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Iran: Dogs Arrested (Again)

Categories: Middle East & North Africa, Iran, Environment, Religion

Iranian security forces are back in the streets for a sequel to their infamous action of 2007 [1]: arresting dogs. The last crackdown lasted only a short time, and the dogs were soon released. According to Iranian newspapers, several dogs were recently confiscated and moved to ‘temporary to jail’.

Iran's government considers keeping pet dogs un-Islamic [2], but has mostly tolerated it. It is possible that because the people most likely to keep dogs are Iran's urban and educated youth, dogs may be generating more official hostility again.

Animal Persian blog writes with humor and irony about what heavy crimes animal lovers in Iran may face being prosecuted for [3] in the future [fa]:

[3]

Animal Persian posts a mock photo of a 'crime scene' where the owner is labeled a 'criminal' and the dog is the 'crime instrument'.

1- Keeping a dog full time in an apartment

2- Sheltering two dogs as refugees

3- Distributing flyers in favor of dog ownership

4- Creating a blog with a dog name and writing posts about dogs

5- Walking dogs in the street

6- Sending 15 text messages to support animals, especially dogs

7- Owning three books about dogs

8- Suspicious visits to a veterinary clinic

9- Imitating a dog's voice at a student party

10- The discovery two dog food cans in your home

The blog Anti Hunter writes [4] [fa] that 39 members of the Iranian parliament proposed a bill to ban dogs and other “harmful animals” from the streets.¬†They call pet ownership an “imitation of westerners and a social-cultural problem”.

The blogger says if parliament approves this proposal, owners will be punished if they keep animals that are considered impure under Islam. Anti Hunter also says:

Who is going to judge, and based on which criteria, whether an animal, a creature of God, is harmful? Can we ignore all services a dog renders to people? Do these MPs ask the expert opinion of sociologists, psychologists or veterinary doctors?

Dardesaraye yek Dampezeshk (Troubles of a veterinary doctor) writes [5] [fa] that we can find positive characterisations of dogs in the words of Imam Ali [6], the first Shiite Imam, who said believers deserve to have them.