Why is Jordan Shooting Stray Dogs? – Naji’s Story

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.

Taking action

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 chelsea@myammanlife.com 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 (shakawi.dwn@ammancity.gov.jo) 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 🙂


36 thoughts on “Why is Jordan Shooting Stray Dogs? – Naji’s Story

  1. Thank you for defending these poor creatures… I’m sure if the matter is raised in a logical manner – with suggested solutions – this horrendous practise will cease… Certainly the Muhandis at the Greater Amman Municipality seems sympathetic and concerned and eager to help, which is very encouraging. Maybe consider forming a group of like-minded people to assist in requesting change – maybe even forming an animal charity to take over this situation. God bless you for your kind concern.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the words. I encourage you to do as much as you can to jumpstart your proposed actions. Change must start first from ourselves 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I live in Amman and i too am outraged by this new law (Fatwa.)
    Im currently taking action by contacting ever activist and organization i can find (outside of jordan) to help spread the message. Speaking to people in Jordan will not help. For the government this is a way to deal with stray dogs the cheapest way possible, so no one will take action. Our problem with Jordan is no one is willing to help spread the message or do anything about it. Im currently working with people overseas and were getting somewhere, slowly. If you’d like to help that would be great.

    This issue not alone effects those poor dogs but also its very dangerous for our government to teach generation after generation that this is ok to do. This has a huge psychological effect on people. Also when they lay out the poisoned food ALL animals are exposed to it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s disgusting and completely uncivilized I agree. Thank you for doing your part to take action!! And though I agree it’s harder in Jordan, we must still speak up there!! We can never, ever give up.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I live in Texas and would be willing to adopt Making if you can get him to me.
    Good luck and may God help you end this horrible treatment of these defenseless creatures.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you for highlighting this situation, I visited Jordon last year and had an amazing trip but was very saddened to see the animal situation there, it’s clear that there’s no regard and respect for animals , donkeys and horses weren’t treated well in Petra and I highlighted this situation. I also saw many stray dogs being mistreated and we did feed them but were frowned upon for helping the poor animals. One of the days our guide drove us to an area near Dana were 100s of stray dogs were just left and many were dead. This I found deeply disturbing. I thank God there’s people like like you helping these helpless creatures.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Nimisha, yes, the situation definitely needs to be improved A LOT in Jordan. I also have a couple articles about the situation in Petra. It’s very sad to see so much blatant abuse of animals and seemingly nothing being done. Let’s hope that we can at least spread the word and get visibility on the situation to help them!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you Chelsea, I’ve just received a post from a friend regarding horses donkeys and camels in Petra. PETA are urging the authorities to do something about the abuse of these animals which I also highlighted last year. So glad this being highlighted now.


  5. Stray dogs are more dangerous than wolves. Whereas wolves will stay clear of people, loud noises and have a general fear of people, dogs don’t. This can lead to dogs attacking people when they become hungry or intimidating people by barking or chasing them. If the dog numbers are not controlled then you will end up with scenes like in India or Sao Paulo. Dogs that have their ears clipped usually means they have been neutered

    Besides, in America there is a hunter called Sam Wood who kills feral cats (and sometimes just shoots people’s pets who are outside) – have you done anythign to stop him? It is easy to find fault with another country, but harder to reflect on the bad habits in your own, animal abuse is ripe in America


    1. Hi Dana. I’m not even going to try to begin to reply to what you’ve said because it is the most incoherently dumb comment I’ve received to date. I will address one thing you have said – I live in Jordan (not the US) so I speak about things, both good and bad. Of course there are bad things happening in the US, Canada, Japan, China, and every single place in this world, but I don’t have any first hand experiences because I don’t live there. If you don’t like what my blog talks about, then don’t read it.


      1. I agree as I said I went to Jordon and had a beautiful time and would recommend it. However this is a separate issue and and needs to be addressed as it’ was distressing to see the abuse of animals. I live in the uk and whenever I see animal cruelty I speak up, every country has flaws and I’m pleased people are speaking up anywhere in the world . It says a lot about a nation. Thank you Chelsea and I’m aware youve also highlighted so many positive things about Jordon as it’s a beautiful country


    2. No. You are wrong. I’m in America and Jordan’s dogs are being sent here to get them out of there. I just adopted one. You don’t see hundreds of dead dogs laid neatly out on the streets here in the States. We don’t do things like that. I just returned from the Middle East and I was disgusted with what I saw. You would go to jail here for that treatment. We have strict animal welfare laws and mandatory rabies and sterilization of all stray dogs brought into shelters. I’m proud of our intelligent animal laws. Your statement is ignorant.

      I have never heard of this cat killer you mention and neither has anyone else. Please do your homework about America before you paint us with a wide brush. Additionally, I will never visit beautiful Jordan after what my dog was put through over there. Westerners hate animal abuse and the more this goes on in Jordan, the more the tourism industry in Jordan falls. Americans are the 4th largest group of tourists in Jordan. Who wants to visit a country that brutalizes animals in this way?


      1. Hi Ellen. I definitely agree that the way Jordan treats animals so cruelly in broad daylight is horrifying. However, in the US we euthanize millions behind closed doors. In the end of the day, all countries are killing innocent animals because they don’t know how to deal with the overpopulation. But I do agree that in the US there is more of a following for adopting animals and animal welfare in general (unless we start talking about our gruesome farming industry…)


  6. I have traveled to Jordan in 2016
    I found that the law shoots dogs that are just sitting on the shade to stay out of the sun’s heat for absolutely no reason…no heart .
    Last year in 2017 I came across a dog that was young
    And all the neighborhood kids throwing rocks at it
    I took action and be friended the dog and trained her to come sit Fitch etc..the kids were totally amazed and wanted to be close to the dog and play with it.
    To my surprise and total disbelief the parents started to say the dog is a filthy animal and should be hit and casted away and the told there children to throw rocks at it…..one of the cowardly parents went out about 2 am and shot the dog with a weapon of sort.
    So the issue is also the unit educated people that don’t have mercy on nothing.



    1. Hi Ali, yes it’s completely true that people are shooting dogs for no reason at all. We need to get more visibility about animal cruelty and why shooting an animal is never a solution! Education is key…


  7. Hi Nimisa, Thanks for the comment. A lot of people in Jordan are speaking up about the cruelty and we need to keep the ball rolling!


  8. Thank you for you blog. I have been amazed at how tame the stray dogs seem after my week in Jordan. I therefore Google’s about them and saw your blog. Thank you for all you are doing. Any way I can help. Gorgeous puppies at Petra and wondered how long they will last. Thank you for your blog.


  9. I live in New York (Binghamton) and am in the process of adopting one of these beautiful dogs through a rescue located in NYC, Zanni’s Furry Friends. You can find them on Facebook or Google them. I was “sort of” looking for a second dog and when I read one of the dog’s history I was both saddened and furious. I cannot believe the savageness man can be. Right then and there I was determined to get one out of there. These are not mean dogs but loving creatures. If only 100 people adopted a Canaan they could get 100 more out of there and into rescues. I’m always telling people to adopted instead of going to a breeder, and to me this is an emergency situation since it sounds like the killers are enjoying themselves. Please, tell everyone about this atrocity and give them the name of this rescue : ZANNI’S FURRY FRIENDS.


    1. Hi Linda. Thanks for the comment on the blog and thank you SO much for adopting one of these wonderful Canaan dogs. I hope we can all spread the word about how they are the perfect companion 🙂 I will reach out to Zanni’s Furry Friends to find out more about them. Please do send pictures when you have your new pup 🙂


  10. Hi there , I hope you are doing well, it does not sound weird to me what you are saying, living in Amman surprised me with many things but one day I started to feed a dog of the street , day by day we started to love the dog , and feeding the dog and taking care of , was part of the daily routine but one day I hear the dog in the street and I went out to see what was going on when suddenly I saw one crazy neighbor shooting at this poor dog, obviously I addressed myself directly to this man and stopped him, I could see his eyes how this man was surprised of-course I was not so friendly and kind at all, my advise is in this cases when is not late , you should treat this people in this way, now I have a dog at home and one of the neighbor came to my house complaining for the dog that he will call baladia, ofcourse I am waiting for this organization to take him ,


    1. Hi RB. It’s shocking to see the treatment of the country’s dogs. I want to believe it’s a minority that displays such cruelty towards these amazing creatures. Keep spreading the word about what people are doing to these poor animals and hopefully, more visibility can help end this sick and cruel torture they are being forced into (by both the Jordanian government and psychopath citizens). I’m glad you are helping this dog. Thank you for that.


  11. hI!i will come to jordan for 5 days in 26 NOvember.I want to know if i see something(puppies,dogs etc not good) where i can speak for help?or for any animal who needs help?i am very stressed with all these i read.her is greece where i live we have a lot of strays also but the last years a lot of people try very mush for change.if there is a call number or something in jordan please to give me.sorry for my awful english!


    1. Hi Evgenia. There are a few rescue organizations you can contact on Facebook for help. Try Al Rahmeh, Malath Canaan, and Humane Center for Animal Welfare. You can also join a Facebook group (citizen run) to report anything. It’s called “Appeal to Support Jordan Pets and Animals”. Hope that helps!


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