Iranian authorities are confiscating pet dogs and placing them in a dog jail, according to media reports.
The Middle East news site Al-Monitor reports that thirty dogs have died of starvation or thirst in one Iranian “dog jail” outside Tehran.
Iranian authorities this spring warned dog owners not to walk their dogs in public or take them in their cars lest they risk arrest of their canine pets.
Deputy Commander of the Iranian Police Ahmad-Reza Radan said, “As summer approaches, we will make an effort to stop people from bringing out their dogs in their cars or parading them on the streets to show off. We won’t have any of that.”
In April, Radan was quoted by the Fars news agency saying that police would “confront those who walk their dogs in the streets. Cars carrying dogs will also be impounded.”
Iranian-American journalist Mehrnaz Samimi writes in Al-Monitor what she is hearing from friends and relatives in Iran about the plight of pets and their owners [emphasis added]:
My cousin who lives in Tehran owns a small fluffy white dog that was taken away from her as she walked it. The dogs are literally “arrested” and taken to jail. Some are freed through posting bail, others that remain unaccounted for are taken to dog prisons; one of the better known ones is in Kahrizak. Imprisoned dogs are kept in extremely poor conditions, usually among garbage, and often times without adequate food and water.
Iranian authorities have over the years launched crackdowns on dog-ownership, but according to AFP, dogs were usually returned after owners paid a fine and signed a pledge “to observe the moral code.” That no longer appears to be the case.
“Owners are being told that their dogs will be killed, and no paper (confirming the confiscation) is given to them,” a Tehran pet hospital chief, Payam Mohebi, was quoted as saying by the Bahar daily, according to AFP.