A rule that dogs must be registered in the Western Cape’s Overstrand Municipality has some pet owners up in arms.
“Your lovable canine needs to be licenced,” stated a municipal notice, which has created much debate among those who have pets or who pet-sit for holidaymakers in towns like Hermanus which fall under the municipality.
The by-laws state a dog (or dogs) must be registered and an annual tax of R86 is payable per dog.
This provision does not apply to cats.
Prior consent of the municipality to keep pets is not required, but dogs must be registered, and their licences paid up.
There is also a limit to the number of animals that can be kept.
“Unless dog and cat owners apply for a special permit, they will not be allowed to keep more than two dogs or more than three cats on any erf or premises.
“The failure to be in possession of such a permit constitutes a violation of the by-law. The special permit may not replace any dog that dies or is lost or disposed of,” said the municipal notice.
Veterinary clinics, veterinary hospitals, and places for training guide dogs for the blind or dog breeders must get the written consent of the council to keep more than two dogs on any erf.
Pensioners and poor people may be excluded upon application to the municipality.
Application forms can be obtained from the offices of the area managers in the Kleinmond, Hermanus, Stanford and Gansbaai administrations.
Many people were not pleased.
“Next thing will probably be annual tax and registration of every tree/or plant in your yard,” said one person on Facebook.
Another commented: “You guys know how to squeeze the last drop of money out of a person. Many people are even struggling just to feed their animals.”
Another person wrote: “My friend’s dogs are staying with me for two months. I want to know from the [Overstrand Municipality] how must we handle this very important dogs’ holiday with all the legalities in place. Must the dogs have police clearance, passports, visas, etc. [sic].”