Cape Town impounds close to 2,000 cats, dogs and livestock in nine months

10 June 2023 - 15:05
By Philani Nombembe
The City of Cape Town has seen an increase in the number of dogs, cats and livestock impounded by its animal control unit compared to the last financial year.
Image: NQUBEKO MBHELE The City of Cape Town has seen an increase in the number of dogs, cats and livestock impounded by its animal control unit compared to the last financial year.

The City of Cape Town has recorded a sharp increase in the number of cats, dogs and livestock impounded by its animal control unit compared to the previous financial year. 

During the nine-month period between July 2022 and March 2023, the city’s animal control unit impounded 1,926 animals — including dogs, cats and livestock — compared to 554 during the corresponding period in the previous year. Councillor Mzwakhe Nqavashe, chairperson of the city’s portfolio committee on safety and security, said some of the animals were confiscated for attacking other animals or people, or deemed stray animals and roaming the roadways.

“The statistics are absolutely staggering and place an immense burden on our animal control unit, but also the animal welfare organisations where the animals are taken for safekeeping. If they are not claimed by their owners, or rehomed, euthanasia is the unfortunate last resort. This is not fair to our animal population, who deserve far better from us,” said Nqavashe.

The city’s animal keeping bylaw limits the number of dogs and cats that can be kept in a home depending on the type and size of the property. Nqavashe said the bylaw also requires that pets be registered with the city, as well as mandatory sterilisation by the age of six months, unless an exemption is granted in terms of the bylaw.

“The registration of pets is completely free and can be done via our online portal. By registering your pets, it helps us set a benchmark for Cape Town’s pet population, which in turn helps determine the scale of interventions and budget required for animal matters,” said Nqavashe.

“We are also looking to expand the scope of the registration portal to include sterilisation exemption applications and applications to keep additional animals.”

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