While most families in Botswana own dogs for companionship or even protection, many dogs in Gaborone and elsewhere have been going astray.
The problem with these dogs is that they don’t get attention. They say a dog that barks all the time gets little attention.
Owing to lack of tender loving care, unattended dogs end up roaming the streets, knocking down dustbins, biting people and spreading rabies-like infections.
The fundamental reason for rearing dogs is to take care of them. But then again, mongrels, a common Tswana breed, don not get satisfied, no matter how much you feed them.
So they will still go ahead and forage, their snotty noses toppling dust bins if they are the chance to go astray.
One good fact about mongrels though, is that they do not have as many genetic health problems as pure breeds. So this reduces the costs of neutering, micro chipping, vaccinations and anti parasitic medications.
A handful of hounds found at the Botswana Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (BSPCA) shelters obviously come from troubled homes. This is why they can sometimes become difficult.
Remember the adage that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? This is very true because older dogs are settled within their behaviours. If you adopt an adult dog, you can count on at least ten years of companionship. In simple terms, you’ll have fewer years with your side kick.
Last year, Naledi Tshite, a dog lover, adopted a mongrel from the BSPCA. She named him Mackenzie.
She says one evening she and her sister were having dinner outside her yard in Extension 14 when they suddenly heard the disturbing screech of a car braking, coming from a busy road right outside her house. They rushed outside to see what was going on.
“After a few minutes, we then returned to our dinner, only to be overwhelmed with surprise to see Mackenzie standing on one of the chairs with both his front paws gently placed firmly on the table as he happily gobbled up our pap and meat!”
Many dogs are taken in by the BSPCA shelter each year to find new homes. If they don not eventually find new homes, stray and surrendered dogs unfortunately end up being euthanized.
You could save the life of one of those dogs. Many dogs found at the BSPCA are mixed breeds or mongrels.
Neo Monggae a volunteer at the BSPCA says it only costs P600 for a big dog, whilst it costs P500 for a small hound.