Qatar’s dog shooting sparks online outrage

Two small black dogs stick head through fence, animal news
Two dogs, photo: Kim Hester via Canva

The mass dog shooting in Qatar has sparked outrage in the country. Men with rifles entered a compound and started shooting at the dogs there. They killed 29 dogs and puppies and severely injured others.

“These are dogs that were being fed and cared for in a managed TNR (Trap-Neuter-Return) way, food was being donated by rescuers, these were friendly happy dogs,” animal welfare organization Paws Rescue Qatar said on social media. They added that the men “informed the security team they were there to shoot the dogs because they had bitten one of their sons.”

“These dogs posed no harm to anyone. They were well looked after, very friendly and well-loved. Just like TNR colony should be,” Paws Rescue Qatar said.

When the men showed up with rifles, the dogs started running towards them, believing “they were going to be fed”, one activist said. “But the men started shooting at random.”

The group accused the government of not doing enough to help stray animals in Qatar: “There seems to be no law enforced, that means these monsters will never be brought to justice.”

Since the shooting, authorities have rounded up the other dogs at the compound and taken them to the government-run shelter Rawdat Al Faras where dogs are treated horrible, Noora Al-Thani from Qatar Animal Rescue posted on Instagram on Sunday.

“The 29 dogs that were shot to death left behind 50 to 70 (dogs). All the dogs from the site have now been taken to that horrendous shelter. We want them all back,” she said.

“This so-called government shelter currently has thousands of dogs. We know for a fact they have euthanized or allowed hundreds to die, if not thousands. No one is alowed entry into Rawdat Al Faras. When a police officer went to investigate, they had him escorted off the site,” Al-Thani said.

“I am done staying silent, and I am done trading my silence for progress. To Cyber Crime Police, if you wish to charge me for “embarrassing Qatar,” go ahead. I will be happy to post the charge for all to see,” Al-Thani added, angered by the government’s lack of help for animal rescuers.

“I know multiple Qatari rescuers who have been charged and taken into court for speaking up and doing animal rescue,” she said. She was grateful that the government at least took the shooting of 29 dogs seriously, but added to “please, take all cases of animal abuse as seriously.”

According to news agency AFP, Sheikha Al-Mayassa bint Hamad Al Thani, the sister of Qatar’s ruling Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, condemned the attack as “unacceptable” on social media. Qatar is set to host the FIFA World Cup later this year.

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