Act Now to Help Jordan Learn to Befriend Man’s Best Friend

animal cruelty in JordanAnimal lovers in Jordan are fighting a formidable battle to raise people’s awareness and respect towards strays and animals in general.

It’s not easy being an animal in Jordan.  One of our pair of mini-dachshunds escaped to the street last November and was killed in a hit and run.  Distraught, we called friends asking what Amman regulations were regarding burying an animal.  We were told to drop Toby in the trash can, leave him in the street, toss him in an empty field, or set him on fire: I can only guess this heartless advice was well-intended. We buried Toby in our garden.

I understand the Islamic attitude toward dogs: a majority of both Shi’a and Sunni Muslims consider the animals to be unclean, and it’s uncommon for practicing Muslims to keep dogs as pets. There is contradiction, as it’s written that the Prophet Mohammad advocated kindness to all animals.

Ex-pat friends have since told stories that will make your tail curl.  Neighbors, annoyed at a dog’s barking, fired a shotgun over a garden wall and blew off its head.  Others left bowls of poisoned meat out for a pair of poodles to munch on, they experienced an excruciating death.

Perhaps this isn’t as extreme as the Chinese practice of cooking pups alive, but dogs and cats suffer a terrible existence in Jordan.  Rejected by the local population as little more than vermin, they are also targeted by well-publicized government elimination campaigns that include inhumane Strychnine poisoning and mercenary snipers (gunmen are paid by the number of  kills).

Children regularly torture animals, dousing them in acid, setting them afire, and mutilating their tails and ears with rough knives and razors.  A rural practice to “toughen up” puppies involves hacking off their ears and then forcing the animals to eat them.  Cats are moving targets for lethal rock-throwing, and following heavy rainfall, they’re often drowned in standing water.

Working animals also suffer immensely.  They are beaten, starved, dehydrated, and tied with tight wires or ropes that, over time, grow into their necks.

adopt an animal in JordanThe Humane Center for Animal Welfare is the sole animal shelter and hospital in Jordan,  a private humanitarian facility dedicated to raising awareness, particularly in poverty pockets, and providing mobile veterinary services for working animals across the Kingdom.  There are other rescue groups run out of private homes by animal lovers with unflagging dedication. (I’m fostering a pup from one right now – oh, who am I kidding? He’s a keeper, look at that face!)

Interested in making a difference?  Start by signing the AVAAZ petition (<-direct link there) to urge the Jordanian government to immediately stop brutal killing of their stray population. They also seek to implement an improved “Animal Protection Act”, and to enforce that law.  Share it with friends and post it on your Facebook page.

Are you local to Amman?  Stop by the Humane Center for Animal Welfare – Jordan’s ersatz petting zoo where at any time you can see monkeys, eagles, peacocks and turtles (in addition to rabbits, guinea pigs and an astounding array of cats and dogs all available for adoption).  Check out their website for volunteering opportunities.  They also seek steady donations of goods and, of course, money.

Or if you are interested in simply fostering a local dog (all ages available), drop me a line and I’ll put you in touch with one of the privately run shelter groups.

Image of injured dog courtesy of Jordan’s Humane Center for Animal Welfare – NOTE: He fully recovered!

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12 thoughts on “Act Now to Help Jordan Learn to Befriend Man’s Best Friend”

  1. Hanan Saraireh says:

    It is heart breaking too see and hear about such cruelty. till this day i do not understand why people would hurt such innocent creatures and find such joy in doing that.
    i am a Muslim and i am a person with a heart and to see people hurt animals and be disgusted by them gets on my last nerve. i would walk my dog around the neighborhood and honestly there are people who smile and approach us and i would always use that moment to raise awareness about local dogs since people in Amman preferred non local pets. and she would play with the kids and give them a bit of happiness that i was blessed with 24/7 But one the other hand there were people who would make fun of me for walking and taking care of a local dog and others who look at her with disgust and say horrible words to me. i do not expect everyone to be an animal lover and that is totally fine but that doesn’t mean that they have the right to abuse them there are people that are not huge fans of animals but they still leave out food and water for them and would never hurt them because they are creatures on earth just like we are and if only people would understand that.
    I would truly appreciate it if you would re open the petition because nothing has changed and we should never give up until there is a law that would punish animal abusers and stop random people from breeding animals in unhealthy conditions and selling the babys when they are still not ready to be taken away from their mom.
    Thank you so much for the article you have written.

  2. Josee Cloutier says:

    what make me …is, that most of these people are praticing a religion, does it say in all religions , that we should be cruel and make them suffer and kill them , do they think that they are here for us to do that!?!? NO !!! this is a SIN to do such evil acts.Animals are here for a reason , like all of us , and deserve love and respect.

  3. Amal Younis says:

    Sadly, most of these horrible acts toward animals are done by children.
    I believe that the main reason for animal cruelty in Jordan is poverty.
    I was walking down the street once when I saw a shepherd dog guarding goats along with 2 kids, and when I started petting the dog, the 2 kids laughed at me, I asked them what do they feed the dog, they even laughed harder and one of them said: nothing… I told them with a rough tone that they should not treat him like this… they looked at me with sad eyes and one of them replied that they did not eat anything since last night, and they feel that their dog is luckier than them because he is free to go and search for his own food and that he can eat lizards, snakes and bugs, while they can’t.
    Poverty should not be linked to animal cruelty at any level, but sadly it is this way here in Jordan.
    I know the hard work done by the animal welfare centers, but still they should work harder and on larger areas to raise awareness amongst children everywhere in Jordan.
    One last thing regarding this phrase: “Muslims consider the animals to be unclean”.. it is not true at all  all animals in Islam are considered to be clean expect for the dog’s tongue itself, and not the whole dog (the dog’s fur are considered to be clean) and Muslims can keep dogs for guarding, shepherding proposes. 
    Keep up the hard work  thank you.

    1. Thanks for weighing in Amal. It’s hard to imagine kids envying animals but it’s a new reality that helps me understand why animals in Jordan are treated badly.

  4. Rose Adams says:

    I Really hate people when they do these Heartless And Cruel Things And Support Anyone Anywhere That Fights For All Gods Creatures To All Animal people out there lets stand up And Fight together im on your Side And Theirs

    1. Logan Broliath says:

      lol All this from the woman who abused every child and pet she ever had. I’ve seen you punch, kick and hit dogs and children. I’ve seen you throw cats like footballs. I’ve seen you sick meth heads on your son. You stole your son’s identity, causing him years of financial stress and aggravation. And I’ve seen so much more. And in classic narcissist fashion, you accuse your children of all YOU’VE done. So you think animal and child abusers deserve what the dish out? lol Then your hell is only just beginning. You’ve got lifetimes of misdeeds to pay for. Animal cruelty is only the first of a great many charges coming your way. And after all the international infamy you’ve gained, it won’t be hard… Mother.

  5. Mariette Eriksson says:

    Its horrible stop doing this to animal

  6. Patricia Madi says:

    Unfortunately this is a daily fact in Jordan…. inhumanity, disrespect, cruelty, fun in cruelty ….. it is horrible to see how the weaker link is treated, – and worst of all – animal activists and volunteers are helpless, facing a municipality who do not do their job, are desinterested in anything regarding animal protection, the police give you a big laugh, if you report abuse, and the law which is only available in a very primitive form is not implemented …….

    1. Can you take images of abusers and send them to us?

      1. Canaan Rescue Jordan says:

        I have images of abuse, i can email them to you. they can also be found on our facebook page canaan rescue Jordan.

  7. Jack Rush says:

    great cause. I support this!!

Comments are closed.