WHETHER pampered pooches or homeless mutts, the Windhoek City Police want to count them all.
The dog census is part of a survey, the first of its kind, to establish how many dogs and shebeens there are in the capital city.
City Police spokesperson Helena Mootseng said the results of the survey, which started on March 1, would be used for planning purposes.
"Windhoek is divided into 19 zones and the purpose of the audit is to gather valuable information on the total number of shebeens as well as dogs in each zone. The data that will be gathered from the audit will be used for future planning by various stakeholders for intervention programmes customised to the needs of the zones," she said.
Mootseng said information on the number of dogs in each zone, as well as their
general health, could be used by authorities such as the Ministry of Health or the State Veterinary Service when planning intervention campaigns.
The survey is being conducted by the City Police with the assistance of the National Youth Service, and will continue until the end of the month.
With regard to shebeens, Mootseng said: "The City Police require this information in order to customise education campaigns in the 19 zones on responsible shebeen management, done on the premise that many shebeen owners simply need education on how to better manage their shebeens."
Mootseng stressed that this is merely an information-gathering exercise, and said the City Police won't penalise any dog or shebeen owners for any wrongdoing.
"What we want to do is just to get information. If you do not have a dog licence, we are not going to penalise you for not having one. And in turn if you are a shebeen owner, we are not out to penalise you for anything. We just want the information, which will help us to strategically plan for the next five years," she said.
The City Police urge the public, and shebeen owners and their employees in particular, to cooperate with the National Youth Service volunteers doing the survey.
"It should further be noted that the National Youth service volunteers are dressed in uniform and with them they carry an identification card and they will be accompanied by a Windhoek City Police officer per zone while on operation. Members of the general public who have doubt or want clarification on the audit must not hesitate to conduct the Windhoek City Police at 290 3116," she said.