Dog Rabies confirmed on the Cape Peninsula

NEW YORK, USA - October 17, 2016. Well-trained dogs Obeying their Trainer that Requested not to Move, in the Middle of Greenwich Park in New York City.


A case of rabies has been confirmed in a pet dog residing in the Capri area of the Southern Peninsula in Cape Town. The dog exhibited symptoms such as fever and increased aggression. Both the infected dog and a younger dog from the same household, which was injured, were humanely euthanized.

The source of the infection is currently unclear, none of the dogs in the household had a recent travel history outside the province. Rabies is not endemic in wild animals in the City of Cape Town, with the closest wildlife cases in the past reported in the Paarl area. Recent investigations into reports of seals exhibiting aggressive behavior in the City found no evidence of rabies infection in seals.

The primary risk of rabies introduction comes from the movement of infected dogs, which can then spread the virus through contact with other dogs in public spaces or through fences. Rabies is transmitted through direct contact between dogs, including licking, scratching, nipping, and biting.

Rabies can be transmitted to people through the lick, scratch, or bite of a rabid animal.

If bitten by an animal suspected of having rabies, your first step is to clean the wound with soap and water for 15 minutes. This is a critical step and one that you can take immediately. Thereafter, go to the hospital/emergency room/clinic to seek further medical attention. Here, you will be assessed and arrangements made for you to receive post exposure prophylaxis, which usually includes a series of rabies vaccinations as well as RIG (rabies immunoglobulins), depending on the nature of the bite. RIG are not available everywhere – the doctor will guide you as to your next step. The doctor can call the nearest public sector hospital to determine where vaccine and RIG stocks are available.

Note the animal’s location since it may need to be captured and monitored for any signs of rabies.

If you know the owner of the animal that bit you, get all the information you can, including its vaccination status and the owner’s name and address.

Notify your local health department and state vet, especially if the animal wasn’t vaccinated.

Rabies outbreaks can be entirely prevented by vaccinating dogs and cats. By law, all dogs and cats in South Africa must be vaccinated against rabies by their owners. Failure to vaccinate pets can result in the animals being euthanized if they come into contact with a rabid animal, and owners may be held liable for any damage caused if their animal becomes rabid.

Rabies vaccinations for animals are available throughout the province at private veterinary clinics, animal welfare organisations, and during pre-arranged vaccination campaigns by Western Cape Veterinary Services. In the Capri area, the following vaccination campaigns will offer free vaccinations for dogs and cats:

  • Saturday, 1 June 2024, 11:00-14:00 at TEARS (The Emma Animal Rescue Society), 4 Lekkerwater Road, Sunnydale. Appointments for Saturday vaccination must be made ahead of    time by calling 021 785 4482.
  • Tuesday, 4 June 2024, 10:30-14:30 at the open field on the corner of Tahiti Way and Capri Drive (GPS: -34.135066, 18.386987).
  • Wednesday, 5 June 2024, 10:30-14:30 at the open field on the corner of Wesley Road and Jefferson Road, Sunny Dale (GPS: -34.126957, 18.385309).
  • Thursday, 6 June 2024, 10:30-14:30 next to Nomzamo Site 5 Masiphumelele Clinic (GPS: -34.128619, 18.378988).

The SPCA is also advertising free vaccinations around the Metro, next week.

For more information about rabies and the contact details of your local Western Cape State Veterinarian, please visit

Media Enquiries

Mary James
Head of Communication
Cell: 084 817 2376

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