Men in Qatar armed with rifles have callously shot and killed 29 dogs, including puppies. This as the country prepares to host the World Cup later this year, reports The Guardian. The men also injured several other dogs, including two females in their late stages of pregnancy.
The attack is the latest and worst in a spate of cruelty acts perpetrated against animals in the Gulf state. Police say they are investigating, but furious animal welfare advocates are up in arms; they say there is a total lack of enforcement when it comes to the laws protecting domestic animals, including dogs.
The brutal slaughter took place earlier this month but was only reported days later. Four men armed with hunting rifles entered an industrial compound near Doha and, after threatening security guards, killed the dogs and puppies. At least three more dogs were injured.
Most tragic of all, reports say the dogs ran up to the men when they first arrived, thinking they were going to be fed. Instead, they were shot in cold blood.
The motive for the killings remains unclear, but dogs are often a target of human brutality in Qatar and other Muslim states, in which many believe that dogs are 'unclean', according to some interpretations of Islamic law. Authorities say the suspects have been identified, but no further information has been given.
Reports from the ground are that dogs and birds like flamingoes have been used for target practice in recent years, as those perpetrating these abuses act with complete disregard for laws they know will not be enforced.
On Instagram, Paws Rescue Qatar said, “There seems to be no law enforced, that means these monsters will be never brought to justice.”
Another animal welfare supporter added, “The issue here is why people are allowed to use hunting rifles and guns against animals. As far as we are aware no case has ever led to a successful prosecution.”
Qatari authorities have not publicly commented on the case, but on social media, Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad Al Thani, sister of the Qatari ruler, condemned the attack as “unacceptable”.
Reports further say that since the attack, the surviving dogs at the compound have been rounded up by authorities and taken to a government-run shelter where it is believed that around 3,000 street dogs are held. Activists say they have never been given access to this shelter and fear for the well-being of the animals there. They add that authorities have failed to respond to their pleas to arrange training and management of government shelters.
Image credits: Banner & image 1: Paws Rescue Qatar