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Homeless Dogs Shot in the Street as World Cup Arrives in Qatar

As Qatar welcomes more than 1.2 million soccer fans for the World Cup, stray dogs in the capital city of Doha are being rounded up and taken to shelters—where many of them will meet a tragic death.

Stray dogs in Qatar regularly face abuse, being kicked, stoned and attacked. According to a Guardian report, 29 homeless dogs and puppies were recently shot dead by men with rifles. And the UK Sun reports that even people’s pets are being snatched in the name of “pest control” as the capital city receives athletes, journalists, and soccer fans from Canada and around the world.

The shelters in Doha are now overflowing with thousands of dogs who are reportedly slated to be euthanized. Many of these dogs could have been offered a second chance at life by Canadian rescue organizations operating in Qatar like Fur Bae Rescue. But tragically, Canada recently banned dog rescue from more than 100 countries around the world, including Qatar.

Fur Bae Rescue’s Volunteer Coordinator for Vancouver Island explained to Victoria Buzz:

“What happens in Qatar is that the dogs are taken off the street into the shelter, for safety. The new ban is heartbreaking. Rescues like us will take the dogs from the shelter and find homes for them, whether it’s foster homes to begin with and then adoption homes after that. So essentially, what is happening with the ban is that no dogs can be taken from the shelters. Which means those dogs will die or be killed.”

Canadian dog rescue organizations and their international partners rescue countless dogs each year from neglect and abuse, and bring them to Canada to find loving homes. But the new ban, which went into effect on September 28, 2022, has ended dog rescue from countries like Ukraine and Afghanistan that are embroiled in conflict, countries like China where dogs are killed in the dog meat trade, and countries like Qatar where dogs suffer on the streets.

Animal Justice and Soi Dog Canada are now challenging the rescue ban in court. In Federal Court filings, Animal Justice and Soi Dog Canada argue that the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) decision to ban most international dog rescue is unlawful because it is unreasonable, and because the Agency acted unfairly in failing to consult with directly impacted stakeholders.

The ban is a death sentence for many adoptable dogs in Qatar and elsewhere, robbing them of the chance to find a loving home in Canada. 

How You Can Help

Sign the petition: An official Parliamentary e-petition is calling on the government to work with affected dog rescues and animal advocates to ensure government policy on dog importations keeps Canadians safe, without increasing the number of animals in shelters or on the streets globally. With enough signatures from Canadian citizens and residents, MP Michelle Rempel Garner will present the petition in the House of Commons, and compel the government to address the issue with a response.

Contact your MP: Use our online form to send a message to your Member of Parliament, calling on their support in asking the CFIA to allow adoptable animals into Canada via exemptions for animal rescues or humanitarian efforts.