November 25, 2016 By Emmanuel Okyne (Intern)
Residents of Freetown have expressed grave concern over increase in the number of stray dogs in the municipality.
According to Peter Cole, who resides at Brookfields, the increase in the number of stray dogs has become a social menace in the capital.
He told Concord Times that years back, the Freetown City Council (FCC) used to chase stray dogs that roamed the municipality aimlessly, adding with a hint of regret that the practice was no longer being applied.
“On a daily basis, I have to hire the service of cleaners to clean up the frontage of my premises,” he said and recalled five years ago when a stray dog bit a six-year-old boy who subsequently lost his life due to the non–availability of rabies injection.
He appealed to FCC authorities to ensure that they get rid of stray dogs in the municipality.
Sento Conteh, who resides in the Kroobay, said dogs and human beings co-exist in the slum community, adding that most often than not stray dogs cart away their food items or put their mouth in cooked food left open.
According to her, because the community is not fenced, it is very difficult to prevent stray dogs roaming about, many of whom look sickly as their owners do not take them for regular check-up to veterinarians.
Abie Kamara, a fishmonger at Krootown Road Market, complained of stray dogs coming from the Kroobay community to steal their fish.
“We are afraid sometimes to scare these stray dogs away because they can be aggressive. Some of them do sneak into the market warehouse to take away any food to eat,” she said.
When contacted, Public Relations Officer at the FCC, Cyril Mitta said council was putting plans in place to wage a war on dog owners.
He said stray dogs have made some streets within the municipality untidy, adding that some dog owners do not have proper protection to secure their pets from going to the streets.
He appealed to members of the municipality to report owners of stray dogs to council officers.
“Most side works in the municipality are occupied with stray dogs. The trend of dog population is not good for the citizens and visitors coming to the country for the first time,” he said.
Meanwhile, Dr. Abdul Gudush from the Ministry of Agriculture confirmed that rabies was endemic in the country, adding that the situation has been made worse by the fact that the country has one of the highest density of stray dogs in the world.
The Ministry of Agriculture, which deals with animal health, had disclosed that some 500 people die of rabies in the country every year.