospital where he later succumbed to the injuries.

Inspector Phillip Munyaradzi, the officer-in-charge of the Zimbabwe Republic Police Canine Section, commonly referred to as “the dog section”, said that all dogs can be controlled, as long as the owners of the dogs understand their behavioural traits.

“But we become worried,” he said, “when members of society keep rare breeds which they have little knowledge of their history or how they should be kept, these are the dogs that become a danger to society.”

He also encouraged dog owners, especially those who will not be in the know of how to train, handle and feed their dogs, to get in touch with the canine unit, which will gladly help them.

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  • VIGLANTE

    if you go to piece of local legislation, Criminal law (Codification and Reform) Act Chapter 9.23, visit section 46, known as Criminal nuisance, the dog which attacks another person, the owner is charged with, letting ferocious dogs at large. the victim is issued with Request for medical report by the police and referred to hospital. the doctor will treat and issue the victim with a medical report which will be used in court to prosecute the owner of the animal. it’s only a matter that local resort to out of court settlement or view dog bites as a trivial matter, it is a serious offence. if a dog bites someone to death the owner face murder or culpable homicide depending on the circumstance. if it is an assault through an animal, usually well known as Kusakidzira ibwa, it amounts to murder I the victim dies. however when the dog was left roaming around unattended,not tied or restricted to a shelter and bites a person to death, the owner faces culpable homicide which s s good as murder the difference being term CULPA which means gross negligence, and homicide means murder. it means that it is murder due to gross negligence on the part of the owner and is put under Subject test to heck if the owner had foresight tat his or her dog which was not immunised, restricted to a shelter or unattended caused death to the owner. it is wise that as Zimbabweans must know their laws because at the end of the day ignorance of law is not a defence, or unnecessarily blame the police, or judiciary if laws are being enforced and administered respectively.

  • dickens

    Leisure Reporter… last week a harare gardener was savagely mauled to death in Greendale by pit bull terriers. case was mis-handled by rhodesville police. please follow up and investigate as thhe story strangely never made the news!