DUBAI // A mother spoke of her family's distress and anger yesterday after their beloved poodle was attacked and killed by another dog at a pet show.
The six-year-old toy poodle, called Pluto, was savaged by an American Staffordshire terrier at the Pedigree & Whiskas Dubai Pet Show on Friday. Nazanin, a cardiologist who wished to give only her first name, was visiting the show with her husband, their two children and their pet.
She said they intended to file a complaint to the municipality about the owner of the dog that killed Pluto, and about the organisers of the show.
"The organisers did not screen the dogs that are dangerous," she said. "Even kids could be victims of these dogs.
"It should not happen again. I lost my dear one. It is sheer ignorance. A lot of innocent dogs will be in danger if proper safety measures are not taken.
"Such a dangerous breed should be avoided in a public place."
She said the American Staffordshire terrier was one of 16 breeds forbidden by the municipality from being taken out in public without a lead and a muzzle. She said she has filed a complaint at Al Faqa police station.
"We are hoping that the police will confiscate the dog and ensure public safety," she said.
An on-site vet immediately attended to the poodle after the attack, but could not save it.
Other American Staffordshire terriers had been competing at the show without incident, and both the terrier and the poodle are believed to have been on leashes.
A spokesman for the event said: "We are greatly saddened at the loss of the family's pet dog and extend our sympathy to them all.
"While every precaution is taken to ensure a calm environment, each pet is ultimately the responsibility of its handler through the event. We take seriously any animal which is not restrained or under the handler's control."
Visitors to the show took to Twitter to express their shock and sadness. "Deepest sympathies go out to the owners of the dog that died at the Dubai dog show today. Very sad," wrote Aisha Al Midfai.
Fa6aami tweeted: "Dubai Pet Show was a lot of fun but the saddest part was when a big dog attacked a small dog and killed it."
The poodle's death is the first such incident in the show's 24 years. Last year the event raised Dh100,000 for the pet charities K9 Friends and the Sharjah Cat and Dog Shelter.
This year about 35,000 visitors and several thousand pets enjoyed shows by trained police dogs, fancy dress displays and competitions.