x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Saluki starved in animal cruelty case dies

Seven-month-old bitch died because of the 'devastation of her whole body'.

DUBAI // A young Saluki found abandoned after being starved to what a vet described as “extreme limits” died this morning.

Offers of help came in from as far away as the US after The National reported the case earlier this week. The seven-month-old bitch was rescued by animal lover Fatima Intabli, who found it last Saturday lying in a sandy hole next to a villa wall in Bur Dubai.

She took it to the Modern Veterinary Clinic in Al Wasl Road, where vet Dr Lukasz Juszkiewicz gave it antibiotics and fed it intravenously. But the dog became anaemic, and died at 6am.

“We tried our best,” said Dr Juszkiewicz. “We did a blood test and she was very anaemic so I arranged for a friend to bring his dog so we could do a blood transfusion, but I guess it was just too late for that.

“She died because of the devastation of her whole body. At the beginning she was much better but then she became weaker.”

Ms Intabli, who planned to collect the animal’s body for burial, said: “I didn’t expect this because she was getting better.”

Members of the public came forward to pay for the Saluki’s treatment, and a rescue centre in Abu Dhabi offered to contribute to the cost and give the dog a home if it survived.

“I’m glad there are people out there who would like to help,” added Ms Intabli.

Robin Toula, president of the Texas Italian Greyhound Rescue, which operates in the Dallas and Fort Worth area, also offered to take the dog.

“I have been working with a group in Qatar for the past two years bringing Salukis in need to the States,” she said. “Once they arrive we take them to the vet and get whatever medical [treatment] they are in need of.

“We want to be sure that these dogs find a wonderful and loving home that understands what a wonderful breed that they are.”

Dr Juszkiewicz said he planned to keep in touch with Ms Toula so her group could help other abandoned Salukis in the future.

The dog should have weighed 14kg but was just 6kg, and the level of starvation meant its skeleton would not have reached full size had it survived. The vet said it was the worst case of its kind he had seen.

Ruth Taylor, the director of clinical support services at Mafraq hospital in Abu Dhabi, contributed to the cost of the Saluki’s treatment. She said: “I’ve no idea how people can be so cruel to animals.”