Monday, April 11, 2016


Veterinarians for Animal Welfare Zimbabwe

18 Borrowdale Road, Harare

Email: Cell No. 0778431528


In a recent incident, a man was alleged to have been bitten by a dog whilst visiting a property in Harare. Several days later, he was admitted to hospital (he had not been well for some time), where he passed away. The medical staff could not rule out Rabies as a possible cause of death and when further investigated, it was found that the Rabies Certificate for the dog had expired. In cases like this, the Veterinary Department is tasked with ensuring that the dog is quarantined and monitored for a stipulated period of time, or, if the dog is a stray, unmanageable or vicious, they have the legal right to destroy the animal there and then (usually by shooting) and send the animal for testing.

The report made to the Veterinary Department indicated that the dog was vicious, and, acting on this information, they arrived at the property with a weapon. Fortunately VAWZ Inspectors were on the scene and were able to calm the situation and uplift the dog for quarantine (it has since been re-vaccinated and returned to the owner). Contrary to  rumours circulating, VAWZ does not carry a weapon, and certainly would not dream of shooting anyone’s pet. Discussions have since taken place with the Vet Department on how to approach these situations with the emphasis being on humane destruction of the animal if so required.

In this case, the owner of the dog is guilty of contravening The Animal Health Act and is liable to a fine as well as ensuring that the dog is vaccinated before release from quarantine. Rabies is 100% fatal for both man and animals and it is irresponsible to allow your dogs’ vaccinations to lapse. It doesn’t matter if the dog is well known or by whom – if your certificate has expired, you’re in trouble.

Vaccination Information:

Dogs:  6 weeks                               1st Parvo

            9 weeks                               2nd Parvo

            12 weeks                             5 in 1 and Rabies

            1 year old                            Booster 5 in 1 and Rabies

            Thereafter, 5 in 1 and Rabies annually.  If the Rabies vaccination has lapsed, a booster will be necessary 6 months after re-vaccination date.

Cats:    9 weeks                               First IFE / IFR (Cat Flu and Snuffles)

             12 weeks                             Booster IFE / IFR and Rabies

             Thereafter, IFE / IFR and Rabies annually


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