|It is with extreme concern and love for animals that I write this letter to you. I have always loved animals, especially lions alongside many others. Seeing such wild animals that are supposed to be free in the jungle is sad, dying alone in cages without food or proper medical care. It is not only in zoos that one finds such animals, various thugs in Pakistan regard the keeping and control of lions as a symbol of elitism. The owners who keep them have fun torturing such beautiful wildlife thinking that controlling the king of the jungle would make them the king of this land. Alas! They have all forgotten how forbidden in Islam it is to unjustly torture an animal and how rewarding it is to help an animal in need.|
Also, for the past two years, I have actively observed and sometimes helped several stray dogs and abandoned puppies on my own. I have observed that there is a stigma and taboo associated with dogs in our country. It’s so bad that even a four-year-old wouldn’t miss an opportunity to chase them away with several stones in his hand. That said, I don’t deny the idea of self-defense or Islamic rulings on keeping a pet dog, but I do believe Islam doesn’t promote cruelty either. Also, on the other side, families here have made it a business to own pedigree dogs like German Shepherds or Labrador Retrievers. After mating them, they then sell their puppies at high prices. This excessive breeding is done without thinking that giving birth to six or six puppies twice a year can also be extremely exhausting for the female dog, in turn making her more aggressive in the years to come. If the dog continues to behave this way, the owners simply abandon them, which in turn increases the chances of a dog bite.
It tears me apart every time I see such cruelty to animals, but sadly, like many others, I’m not a rich girl with a lot of resources who could take any action and help these animals in the need. However, I just want to ask the Government of Pakistan to take legal action against these culprits by revoking their licenses and imposing heavy fines which can then be passed on to people working for stray animals. I also urge our respective authorities to draw up appropriate regulations in favor of stray animals, against the domestication of wild animals and animal cruelty. Finally, to all citizens of Pakistan, in these extreme heat waves in South Asia, put cool water on your balconies, roofs and outside your homes. Please don’t throw stones or irritate street dogs unnecessarily, give them some biscuits and protect yourself from dog bites. Animal welfare is a responsibility that is not only limited to governments but also to all humans. It may cost you money, but rest assured that the blessings you will derive from your good deeds are innumerable.
- Muben Ashraf,