Residents in fear as stray dogs invade Lugazi Town

Saturday May 08 2021

Stray dogs loiter within the vicinity of Lugazi Central Market on May 5,2021. PHOTO/DERRICK KISSA

By Derick Kissa

Residents in Lugazi Municipality, Buikwe District, are living in fear following the increasing number of stray dogs in the area.
Locals say the dogs move in a pack of 5-10 and they have asked leaders to intervene.

Mr Herman Mukasa, a boda -boda rider in Lugazi Municipality said ‘‘stray dogs have become a menace to the public because they keep loitering around the town.’’

”The dogs are not vaccinated and when they bite a person, he or she will [probably] catch rabies, which can be life threatening. We call upon the authorities to either kill them or vaccinate them so that we are on the safe side,” Mr Mukisa said . 

Dr James Kabanda, the Lugazi Municipality production officer, said they have, for a long time warned dog owners against letting them off leash but they are adamant.

He said they have already received reports that the roaming dogs are killing domestic animals and scaring away school going children.

“We are in the process of acquiring the dog poison to kill all these stray canines. But before we do that , we shall make announcements  on local radio stations asking dog owners to chain them so that  no one comes out to complain when stray dogs  are killed,” he cautioned. 


Stray dogs loiter outside the newly commissioned Lugazi Central Market on May 5,2021. PHOTO/ DERRICK KISSA

At the height of increased dog bites in 2017, police in Masaka District resorted to a shoot-to-kill approach to save residents.

By the time police intervened, the affected residents had killed at least eight stray dogs using spears and machetes. 
At least 40 stray dogs were killed during that year.

Over the years, the World Animal Protection, an international nongovernmental organisation that looks at the welfare of animals, has been calling  upon local urban authorities to stop the habit of poisoning dogs as a way of exterminating them, arguing that it is an inhuman act and not acceptable internationally.

Past attacks
In October 2016, stray dogs invaded six villages in Bukomansimbi District. 
In 2015, eight people were hospitalised after sustaining severe injuries in separate dog attacks in Sembabule District.

In 2010, dogs mauled to death a 72-year-old man in Butenga Sub-county, Bukomansimbi District.

In September 2009, more than 20 people in Masaka District sustained wounds after they were bitten by stray dogs. In the same year, stray dogs also killed 35 domestic animals in Ndagwe Sub-County, Lwengo District.