Dog lovers in central Iran are in an uproar after authorities began confiscating their pet dogs in an apparent crackdown on the “vulgar Western culture” of canine ownership, Iranian media reported. Iran’s government considers keeping pet dogs un-Islamic, because per the prophet Muhammad’s orders, most dogs were to be killed and all dogs of a specific color (black) had to be killed.
BehindtheNews One unnamed dog owner in Shahin Shahr in Isfahan province told Iran’s Shahrvand newspaper that officials had shown up suddenly at his house last week. “We were shown a piece of paper indicating they were from the municipal veterinary office. They came in and took away our dogs under the pretext of vaccination,” he said.
The owner was told he could recover the dog after its vaccination, but when he went to the vet’s office they had no record of his case.
Instead, the newspaper said the confiscations were the result of a crackdown launched by local prosecutor Mohsen Boosaidi.
“Keeping and caring for dogs is haram (forbidden) according to religious leaders,” Boosaidi told the Fars news agency on June 19. “If we find out that anyone is keeping and caring for dogs and so is promoting vulgar Western culture, we will deal with them firmly.”
Dog confiscations in the town began three days later, Shahrvand reported. It did not give precise numbers, but said a number of families had lost their pets. “Ever since our dog was taken away, you only hear the sound of crying and sobbing in our house,” the Shahin Shahr owner said.
Stray dogs are shot to death in residential streets by city workers, while others are buried alive after being thrown into deeply dug grave-pits. Then government worker randomly shoots at helpless dogs, which leave many injured. Howling and whimpering the dogs are buried alive.
Dog owners used to be able to keep their pets safe by regularly paying fines but Tehran police announced police would capture every dog they encountered and kill. The official reason given is said to be religious: Iran’s Islamic law forbids the possession of dogs, considered to be “impure” animals.
At Shahr Rey, a suburb of Tehran, 70-year-old man was caught walking his pet dog on the street and he was arrested, sentenced to four months in jail and given 30 lashes. An Islamic judge charged the man for “disturbing the public order”.
David Al-e Davood, the head of Iran’s Society For Protection of Animals, said such confiscations were illegal and that the prosecutor was “absolutely wrong” about the Islamic attitude to dogs. “Keeping dogs has not been regarded as haram in any religious book. Associating keeping dogs with Western culture is distorting the history of Islamic and Iranian civilization,” he said.
Pet dogs being walked on leashes are being ripped from their owners and placed in compounds, the equivalent of dog-jail, where owners are unable to pay and reclaim their dog. The Iranian Society for Prevention of Cruelty Against Animals report that about 20 dogs in Pardisan Park in Tehran were arrested as their owners walked them.
Dogs are considered najes (unclean) in Islam and police often stop and fine dog walkers. However, Iran’s authorities have stated that dogs with a clear role — such as guarding property or guiding the blind — are permitted.
In a wry letter to the prosecutor published on his organization’s website, Al-e Davood said confiscating people’s pets was a strange priority for the authorities.
“We are very happy that all the problems of the country have been resolved and that the presence of a few guard dogs in people’s homes is the last remaining problem for the people of Shahin Shahr, which you have set out to resolve,” he wrote.
In many instances, Iranian officials inject acid into stray dogs causing a slow, agonizing death. The dogs and puppies scream in excruciating pain as their internal organs and tissues are chemically burned with the acid.
In the following video, instead of using a lethal but humane method, Iranian officials choose the least expensive poison – an acid that will corrode the animals’ guts while the dog is still alive, causing him to shriek in agony, such is the horrendous pain he experiences. It takes him several minutes to die.