x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Dubai dog show to exclude banned dogs

Decision comes after toy poodle Pluto was attacked and killed by an American Staffordshire terrier.

DUBAI // The owner of the toy poodle which was mauled to death by a pit bull at the Dubai Pet Show a week ago has welcomed the news that seven breeds of dog will be refused access to next year's event.

Nazanin Karimian said it was "about time" and added: "Why should we wait until it's a child who is hurt before we start having this discussion?"

Adil Eltayeb Elbadri, the senior veterinary health inspection officer at Dubai Municipality's animal welfare unit, said the breeds had actually been banned from this year's show.

But show organisers allowed the dogs in so long as their owners kept them leashed and muzzled. The American Staffordshire terrier which attacked and killed Ms Karimian's poodle, named Pluto, was not wearing a muzzle.

The terrier, called Trip, is being kept under observation to see if it is aggressive towards other dogs.

"This could have happened to any child," Mr Elbadri said. "These dogs are already banned because they are dangerous. In fact, they weren't even allowed to attend the last show."

The municipality has a list of seven breeds of dogs, including various kinds of pitbull, which were technically banned.

Late last week, show organisers said they had been working with the municipality on improving security at future shows. Officials from the veterinary services section would help screen dogs at the entry gates, as well as imposing on-the-spot fines for any breach of the rules on pet ownership.

Ms Karimian said the experience had left her so shaken that she would not take her remaining poodle puppies to the show next year.

"Never again will I go to this show," she said.

"When I'm walking my dogs now, when I see another dog coming I get panicked."

mcroucher@thenational.ae