Many complaints from stray dogs in Raqqa (The New Arab)
The spread of stray dogs in the northern Syrian city of Raqqa prompted its municipality to put in place a mechanism to kill those who roam in groups in the late hours of the night, and to frighten residents and children and cause concern. big. .
The mayor of Raqqa, Ibrahim al-Rasheed, told Al-Araby Al-Jadeed that “the central municipality of Raqqa is responsible only for the administrative boundaries of the city and not for the rural areas. The same procedure has been adopted for decades and the municipality decided to implement it as before ”.
He states that “the phenomenon of stray dogs is not new, but old and dates back decades, but has recently been increased by the spread of dirt and epidemics, and the neglect of other issues has led to the number of stray dogs. significantly greater, as well as their ferocity. “As a result of numerous complaints, the Department for Combating Stray Dogs was activated.”
Al-Raqqa suffered heavy casualties during airstrikes launched by the international coalition in the city during the period of military operations conducted in coordination with the “Syrian Democratic Forces” (SDF) to oust ISIS, which took place in 2017. This destruction and the presence of corpses under the rubble caused the spread of stray dogs, insects and mice.
Journalist Osama Abu Uday, from the city of Raqqa, tells Al-Araby Al-Jadeed that “the phenomenon of stray dogs is an old issue in the city, and some of it is not limited to a certain area, and especially includes the herd With reduced movement after three o’clock at night, these scattered dogs form herds in places where there is litter and leftover food, but their harm remains small and rare, as people are now turning to dogs in fear. of thieves, especially in remote neighborhoods. ”
The barking of stray dogs is one of the many reasons that bothers people, especially during the night hours. Abdul Rahman Al-Ali confirms for Al-Araby Al-Jadeed that “the phenomenon is very disturbing and the municipality is making great efforts to get rid of it. Some dogs enter from nearby areas and roam the streets in large groups even in width. the light of day, while their bark increases during the night hours when they roam the streets. ”
He also comments that “the appearance of some of these stray dogs is frightening and disgusting due to the visible damage to the skin and it seems that the steps to get rid of them can be long and that greater efforts must be made. to reduce risk ”.
Veterinarian Fayez Al-Ahmad told Al-Araby Al-Jadeed that “the spread of stray dogs in cities, especially during the late hours of the night, is a source of fear for the population, especially for children at bedtime due to constant barking. These dogs pose a risk even in case of great hunger because they are transmitted Many diseases, including canine flu, canine distemper, plague and rabies, which is a viral disease that infects people through dog bites, which can cause other problems.even death.
Al-Ahmad links the spread of stray dogs to the negligence of periodic dumping of feces and litter, the occasional breeding of dogs in homes and the large number of abandoned and under construction homes. People and cooperation between the competent authorities to tighten the conditions for periodic disposal of waste in cities, especially in the early evening hours.
Garbage collection and markets, as well as butcher shops, attract stray dogs to the city. The phenomenon is not limited to the city of Raqqa, but spreads to most Syrian cities and regions. The biggest danger these dogs pose is rabies, noting that the head of the neglected animal disease team at the World Health Organization, Dr. Bernadette Abella-Rider, in a press release issued on the occasion of World Rabies Day, said that “the prevention of rabies should target the source through vaccination of dogs.
Residents of Al-Diriyah neighborhood complain that these dogs prevent them from leaving their homes. One of them, Zakaria Abu Ahmed, 45, told Al-Araby Al-Jadeed: “It is difficult to go out during the hours of early in the morning when stray dogs roam the neighborhoods. “We are afraid for the children, we try to avoid going out at night.”
Statistics released by the Office of Prevention in the city of Raqqa reveal the presence of about 170 stray dogs in the city, moving to the neighborhoods of Al-Diriyah, Al-Idkhar, Al-Tayyar and Shehadeh Inn, which are located in its western part. , except Al-Qatar Road, Al-Akrad and Al-Ramliah neighborhoods in its northern part.