Kuwait: Stray Dogs Invade Residential Areas
At a time when citizens and expatriates that need to trek in the open alleyways have been forced to stay in their homes for a long period due to the spread of coronavirus, the places of exercise in the residential areas are no longer safe, as stray dogs threaten the safety of people. On a tour of several areas pointed to the prevalence of stray dogs, especially in the walkways and open squares, which raises more than one question about the role played by concerned government agencies, citing the Public Authority for Agricultural Affairs and Fish Resources team, as campaigns carried out by the teams are semi-seasonal.
It stressed that the campaigns are not intense looking at the recent increase in the number of stray dogs. Several citizens lamented the campaigns do not cover all residential areas and complained more than once about stray dogs that overwhelm the streets and alleyways, threatening the safety of those who are doing exercise, without any response by concerned authorities. They pointed out that the animals hinder the exercise of walking and pose danger to adults, children and pedestrians in general.
After the spread of this phenomenon, there is more than one question circulating about how to deal with stray dogs and the plans set for them, especially as some cases the teams dealt with had some kind of cruelty to animals, which sparked a wave of condemnation against the way they were handled before killing them with anesthesia and poison. They’re alleged to have allowed the circulation and sale of toxic substances painted with food and placed near garbage containers or places where they’re collected.
Although officials of the Public Authority for Agricultural Affairs and Fish Resources announced the launch of campaign about a year ago to castrate male dogs whose number exceeds more than 20,000 to limit their breeding, citizens have not seen the results of this campaign on the ground, which was not announced in the media or even the announcement of its results.
Stray dogs are now in the residential areas and other places such as Abdali, Wafra, Kabad, and Sulaibiya farms. It is surprising that no major shelter has been provided by the authority to accommodate stray dogs being hunted by concerned teams while providing food and veterinary services to them, and cooperating with volunteer dog fanciers instead of castrating or poisoning them. In a related context, informed sources said the authority is working to eradicate the phenomenon of stray dogs, as the authority receives 20 to 30 reports daily regarding its presence.
They added that some individuals shelter some types of dogs imported from abroad, then neglect them after a while, indicating some dogs run away and frolic in the streets to disturb residents of the regions, besides posing a threat to the health and safety of citizens, especially when they’re mad and not receiving the appropriate vaccination.
The tour included Yarmouk, Khaldiya, Shamiya, Keifan, Jaber Al-Ahmad and new northwest Sulaibikhat areas. The correspondents spotted herds of stray dogs that roam the streets at night while citizens confirmed that they pose a serious danger to walkers, in addition to the cooperative societies and their branches. Citizens pointed to the scene of dogs chasing children and adults repeated daily, especially in the inner streets, besides chasing vehicles – as many of the animals do not fear humans but have a desire to attack, indicating they may be suffering from rabies despite the frequent incidents of biting and snapping. Citizens living in the city of Jaber Al- Ahmad indicated a stray dog recently bit a child and he almost died without divine providence, while a resident of the area intervened to remove him from the attacking dogs.
He was taken to a hospital where he underwent surgery. He is fine now but the scars remain on his head. Walkers confirmed that stray dogs move a lot at night as the weather has improved, depriving them of the pleasure of running in the open spaces – pointing to the recurrent attacks by dogs attacking the young and the elderly. Citizens asked: Where shall we walk if ferocious animals keep spreading in the walkways? Citizens emphasized that outdoor gardens for homes, especially in the new areas or construction areas or under construction sites, cannot sit in them or leave children alone, given the frequent incidents of dog attacks on youngsters.
Leaving stray dogs in residential areas without taking sanitary measures with them, whether sterilizing them or transferring them to specialized shelters, is one of the greatest threats to the safety of people. This is what citizens in Yarmouk area confirmed, indicating they have submitted complaints to concerned authorities about the horrific spread of dogs without any real action from the specialized control teams.