Pets or pests

2010-06-21 00:00

IT is unfortunate that I have developed a strong hatred for animals, especially cats and dogs. Some of our African households have adopted the Western tradition of keeping pets, yet they fail to adopt the responsibility that comes with such a task.

I know a lot of white families who own dogs. They take walks with them, the dogs are trained to listen and they hardly ever roam around the streets unsupervised. This not only shows that their pets’ safety is important to them but that they know how to handle them. Our black households, however, do the opposite. Their dogs are forever roaming around the streets, barking at people and chasing cars. This is unaccep­table.

I remember when I was still at school and getting to the bus stop was such a mission. There was a house with about five dogs which would attack us every morning. We wrote letters to the owners asking them to chain their dogs up but our pleas went unnoticed. The neighbourhood became a very unpleasant place because of these vicious dogs, so we eventually cooked up a plan to poison them. Luckily for them, my family moved shortly before we could execute our plan.

My cousin lives in Fairmeade and many times she has had to use alternative routes to get to the bus stop or home, which is very time-consuming and unnecessary. Why can’t black people learn to control their pets? And if they can’t then perhaps it would be wiser not to keep pets in the first place.

Domestic pets aren’t the only problem though, it gets worse. There are pigs who hang around our neighbourhood and they trash our garbage all the time. You find people’s rubbish all over the roads every Monday, which is anything from dirty disposable nappies and rotten food to cans and pieces of broken glass. They trample over plants and gardens, and mess all over the place. Some have suggested shooting the pigs and sharing the meat among the households. If I owned a firearm I would have done that already.

Then there’s a man who herds cows every so often. Back in the olden days, cows were taken out of a kraal, away from the houses and left on a desolate piece of land to graze. I think there was a point to this. Cows should be grazing as far away from people’s property as possible. I think a cow is one of the most stupid animals around. A cow will walk into the road just when it sees a car approaching and it is never in a hurry to cross. This could be very dangerous as there are many taxis that pass by our street and the inconvenience of cows in the road is preventable. The funny thing is none of the houses in my neighbourhood actually have enough space for that many cows and this proves that they are not from around our area. Then why on Earth do they have to come all the way to graze here?

I am just a concerned citizen, one of very many, and as much as we would like to allow people the freedom to keep pets, we refuse to do so if their pets disturb our peace.

Animal lovers may argue that dogs don’t do anything to you if you don’t show them you’re scared but I don’t buy that, it’s too much of a risk. Animals are animals at the end of the day, no matter how tame they are. They have animal instincts which surface from time to time. I have seen cats eat their own kittens and ever since then, I can never trust an animal not to chew me up just for the fun of it.

In fact, if your animal strays onto my property I will do anything necessary to keep it from des­troying anything or hurting anyone.

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