Where do the dogs go?

I’ve just finished reading a piece on Global Voices about the controversial issue of owning a dog in Iran. With so many more fundamental freedoms curbed, you’d be forgiven for laughing this off. Last year an Iranian cleric issued a fatwa against keeping dogs as pets, claiming that it was only a “blind imitation of the vulgar Western culture…There are lots of people in the West who love their dogs more than their wives and children.”

Last summer, there were reports of a spate of arrests in Tehran parks, particularly of young people carrying small dogs — an opportunity for restricted youth to socialise when out with their pooches. One year on, and parliament is currently considering passing a bill banning the ownership of dogs.

This would give Iran’s morality police and other authorities free reign for further crackdown. “This bill will outlaw people living in apartments from owning dogs, and prevent all people from exercising these animals outside”, a spokesman for supporters of the bill said. “These types of behaviours are unacceptable in this nation and we will not allow these decadent attitudes to overtake our great nation. We begin and end these actions today, with this bill, for now and forever.”

But where do the dogs go? In the past the pets have been kept in “temporary prisons”. Now the government has ordered several hundred special “train cars” for the transport of the confiscated dogs. With the regime’s record of treatment of its incarcerated people, one can only imagine how these animals, deemed “unclean” and props of the enemy culture, will be treated.

For the love of dog blog and many others have responded but Hamid Tehrani presents the most interesting and humourous take from bloggers within Iran.