No Shelter for Stray Dogs in Tehran Suburbs

Officials are surveying lands in Parand, 35 km southwest of Tehran, to set up a shelter where stray dogs will be kept and sterilized
Activists demand better protection for stray dogs, especially in the wake of reports that they are put down inhumanely. Activists demand better protection for stray dogs, especially in the wake of reports that they are put down inhumanely.
The DOE is preparing a bill to protect stray animals, which is expected to sail through the parliament floor

The recent report of a six-year-old child attacked by a dog in Robat Karim, a Tehran suburb, has restarted public calls for a permanent solution to the increasing numbers of stray dogs around Tehran.

Confirming the news to ISNA, Ayyoub Zare’, the head of Robat Karim’s office of the Department of Environment, maintained that the animals cannot be rounded up as “as there are no shelters to keep them”.

According to the official, local authorities tasked with finding a solution have had several meetings at the governor’s office and decided to set up a shelter in Parand, a recently-established town 10 km west of Robat Karim (35 km southwest of Tehran).

“We are currently surveying different locations in Parand to see if they fit the purpose,” said Zare’, adding that the plan must also be approved by the governorate before its implementation.

Once a shelter is set up, stray animals taken there will be sterilized.

Zare’ stressed that all relevant organizations, including municipalities, must cooperate in this regard.   

“As an entity tasked with addressing the problem, DOE has always been upfront with its concerns and expects other organizations to collaborate,” he said.

Dealing with stray dogs has become a hot topic of debate in the media and social messaging networks, particularly after a video surfaced online in 2015 in which stray dogs in Shiraz were injected with a substance presumed to be acid. The video sparked outrage, prompting activists and celebrities to protest against animal cruelty that often goes unnoticed and unpunished.

Last week, Farhad Dabiri, deputy for biodiversity and natural environment at DOE, said a bill to protect stray animals is “currently being discussed in the Cabinet’s Bills Commission”.

“Before the Cabinet can vote on it, the judiciary has to approve the bill that will be handed over to the judiciary next week,” he said.

A number of lawmakers have already voiced support for the bill, raising hopes among activists and environmental officials that it will sail through the Majlis.

Last April, Iran Cyber Police criminalized the online sharing of pictures and videos depicting animal cruelty, urging people to report any offences to the police’s online portal, Cyberpolice.ir.

According to Islamic law, abusing and killing animals are considered a crime and should be dealt with by the judicial authorities. Offenders generally take to social media, such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, to share footage related to animal abuse.


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