Stray dog bites Howick woman after fruitless calls to municipality

2019-07-25 15:48
Howick residents are up in arms after a woman was bitten by a dog, allegedly one of these at left, in Ridge Road on Wednesday morning. Residents said they tried calling the municipality but could not get through.

Howick residents are up in arms after a woman was bitten by a dog, allegedly one of these at left, in Ridge Road on Wednesday morning. Residents said they tried calling the municipality but could not get through. (facebook)

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Howick locals have voiced their outrage at the uMngeni Municipality after a local woman was bitten by a wandering dog on Wednesday morning.

This follows the closure of uMngeni SPCA’s small animal pound because of a year-long payment impasse with the municipality.

The SPCA closed the doors to the pound and suspended some services, including removing stray dogs that wander into properties on Monday, leaving the municipality with the responsibility of picking up wandering and dead animals.

Howick residents took to their local Facebook page, Howick Buzz SA to post pictures of the dogs, warning people that they were aggressive and had been wandering around Ridge Road since 8.30 am on Wednesday.

Facebook user Lesley Gaylen Robinson said she had tried calling their offices on Wednesday afternoon but “true to form, no reply. It just rings.”

She said she did eventually get through to the municipality later on, but the people who deal with the issue were not in their offices.

Another woman, Janet Sneyd, said she called the SPCA out of desperation as the municipality were not answering any calls. Another Howick resident, Jody Kendall, said she had also tried to call the municipality but could not get through so she called the SPCA instead. The SPCA’s Dudu Abraham said she called the municipality following Kendall’s call but only received an SMS saying she would be contacted soon, but she never was.

The woman who was bitten, Adri Cross, said she had been traumatised by the whole event and had “cried her head off” when she reached the doctor’s rooms following the attack.

Cross said she was walking along Ridge Road at around 10.30 am when she came across two dogs strolling down the street. She said the “big fat ugly black dog” came towards her and bit her on her arm. “I was trying to look for a rock or a stick to try and get it away from me but every time I tried to bend down, the dog would just bite me. After the third bite I turned away from the dog and he just left me alone and walked away.”

She said she walked that route every morning and this was the first time she had experienced aggressive, wandering dogs. Cross said she had found the owner, an elderly woman who had forgotten to close her gates. “She was very apologetic and kind and has said she would pay for medical bills.”

Cross has had to have rabies injections as well as antibiotics and a tetanus shot. “The doctor is worried about one of the bites, he says it looks a little infected.”

Kendall said the municipality needed to fix things with the SPCA to ensure stray and vicious animals are attended too. “I am so worried a dog is going to attack a school child who is walking home. Something must be done.”

uMngeni Municipality said they were in discussions about the issue and would comment on Thursday.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  umngeni spca
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