This is disgraceful. I’ve heard about this, and it’s been around the net for a while here in Kuwait. However, this is the first time I’ve had the chance to see it in video. Prior to today, I’ve only seen images and read stories. This is disgraceful.
It is speculation that government authorities are doing this. However, I have not found concrete evidence to support this. It’s all a blame game right now and no one seems to be taking full responsibility over what’s going on.
I urge you all to do what you can from your part. If you want to know what you can do to help, read on below.
I’ve compiled a small list of what you can do to help. We can all help by just doing a little bit from our parts to keep our neighbourhoods clean of this poison and save lives of dogs (both stray and owned) and even our children who may also end up ingesting this poison.
1) Clean up your neighbourhood.
You can help by cleaning up around your neighbourhood. This is something that is long due as we know Kuwait tends to have a lot of litter. You’ll be surprised that you may find some of this poison laying around in your area. If you find any unusual looking things around your area floors, please just grab a broom and “pooper scooper” (or whatever the tray to sweep into is called) and try to sweep it up and throw it inside the garbage. This works for both the dogs and society as we’ll be working together to keep Kuwait clean.
2) Help keep stray dogs off the street.
There are two animal shelters who are constantly working hard at keeping dogs off the street. Unfortunately, they face problems such as space issues but do generally take dogs as much as they can possibly do so. The unfortunate problem is that both shelters seem to be having more dogs coming in than they can get out and adopted. This is honestly mainly related to the next point, but for now try to keep dogs off the street. I know many foster parents who tend to take in stray dogs, get them cleaned up at the vet to make sure nothing is medically wrong with them and then try to find them a loving home. The dog is usually kept at the shelter, at a friends place, or at their own place.
3) Do not buy/adopt a dog unless you know what you’re getting into.
A dog is a lot of hard work and effort. Especially high level energy dogs. Not many people understand that dogs are like having baby children. They need to be tended to and have a lot of time invested in them. There’s no point in buying a dog and then locking him up in a room or kennel. This is how dogs become aggressive or “misbehave”. Especially bigger dogs with higher energy levels such as German Shepherds, Belgian Malinois, even Pitbulls. No dog is aggressive by nature, they only adapt to their surroundings. By keeping a dog like a Pitbull locked up all the time – that may lead to aggression. Simply because dogs need to be socialized just as children need to be socialized. If they don’t know how to act around strangers, they will be scared of them. I’m not going to get into details because it will take forever, but look up how to train and take care of your dog. Look up the pre-owning costs that you’ll face. Look up the average yearly cost of owning that certain kind of dogs (some dogs are prone to certain health issues down the line). There’s an on going list that you can find if you just do your research online or with other responsible dog owners. If you buy a dog without this research and understanding – it’s probable that you will end up putting that life out on the street. That’s not fair to the dog or to yourself because if you got the dog you obviously got the dog for a reason. Don’t ruin a life and throw the life on the street because of your lack of research and understanding.
4) DO NOT BUY FROM THE FRIDAY MARKET or BREEDERS.
You can stop them from breeding if you cut off their demand. There are plenty of wonderful dogs at the shelter who I personally have had the pleasure of working with (I’m a regular volunteer at PAWS). I have not met any aggressive dog in my whole term volunteering there. Some dogs will bark and make noise, but that’s just because they want your attention and want to play. Shelters such as paws and kspath have wonderful dogs (my friend has adopted from kspath) and they are looking for loving homes. If more adoptions take place, there will be less reason for these breeders to breed. I’m an avid believer that unless you’re looking for a specific dog with specific genetic traits (for example a greyhound from a championship racing lineage) then it would be alright to approach a breeder. However, if you’re just looking for companionship – I’ll direct you straight to the shelters. They have AMAZING dogs both young and older dogs. I personally prefer working with the older dogs but that’s just my personal preference. Just give em a chance. Go down to the shelters, volunteer a few times and get to know the dogs. You’ll be surprised that they were stray before coming into the shelter. By adopting instead of going to breeders or the Friday market you are cutting off the amount of breeding that is happening here and you are taking a dog that needs a loving home. This also means you’re creating space for more of the stray dogs around to be taken in. Every little bit helps guys.
5) MAKE SOME NOISE!
Make some noise. Would you stay quiet if this poisoning happened to your children? I’d hope you wouldn’t be quiet about that. How about your neighbour’s kid? A friend’s kid from another area? The same applies to dogs. Dog owners see their canine friends as their own children. They also look at stray dogs the way we look at “homeless” people. We don’t kill them just because they’re homeless and less fortunate than us. No, we help in whatever way we can. So make some noise. Take it up online in a blog. Make a rant in the comments section below. Notify your newspapers. There are numerous ways to legally make a stand for all of this behavior. It should not be allowed as it is inhumane and uncalled for.
6) Ask the Government! (just a potential idea)
This may be a long shot but in America and Canada (as well as many other countries) we have animal control as well as animal shelters. This seems to be a “big enough problem” where people are putting poison in the streets! Someone who can get to someone in the government should pitch the idea that we should have animal control instead. I don’t think the people (whoever they are) who put these poisons around Kuwait thought that maybe a child could potentially end up ingesting this poison. If you know anyone who can talk to the appropriate government officials about this problem should pitch the idea that a public service such as animal control should be implemented in Kuwait. It’s not enough that the shelters here who are running almost solely on donations should be doing both (being an animal shelter and animal control units). Let’s have a small Kuwaiti owned unit that goes around and helps pick up these strays and then takes them to the shelters or a government owned shelter/compound that can hold these dogs until they can have a home. I know most of these programs outside have euthansia and deadlines until the dog has to be euthanized but that seems a lot more humane than the poisoning…don’t you think? It’s just an idea – can’t force this one onto the government but it’s something worth trying to get implementing in Kuwait. Especially if the problem is big enough that someone or some organization is placing poison all over Kuwait for dogs to ingest.
So those are just a few ways you can make life better for you, your neighbourhoods, and the dogs (whether yours, your friends or strays).
Here are links to the PAWs and KSPATH pages for your viewing pleasure. Take a look at their for adoption galleries. You may not find all the dogs that they are housing but you’ll see some of them up there and ready for adoption. The best is always to try and contact them to get an appointment to come and socialize with the dogs and see which one fits you best (trust me, don’t chose by specific breed…each dog has their own personality – go in and play with them all, walk them and see which ones fit your lifestyle and personality. Preferably do this more than once so visit a few times. Maybe even lend a hand by volunteering – it’ll do them good and you’ll get a better picture of the dogs they have).