Police in Kamonyi District has warned dog owners to take care of their stray dogs before they harm the community.
The call follows several complaints lodged to Police by residents, where in some cases the roaming dogs attacked people and livestock.
Last week, dogs attacked four goats belonging to a resident of Buramba Cell in Kabacuzi Sector, which prompted an operation to either kill or seize stray dogs including those identified to have killed the goats.
The Police spokesperson for the Southern region, Inspector of Police (IP) Emmanuel Kayigi, said that “no dog should roam freely in the community without a leash and held by a responsible person.”
The Rwanda Agricultural Board (RAB) report indicates that at least 669 people were attacked and bitten by stray dogs last year, up from 383 recorded in 2015.
As of last year, there were 18,117 dogs in the country.
“Roaming dogs can chase, frighten and bite people as we have witnessed, and owners will be prosecuted because when you decide to own a dog, you have also decided to follow legal standards and to face justice when you act contrary,” IP Kayigi said.
Aside from the legal aspect, allowing a dog to stray can also put the animal itself in danger by allowing it to be exposed to parasites, disease and poison, he said.
In addition, the spokesperson said, they are more likely to be hit by vehicles and cause road accidents or be killed by strangers.