The City of Cape Town is conducting a pet census and owners have until the end of August to register their cats and dogs.
The registration drive will be in line with the animal by-law of 2010, which prescribes the maximum number of animals allowed depending on the size of an owner’s dwelling.
Pet owners who want to keep more animals will have to fill out an additional form to apply for a permit.
JP Smith, the mayoral committee member for safety and security, said this measure was in place to prevent environments that were abusive and unhealthy for animals.
He assured pet owners that requests to keep extra animals would not be unreasonably denied.
“Currently there are no accurate data available on the number of pets that reside in the city,” said Smith.
“Fifty percent of our efforts will go into compiling accurate figures; the other 50 percent will be geared towards relocating animals that are in need.”
Moyo Ndukwana, inspectorate manager of the Cape of Good Hope SPCA, welcomed the news of registration, saying the SPCA’s work would benefit from access to Cape Town’s first pet census.
“Our staff will be working closely with the city to help with promoting the message and informing people on how and where the registration can be done.”
Smith said the city council would conduct a door-to-door registration and communication campaign so that communities with limited access to notices issued by the city would not be left in the dark.
“We have agreed that we can expect a low level of spontaneous compliance, especially in informal settlements where barriers to effective communication exist,” said Smith.
The city was more committed to animal welfare than ever before, he said.
“I am sure that, through an effective awareness campaign, the city would in most cases get the message across and stop short of issuing non-compliance fines,” he said.
Permit applications and registration forms should be either e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or physically handed in at the city law enforcement office.
Forms can be downloaded from the city’s website or obtained from the law enforcement office or a public library.