Animal enthusiasts have launched a social media campaign against animal abuse.
The campaign began after a dog was found in the streets near the Corniche with his tail cut off.
Animal Action – Abu Dhabi, a group of volunteers on Facebook who try to provide homes to animals, received a call about the dog, later named Kleidi.
They took the dog to see a veterinarian and an emergency surgery was performed. However, the dog died a few days later because of blood poisoning.
Sarah Bartlett, a volunteer at Animal Action said the group sees a fair number of abandoned animals, many of which have been abused.
She said the campaign, #enforcelaw16, was launched to encourage citizens in the U.A.E. to report cases of animal abuse and neglect.
In just 24 hours, the campaign reached hundreds of people globally, Ms Bartlett said.
"The people need to understand they need to report [abuse], and they can report it, and they need to be confident that the police will investigate,” she said.
However, she said the main issue is people neglect to report crimes against animals to the police.
"We don't know behind locked doors how many animals are suffering” she said. "We regularly see animals who come to us in a bad way. The law cannot be enforced if people don't report the crimes. It starts with people reporting the crime.
She said studies show people who are abusing animals can also have criminal tendencies towards other humans. If police knew about animal abusers, they could also benefit society by tackling the issue at the source.
"Animal abuse is a global issue,” she said. "What's more interesting are the links of those who abuse animals, who go on to commit other crimes as well.
"People think animal welfare is just for people who only love animals, but it's not. Animal abuse is an issue for all of society, because statistically – and there is research from around the world to prove this – people who abuse animals, particularly when they do it when they are younger, can develop other forms of behaviours.”
Dr Fadi Daoudi, from the Australian Veterinary Hospital in Abu Dhabi, said an enforced law to protect animal right from obvious abuse is needed to protect the animals.
"Awareness campaigns to educate the youngsters about animals and their role in our lives, and building enough shelters with judiciary powers to prosecute animal cruelty offenders with severe punishment for such abusers,” he said.
Dr Daoudi sees about three abuse cases per month.
The animals have usually suffering physical damage, like broken bones or cuts through the skin.
Most of them also have the psychological trauma of being beaten or locked away without enough water and he said.
"Dealing with a charity such as Animal Action we get to see a number of abused cases on a regular basis where animals have been left to die in the desert of physically beaten up,” he said. "Such abused dogs generally will have very poor communication and interaction with humans infused with fear and mistrust. And later on can develop into a self-defence mechanism by trying to attack if put in a threatening situation.”
Source: The National