Ajman residents fear packs of stray dogs

Many residents of Al Mowaihat say they are fearful of the dogs and complain that their bark at night and early in the morning is a nuisance.
A lone stray dog forages for food around the Ajman neighbourhood of Al Mowaihat. Jeffrey E Biteng / The National
A lone stray dog forages for food around the Ajman neighbourhood of Al Mowaihat. Jeffrey E Biteng / The National

AJMAN // Residents of an Ajman neighbourhood say they live in fear of growing packs of dogs roaming through their streets.

Many residents of Al Mowaihat say they carry protection against the dogs, especially at night or early morning.

“I always take a long stick with me when I go for fajr prayer because at that time there are no people, the streets are dark and I am afraid that a dog might attack and bite me,” said Tawfeq Al Kaddah, 65.

Mohammed Haroon, a Pakistani businessman, said he no longer walked to prayers.

“When I go for prayer they come behind me and start barking, but most of the time I now go by car,” said Mr Haroon, 30.

“They are wild and come together. I throw stones at them because I do not know if they will bite us.”

Mr Haroon said he knew of six homeless dogs that roamed the area in a pack.

Lebanese teacher Mariam Ibrahim, 52, who has lived in the area for nine months, said she had seen up to five dogs around her villa.

“I told my daughter to keep throwing anything from the window at them until I go and close the main gate,” Ms Ibrahim said. “After two hours, I was in my room and went to open the window and saw a big dog sitting beside my car in the yard.

“We did not know what to do. We wanted to call police to help us, but fortunately our neighbour arrived and we asked him to open the gate and then the dog ran away.”

She said she now kept her main gate closed.

Other residents said barking at night and early in the morning was a nuisance.

“I moved here two months ago and since then I’ve heard their barking every night. It is so annoying,” said Syrian businessman Abdullah Al Kaddah, 26.

“They also pass in front of the house, so I wish they could find a solution for that.”

Tania Barley, an administration manager at the Ras Al Khaimah Animal Welfare Centre, said stray dogs went to ­residential areas to find food. They had often been abandoned by their owners and bred with other strays, which worsened the problem.

“Residents can either contact an animal rescue organisation or municipality and they can deal with the problem,” Ms Barley said.

“In Ajman, as far as I know, there is no centre but residents can contact the ones in Umm Al Quwain.

“Residents and the municipality need to ensure there are no rubbish bins outside.

“There’s not much that can be done about dogs barking other than to rescue and rehome the dogs.

“But these dogs are not dangerous, especially for people, because they are quite afraid of people and in most cases they try to run away.”

roueiti@thenational.ae

Published: June 26, 2016 04:00 AM

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