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Proposed Ban on Dogs
An Iranian bill threatens to make pets illegal
I can't imagine a world without my beloved pups!

Can you imagine a world without dogs? I can't, but dog lovers in Iran are faced with this very dilemma.

The Iranian government has long considered pet dogs to be an un-Islamic vice. In the past, it was not unheard of for police to confiscate dogs being walked down the street and for the government to lecture Iranians on diseases spread by canines. Eventually the crackdowns were relaxed and beloved pets were left alone.

Unfortunately, these days may soon be over if lawmakers in Tehran have their way. Recently, a bill was proposed that would make dog ownership a crime, citing canines as a public health hazard and ”a blind imitation of the vulgar culture of the West."

Under the legislation, dogs would be confiscated and offenders would face a $100–$500 fine. This is bad news for pets. There are several thousand dogs in Tehran alone and its uncertain what would happen to them under this law.

Iranian dog lovers are in a difficult predicament since these types of bans are rooted in political tension. Since Islam considers dogs “unclean,” in the past, they were rarely kept as pets. This changed in the last 15 years with the rise of an urban middle class that has taken on a lot of Western culture.

I can't even imagine what I would do in this situation. For most people, moving out of the country may not be an option. Unfortunately, in a country where Westernized hairstyles and cropped pants are banned, fighting the dog bill could be a losing battle.

What would you do in a world without dogs?

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JoAnna Lou is a New York City-based researcher, writer and agility enthusiast.
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Submitted by Kay S. | April 21 2011 |

I wouldn't live in Iran for many reasons. This is just another example of the backward thinking of (at least some) of the rulers of this sad and repressed society. I believe there is ample evidence of the huge benefit that humans derive from their association with dogs and cats. Now if you want to outlaw pet snakes... :-)

Submitted by Anonymous | April 22 2011 |

The Iranian government never ceases to amaze me. It seems their only goal is to remove any remnant of pleasurable activities from their populace and violate every imaginable human right. I guess they want this life to be one of suffering and sadness rather than a life filled with joy and kindness. What kind of religion is Islam if all it promotes is hardship on it's followers? and cruelty to animals. Personally I have more respect for the ideals of Gandhi as in his most famous quote with regard to a nation's treatment of it's animals or the kindness of Buddhists who practice the philosophy of do not harm to any living creature.

Sadly, the government of Iran controls every aspect of Iranian life leaving no one in control of their own destiny which sounds a lot like slavery to me. I only hope that somehow, someday, this archaic society will eventually fall like the soviet union and liberate future generations of Iranians, allowing them to be in charge of their own lives even if that means nurturing an intimate westernized companionship with a so called "unclean" canine.

Submitted by Deb | April 23 2011 |

Oh my goodness this is so disturbing. I shudder to think what they may do to the innocent dogs. As an animal lover this is just heartbreaking.

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