Defiant dog owner insists car is suitable place for pet

Animal welfare groups call for stronger enforcement of revised laws on pet ownership

The owner of a dog kept in a parked car for days in Sharjah insists the animal is being regularly walked. The National
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The owner of a dog kept in a parked car for days has claimed people should mind their own business.

The unidentified man claimed the pet was walked regularly by his children and that he sometimes took it to his office.

Speaking on the phone to The National, he questioned why the dog's welfare had drawn so much concern.

The animal was reported to authorities this week after worried members of the public spotted it alone in a parked car for five days.

“I do not understand why this is a story,” said the man, who said he owned both the car and the dog.

“I know the dog has been left in the car but I take it into the office sometimes. And my kids walk it every afternoon for two or three hours.

“Some people interfere in things that are not their business.”

Police in Sharjah were called to deal with the dog on Monday after concerned neighbours continued to spot it alone in the car.

Although the windows of the black SUV were left partially down, witnesses said the animal appeared to be distressed.

Officers traced the vehicle’s owner and advised him to find an alternative place to keep the pet.

On Tuesday, however, it was unclear whether this advice had been taken as the car had been moved.

Animal welfare volunteers said the incident was the latest example of how UAE authorities were struggling to enforce recently updated pet legislation.

Anyone found guilty of causing harm, suffering or discomfort to an animal can be penalised by up to a year in prison or a Dh200,000 fine.

Pet owners have a responsibility to provide an animal with sufficient food, water and shelter under UAE animal welfare law.

“This is clearly against this federal law and one of the problems we are facing is that no one seems to be implement it correctly,” said Dr Susan Aylott, founder of Animal Welfare Abu Dhabi, a volunteer led group managing pet rescue programmes.

“We need to educate everyone at all the authorities involved, including police, municipalities and ministries.

“These irresponsible pet owners need to be held to account for their actions.

"It should not just be about finding a new home for animals when they are abandoned or mistreated.

“If they do not want the dog, they need to have responsibility for the future of that animal. That is where the authorities need to play their part.”