United Arab Emirates....
Don’t they have a
Joy Sengupta and Zoe Sinclair (Our staff
DUBAI — K9 Friends are being bombarded with
phone calls from dog owners panicking after
seeing a notice stating the Dubai Municipality
of dogs from January 1, 2008.
The list includes the American Pit Bull Terrier
and other dogs historically used for fighting,
but also the Shar Pei, Husky and Doberman while
omitting the German Shepherd.
A Dubai Mun! icipality official said these
breeds had been studied and found to be
The notice states, “Dubai Municipality will
confiscate dogs listed below after the lapse of
a grace period, and any dog that causes harm and
poses a threat to people, animals, and will deal
with them as per municipality rules and
K9 Friends chairperson Jackie Ratcliffe said the
notice had been posted at Park ’n’ Shop and The
Lakes for the past week but was published in the
newspapers only yesterday. “It’s come out of the
blue with no warning, no notice,” Ratcliffe
said. “People are worried. It’s not clear what
Ratcliffe questioned what “deal with them” meant
and said dog owners feared their pets would be
taken away from their homes and put down.
“One woman has four Dobermans. “If they think
they’re taking them — I’ll leave the country’,”
The notice also asked pet owners to keep the
dogs on a leash on public streets and beaches
and not to walk them without masks.
It reads that the owners shall be responsible
for any damage resulting from their
non-compliance with the Local Order No. 11 of
Ratcliffe, herself the owner of a Pit Bull for
14 years, said dogs reflected the nature they
were brought up under and should not be
stereotyped by breed.
However, the notice begins under the premise of
protecting the public from “animal related
Ratcliffe said she had worked with dogs for more
than 30 years, including 15 years in Dubai with
K9 Friends, without contracting a disease and
did not believe it was a pressing concern.
She also said there had not been any! bar on pet
owners bringing dogs into the country.
“A woman has just been stamped last week to
bring in a Staffordshire terrier,” she said.
Ratcliffe expected concerns would grow as more
dog owners became aware of the notice and until
the notice was clarified.
The Dubai Municipality officials said that they
would be fining the owners of these species of
dogs if they were found in the residential
areas, public places, markets and the shopping
centres from January 1.
As Hisham Fahmi, Head of the Veterinary Section
at the Dubai Municipality, said, “These species
of dogs are the aggressive ones which pose a
risk to the people.
These dogs will not be allowed in the public
areas. The other species of dogs have to follow
the DM’s directive of proper registration,
frequent medical check-ups and vaccination,” he
“The municipality will also fine owners of these
16 varieties if they are found flouting the
norms after January 1.
“We have not decided on the fines,’’ he said.
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