Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 23 September 2019

Dogfighting fears after victim found

Vets say badly injured animal picked up at Yas Island is sign of a fighting ring in area.
A dog found abandoned with terrible injuries on Yas Island is believed to be evidence of a local fighting ring, according to vets. Courtesy Animal Welfare Abu Dhabi
A dog found abandoned with terrible injuries on Yas Island is believed to be evidence of a local fighting ring, according to vets. Courtesy Animal Welfare Abu Dhabi

ABU DHABI // A dog found abandoned with terrible injuries on Yas Island is believed to be evidence of a local fighting ring, according to vets.

The incident has been reported to the authorities and comes at a time when the Government is tightening rules on ownership of the import of dogs.

Although docile and mild mannered, the injured eight-month-old dog – a king tosa-mastiff cross – is a prohibited breed in the UAE, often used for illegal fighting around the world.

The female dog was found with a mutilated tail and ears, and scars showing it had been regularly attacked by other dogs.

A Dubai vet who examined her and wrote a report for the authorities confirmed suspicions about the dog being abused in the past.

Kevin, an American who asked not to give his surname, found her cowering in a corner of the beach area near Yas, a popular spot for campers and families.

“I could see she had old, bad wounds and a tick infection. It was clear she had been mistreated,” he said. “She was in a pretty bad way, but super friendly.”

The dog also had an eye problem that needed surgery and her ears and tails had been cropped, yet she showed no sign of aggression when approached.

Animal welfare experts said that, because of her placid nature, she was probably used as bait to train fighting dogs.

“Since I’ve had her, she has shown no aggression towards me, other dogs or any children I’ve been around,” said Kevin, who wants to adopt the dog.

“She is very friendly and just wants attention and a good home. It’s clear she has anxiety issues.”

Although on the banned list, she had not been registered by her previous owner.

The dog’s owner was contacted through details from the animal’s microchip.

When the man demanded the animal’s return, her rescuer refused owing to the extent of her injuries, a decision supported by Animal Welfare Abu Dhabi.

Dr Soheyl Simaei, at the Noble Veterinary Clinic in Dubai, examined the dog and compiled a report on her injuries.

“General examination suggests that very likely it was used for dog fighting,” his report said. “Ears and tail were cropped not more than two months ago by an unqualified practitioner, since there is severe pus accumulation on the tail and edges of the ears are not properly healed.

“Patient is suffering from tick infestation for more than three months and cherry eye is probably a birth defect or happened at least five months ago and was not treated, which is clearly an animal abuse case.”

Emma Button, a volunteer with Animal Welfare Abu Dhabi, was at the vet’s surgery when the dog was brought in for treatment, and helped to advise Kevin.

“He was conscious the dog belonged to someone but had been mistreated,” Ms Button said. “She had scarring, and was female, so likely to be less aggressive and used as a bait dog rather than for fighting.”

The public can call 800 900 or contact Dubai Municipality to report suspicion of dogfighting activities.

nwebster@thenational.ae

Updated: March 21, 2017 04:00 AM

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