A few years ago, seeing Jordanians strolling their dogs in the streets of Amman was not a normal sight in a country with difficult economic conditions, but today the scene has become normal, accompanied by the proliferation of pet care centers, especially the first dog. hotel.
Despite the high cost of living in a country that has an average monthly salary of about $ 600 and a public debt of more than $ 40 billion, Jordanians do not spare spending large sums of money to care for their pets.
In recent years, dozens of pet care centers have sprung up in Amman, particularly dogs and cats, and shops selling pet breeding supplies, following an increase in the number of breeders.
The director of “Pet Zone”, the first hotel and dog training center, Marwan Hajj Ali, told AFP that the project was created in 2018 after “an extraordinary increase in the breeding of pets, especially dogs”.
He added, “We thought that anyone traveling wants to leave their dog in an organized and designated place, so we set up this hotel” in the Giza area (south of Amman), which is also a center of specializes in training dogs and modifying them. behavior.
The hotel, which has spacious play areas, training and accommodation rooms, offers nail and haircut services, hair washing and drying with caretakers in the absence of their owners.
Owners of these dogs are able to track them online through cameras installed in all departments.
The cost of accommodating a dog does not exceed 3 dinars ($ 4) per day, while the cost of other services is increased as needed.
The cost of a bath and a haircut for a dog or cat in Jordan ranges from $ 14 to $ 28, and a nail-cleaning nail costs $ 14.
“If I had told someone 20 years ago, I would have left my dog in a hotel, he would have laughed with you, but now it is normal,” says Haji Ali, smiling as a worker behind him said his hair to a great black germany. grass dog.
The man, who has been keeping dogs for more than 30 years, confirmed that “there is a greater demand for dog breeding in recent years”, despite the costs that may conflict with the economic situation.
Ala’a Kalimat, a 29-year-old government employee, agreed with what Al-Hajj Ali said, noting the increase in the number of dog and cat breeders now walking with their dogs and cats on the street, as it was “a shameful affair” before.
“The financial cost is not significant, compared to Lucy’s importance,” she says during a routine examination of her little white dog “Lucy” at a specialized “Fit Zone” animal clinic.
And the most sought after species in Jordan for conservation are the German Shepherd, Rottweiler, Husky, Golden Retrievers, Pomeranian, Schitzu and Yorkshire dogs.
The price of his puppies less than two months old, depending on the purity of the breed and the source of its production, ranges from about $ 140 to $ 1700, and the price of a large dog can reach tens of thousands, depending of breed and training.
As for cats, the price of common species such as “Chanchilla”, “Shirazi”, “Himalayan”, “Angora” and “Scotch fold” varies from 70 to 300 dollars.
– Medical care is expensive –
Pet care in Jordan is a burden for many in a country where the officially declared poverty rate exceeds 15 percent and the unemployment rate is over 19 percent.
Sami George, manager of one of the departments of a five-star hotel in Amman, who raises a small gray French Terrier dog, confirms that raising the dog “is undoubtedly a financial burden”.
“Everything is expensive in Jordan, and that goes for dog and cat food, breeding supplies and of course medical care,” he says.
Dogs and cats need basic routine medical care, such as vaccinations against diseases and viruses, internal pills against worms, and an external insect repellent, which costs about $ 140 a year.
In addition, male castration and female hysterectomy, which cost from $ 70 to $ 140, and food costs that can reach $ 70 per month.
Veterinarian Alaa Shehadeh, director of “Fit Zone”, says that the breeder considers his pet as a member of the family, and therefore “has the right to health care, food and shelter.”
Shehadeh monitors the indicators as he examines his colleagues, a pit bull called “Navi”, who lost the ability to move his hind limbs as a result of disc pain in his spine.
He claims that “the medical issue in particular is expensive because of the cost of the equipment used, as they are very expensive because it is still a young sector.”
Shehadeh explains that despite this, there is an interest in raising dogs and cats. He gives an example, “A woman who is clearly incompetent came to me, but she chose to keep her pet from Salt (north) here for a radiograph.”
The “Fit Zone” center includes the intensive care unit, X-ray equipment, lung diagnostics, incubators and laboratories for blood tests.
– Part of the family –
Rima Abu Zahra, a retired employee, says: “I consider having an extra daughter or son. Whatever the cost, you will feel that you are responsible for the pet and that everything you do is small.”
“They live with me at home and taking care of them is my responsibility, as if I were feeding my family, so I do not look at the cost.”
Abu Zahra raises three dogs in her house, two of them have touching stories. She says as she hugs Ronnie, a 3-year-old white French Terrier, “I bought it after I saw its owner dragging it with an iron chain in the rain, I’m sorry for his mistreatment, he looked weak and had need for care ”.
As for Bianca, a Husky, her owner left her in front of his house when he left without water and without food, so I picked him up and treated him.
In 2016, Jordan changed the pet ownership guidelines to encourage pet owners to obtain licenses.
Mervat Mhairat, Director of the Department of Health and Professional Supervision in the Municipality of Aman i Madh, who is responsible for issuing licenses, says that the change of instructions came for two reasons, “first to inform the employees of the municipality the stray dog from the pet dog taken care of by its owner ”.
Second, “due to the growing number of pets, especially dogs, in recent years, there is a need to ensure that they receive the necessary health care, especially vaccinations and treatments.”
However, the purchase license is still optional.
Enthusiastic Jordanians have set up Facebook groups to offer animal treatment tips and encourage the adoption of stray dogs and cats.
A video released earlier this month showing an employee in Jerash municipality (north) killing a dog by shooting it sparked widespread outrage. However, the municipality confirmed that these stray dogs have caused harm to residents.
© 2019 AFP