A couple of nights ago I heard gunshots outside of my house, followed by dogs shrieking in pain. After the next round of shots I desperately ran out of the house to find out what was happening, though from the heartwrenching squeals I already knew. I ran outside and up the hill to find a truck from the Greater Amman Municipality (GAM/Amaneh) and four Amaneh workers inside of the truck. I ran up to them shouting “WEEN KELB?!?” (where is the dog?) and pleading them to stop, insisting that these dogs are not a problem. I began to hysterically cry and continued to beg them not to kill the dogs. Their reaction? They began to laugh and say “no, no the dogs aren’t dead they’re sleeping”, followed by more laughter. I didn’t dare look into the bed of the truck, but my neighbor later confirmed that he saw dogs half-dead, half-alive, whimpering in pain as Amaneh collected them and threw them in after they shot them.
That night I didn’t sleep a wink. The sounds of the dogs dying echoed in my ears, a sound I will never be able to forget. After calling the American Embassy in Jordan, and receiving absolutely no help, I spent the night devising an action plan for how I can get word about the horrific massacre the Greater Amman Muncipality is committing every single day to rid Amman of these “vicious” animals.
Here is one of the neighborhood street dogs I used to see everyday, but was ruthlessly killed that night by Amaneh. He doesn’t look so vicious does he?
The next day I visited the Ministry of Municipal Affairs (no help there) and I wrote The Greater Amman Municipality on Facebook to find someone, anyone, who spoke English who I could speak to. The social media manager finally sent me the number of Eng. Shtoura Mahmoud Al-Adwan, Director of Vector Control and of the Animal Welfare Department of the Greater Amman Municipality. I called her immediately and spoke to her about what happened. She expressed remorse for the situation and told me the GAM has been trying for the past 5 years to stop the shooting and instate a program called “ABC” (animal birth control). I will be attending a conference about the ABC program next week and will update based on my findings.
Update! Read about the conference here
However, at the moment in Jordan, know that the stray animal population is controlled by shooting them, so please spread the word to NOT call Amaneh about animals. When you call them they will say they are coming to collect the dog to bring it to the shelter (this is required by Jordanian law), but this is a complete lie. Amaneh hires snipers that will come at night and shoot all dogs they find. This brings me to the story of Naji.
The only survivor
When Amaneh came to kill all of the dogs in my area, my angelic neighbor spent the entire night and next day trying to round up any survivors. What he found was horrific, 10+ dogs dead from poisonous gunshots, left to die a painful death, alone, their bodies left to be devoured by scavengers. Then there was Naji.
Naji in Arabic means “survivor” and he is just that, the only dog that we found that survived this horrible killing spree sponsored by the Jordanian Government. Naji is safe now and is looking for a forever home in Amman or abroad. If you would like to adopt Naji, please send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or just comment below!
How you can help stop the killing of stray animals in Jordan
This brutal killing carried out by the Greater Amman Municipality needs to stop! Here are some ways you can help to end it once and for all:
- Tell everyone you know what is happening and warn them NOT to ever call Amaneh about any animals (dogs, cats, etc.) If there really is an issue with an animal, contact the Humane Center for Animal Welfare and ask them for advice.
- Write to The Greater Amman Municipality directly via Facebook, give them a call (064633812), email them (email@example.com) or visit them in Ras Al-Ain (directions here) and protest about their inhumane animal control procedures.
- If you are an expat, write to your embassy.
- If you are a journalist, or know one, ask them if they can cover a story on this for more visibility.
(Above images of two bullet wounds found on Naji. Brutal proof of what Amaneh is doing.)
Change can happen
To end on a positive note, I know there will be a change in Jordan, we just need to speak up about what is happening so our voices can be heard! I have heard many people saying that no one will listen in Jordan, that this is the culture. In my opinion, the culture card is never an excuse, Jordanians are not heartless people that want to kill animals, but many people need to be educated about how to peacefully live alongside stray animals. It can (and will) be done 🙂