What to do if you are bitten by a dog

What to do if you are bitten by a dog

Most South Africans do not know what they can and cannot do if they were bitten by a dog that has escaped its yard.

The Daily News recently learned about a young boy who was attacked and bitten by three dogs in New Germany.

The owner of the dogs only responded by showing the boy’s mother the inoculation certificates to show that the dogs were up to date with their vaccinations.

Londiwe Mkhondwane, National Council of SPCAs Society Liaison Unit Assistant Manager, said the mandate of the SPCA is to prevent cruelty to animals, however, the local municipality in each town is responsible for complaints regarding stray animals (which are on the street causing a nuisance or attacking people).

“The SPCA is mandated to act in terms of welfare concerns related to the Animals Protection Act no 71 of 1962 which protects animals against cruelty; the SPCA has no jurisdiction in terms of the Municipal by-laws,” said Mkhondwane.

She said animal related complaints are dealt with by the local by-laws should be directed to the local municipality or metro police.

“We recommend that the complaint is in writing so that there is record of the complaint. We also suggest that neighbours are also requested to complain so that it is not just one complaint, as this will result in a quicker response from the relevant authorities,” she said.

She said some examples are stray dogs, aggressive dogs, dogs chasing vehicles or people, dogs being a nuisance, barking excessively, ripping open rubbish bags and defecating in public places.

“If a dog were to attack a person, a case can be opened at the local police station by the victim in terms of the Animal Matters Amendment Act No 42 of 1993 in order to claim medical costs and damages, and to request the Magistrate to issue an order regarding the dog in question. If an animal was attacked by the stray dog, then the owner can lay a charge of damage to property at the local police station in terms of the Criminals Procedure Act No 51 of 1977 and could request that veterinary costs, damages could be paid, as well as requesting that a decision is made by the court regarding the dog,” she said.