After calling on the mayor of Engomi to deal with a pack of stray dogs recently roaming the area, animal rights organisation PAWS said he has responded positively and moves are now being made to control them.
In a letter Rafaella Kyriakou referred to an incident that occurred on May 24 where members of the volunteer organisation spotted a group of stray dogs near Kolokassides roundabout in Engomi, but no competent authority could help them.
“We finally managed to get two of them. We had to call the police because the Engomi municipality doesn’t have a number for stray dogs as all municipalities do. Police tried to contact the municipality from 5pm to 9.30 pm but no one answered,” she asserted.
She asked mayor Zacharias Kyriakou if there is anyone responsible for emergencies regarding stray dogs, and what is the contact number that the public can use.
Stray dogs may become dangerous for the public as well as other animals when they become a pack, as they might express aggressive behaviour, she claimed.
A question which arises as what will happen if, for instance, a group of stray dogs enter a road and cause a serious accident, who will it be to blame in such a case, PAWS asked.
According to the law, responsibility for stray dogs lies with the competent municipality.
Kyriakou told the Cyprus Mail a meeting was held with the mayor where ideas were discussed as to how municipalities can work together to tackle problems caused by stray dogs as well as the prospect of training municipal officials.
“The mayor seems to be quite willing to cooperate in taking action and, in the next few days, a letter will be sent to the Provincial Animal Welfare Board to receive guidance and suggestions for possible solutions,” she said.
She added that the municipality should have people who are trained to handle such cases, as the police can do nothing due to the fact that the matter is not under its responsibility.
“Based on the existing legislation, police can only intervene if a dog is judged as infected or dangerous for the public and has to be put to sleep – this is not what we want for stray dogs,” she noted.