Animal cruelty and welfare

It is with extreme concern and love for animals that I write to you this letter. I have always been fond of animals especially lions alongside many others. Seeing such wild animals who are supposed to be free in jungles, is sad, dying alone in cages with no proper food and medical care at all. It is not just in zoos that we find such animals, various thugs in Pakistan consider keeping and controlling lions as a symbol of elitism. The owners who keep them, find amusement in torturing such beautiful wild species thinking that controlling the king of the jungle would make them the king of this country. Alas! They have all forgotten how much it is prohibited in Islam to torture an animal unjustly and how rewarding it is to help an animal in need.

Also, for the last two years, I actively observed and sometimes helped several stray dogs and abandoned puppies all on my own. I’ve observed that there is a stigma and taboo associated with dogs in our country. It is so bad that even a four-year-old wouldn’t miss a chance to shoo them away with multiple stones in hand. Having said that, I am not denying the idea of self-defence or Islamic rulings on keeping a pet dog but I do believe that Islam doesn’t promote cruelty either. Moreover, on the other side, families here have made it a business of owning breed dogs like German Shepherds or Labrador retrievers. After mating them, they carry out sale of their puppies at high prices later on. This excessive breeding is done without thinking that giving birth to six-six puppies twice a year can be extremely exhausting for the female dog too, in turn making her more aggressive in the coming years. If the dog continues to behave that way, the owners simply abandon them which in turn increases the risks of a dog bite to manifolds.

It tears my soul each time I see such cruelty to animals, but unfortunately, like many others, I am not a rich girl with many resources who could take any action and help these animals in need. However, I just want to request the government of Pakistan to take legal actions against such culprits by cancelling their licenses and putting heavy fines on them that later can be donated to people working for stray animals. I also urge our respective bodies to draft proper regulations in favour of stray animals, against the domestication of wild animals and animal cruelty. Lastly, to all the citizens of Pakistan, in these extreme heat waves in South Asia, put fresh waters on your balconies, roofs, and outside your homes. Please don’t throw stones or unnecessary irritate street dogs, feed them a few biscuits and stay safe from dog bites. Animal welfare is a responsibility that is not just restricted to governments but all humans as well. It might cost you some money but rest assured that the blessings you will gain out of your good deeds are countless.

  1. MUBEEN ASHRAF,

Washington DC.

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