Investigation launched into 'revenge killing' of dogs in Ras Al Khaimah

The dogs are believed to have been shot or poisoned in response to the attack on a herd of gazelles last week

Stray dogs are thought to have killed 13 gazelles in Ras Al Khaimah last week. The National 
Stray dogs are thought to have killed 13 gazelles in Ras Al Khaimah last week. The National 

Authorities in Ras Al Khaimah are investigating the deaths of two dogs after it was suggested villagers killed them for attacking their gazelles last week.

The Ras Al Khaimah Animal Welfare Centre, a non-profit organisation backed by the emirate's government, said it was not immediately clear how the dogs were killed but that images of the lifeless canines, circulated online, showed blood pouring from the animals’ heads.

“We saw a video that includes a collection of photos on social media showing the dead gazelles and another with dogs who appeared to have been killed either by poison or by gunshots,” said Abdullah Al Bloushi, administrative manager of the centre.

“Such acts are punishable by law and we are currently investigating the incident,” he said.

Last Wednesday, 13 Arabian sand gazelles were found dead — having been mauled by stray dogs — at a farm in Wadi Kub, about 40km south of Ras Al Khaimah city.

The farm owner said the dogs became ravenous, after construction workers stopped feeding them, and attacked his herd.

Mr Al Bloushi said dogs can become dangerous if provoked, stressed or desperate for food.

“There are reasons that make stray dogs become dangerous and attack livestock such as the lack of a suitable environment for them to live in,” he said.

“Kicking the dogs out of their territories and areas they are familiar with can affect their behaviour as well as lack of food and water, or being ill-treatment by individuals — such as throwing rocks at them — can make them become dangerous.”

He said that, despite the attack, people should not fear dogs.

“Dogs are social creatures and they will not pose any danger to humans or livestock if treated well.”

Mr Al Bloushi said a similar incident occurred last year but that the centre was able to catch the dogs and stop them from potentially being harmed.

“In 2018, we received an official complaint from farmers at Al Ghail area and we managed to catch the dogs and send them over to the centre,” he said.

The centre has a trap, neuter, release programme for stray cats and dogs but also keeps some, which they offer up for adoption.

Mr Al Bloushi advised people to report any incidents related to stray animals to the emirate’s public works department and avoid taking matters into their own hands.

“We also advise farmers to always keep an eye on their livestock and avoid leaving them wandering ‎outside the farm without supervision to keep them safe from any harm,” he said.

The UAE Government began cracking down on animal abuse by introducing welfare laws in 2016.

Last year, the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment announced that residents who abandon their pets could suffer legal consequences.

And last month, an early warning system that allows the public to report animal cruelty was also launched by the Ministry.

Updated: August 6, 2019 10:03 AM


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