Jordanians welcome government plan to build dog shelters

Jordanians welcomed a government plan to build shelters across the country for stray dogs, as residents have long been troubled by the nuisance of dog attacks.

Jordan’s Local Administration Ministry is working with donor countries to set up shelters to accommodate stray dogs amid an increasing number of reports of attacks from them, said Deputy Prime Minister and Local Administration Minister Tawfiq Kreishan in a press statement on Feb. 19.

“This is a very good step that should have been taken long ago. The problem of stray dogs is very worrying,” said Mohammad Atiyeh, a vet who owns an animal care center in Amman.

The number of stray dog attacks on residents is on the rise, said Mohammad Hawarat, head of the Diseases Department at the Health Ministry.

A total of 946 attacks have been reported by far this year. In 2022, 5,138 attacks were registered, according to the figures provided by Hawarat.

Citing Russeifa Mayor Shadi Al-Zeinati, local news portal Jordan News reported in October last year that dozens of complaints regarding stray dog attacks were filed on a daily basis in Russeifa, a city which has about 490,000 residents and is located in the central governorate of Zarqa.

Stories of stray dogs biting passers-by on streets or breaking into people’s homes are common in Jordan, leading to calls for culling the animals or other measures to reduce their population.

Jordanian authorities used to poison or shoot stray dogs to control their population, but such practice was condemned by veterinarians and animal welfare organizations, Hasan Awwad, another vet, told Xinhua.

“Putting the dogs in shelters is better than killing them,” said Atiyeh.

However, local officials have difficulties in building shelters for stray dogs as they must take into account the financial costs of the government’s goodwill efforts.

Commenting on the Animal Birth Control program launched by the Greater Amman Municipality in 2021 for stray dogs population control, Al-Zeinati told Jordan News that “this program has a high financial cost and requires developed infrastructure, qualified and trained staff, and special equipment.”

It is difficult for the municipalities to obtain the funds, the mayor added.

Regarding the government’s latest measure to build stray dogs’ shelters, Kreishan said it was not possible to build a stray dog shelter in every municipality due to financial constraints, but his ministry is working with donor countries to try to set up one in every three or four municipalities.

Salwa Jamal, a university student who frequently encounters stray dogs on her way to the classroom, said she welcomed the government’s latest initiative.

“I welcome this project because they (stray dogs) are dangerous,” she said. ■

About Famagusta Gazette 9445 Articles
In addition to our Mediterranean perspective, Famagusta Gazette publish extensive coverage of world news, travel and tourism features, and financial information. Follow us on Twitter @FamagustaG