Friendly, innocent stray dogs being shot and stuffed into garbage bags -- this nightmare is happening right now on the small island nation of Bahrain. Local activists have tried to stop this but fear for their lives, and for good reason. According to Amnesty International and Wikipedia: "Amnesty International's 2015 report on the country points to the continued suppression of dissent, restricted freedom of expression, unjust imprisonment, and frequent torture and other ill-treatment of its citizens." - Wikipedia
Kevin, pictured here, was one of the victims. He was sweet and gentle, and local residents loved and cared for him. They had him microchipped and neutered, but that wasn’t enough to protect him from being captured, trucked to a remote area, and killed. The government denies ordering these brutal acts but is doing nothing to stop them.
We have already asked you to email the Bahrain Ambassador to the U.S. Thanks to your support, this important official received messages from over 5,000 concerned people. On behalf of Bahrain’s strays, THANK YOU. But the shootings have not yet stopped. Residents estimate that 90% of the stray dogs in Bahrain have already been mercilessly killed. At first, they found the bodies of hundreds of dogs, half buried in the sand in Askar, an area designated for strays by the government. Then the shootings became more systematic, and the bodies were taken away. The voices of compassionate people like you are urgently needed to convince Bahrain’s government to put an end to this nightmare. Despite the grim reality, there is a strong ray of hope. Bahrain is only about the size of New York City, and it is a wealthy nation. It has the resources to turn this heart-wrenching situation around, replacing violence with kindness. We're reaching out to you again because your voice matters. With just one click, you can send a powerful message to the Crown Prince of Bahrain -- who is also the Prime Minister -- and other influential Bahraini officials. Together, let’s call for the violence to stop!
Thank you for standing up for the innocent dogs in Bahrain, and please share this email with your friends and family.
This petition can be signed by anyone, not just those who live in the U.S.! Please sign!
A Wealthy Island with a Heartbreaking Secret
Bahrain, a small but wealthy island nation near Saudi Arabia, is known for its natural beauty and rich history, but it is keeping a deadly secret. Bahrain spans just 301 square miles (780 square kilometers), making it smaller than New York City. Yet within its borders lies a heart-wrenching disaster that remains largely unseen: how its stray animals are being treated.
Stray Dogs: The Invisible Inhabitants
A few years ago, it was estimated that about 18,000 stray dogs roamed the streets of Bahrain. Despite the nation's modern infrastructure and wealth, these innocent creatures have become victims of neglect, abuse, and inhumane population control measures.
Kevin's Story: A Snapshot of the Stray Dog Crisis
One heart-wrenching example is Kevin, a neutered, microchipped, gentle stray dog. In 2020, Kevin was removed from the streets by a government-hired company and taken to a remote area named Askar, designated by the authorities for stray dogs. Tragically, he was later found shot to death, marking the beginning of a systematic killing operation that has since claimed the lives of an estimated 90% of Bahrain's stray dog population.
The Human Response: The Failings and the Hope for Stray Dogs
In response to this growing crisis, local residents have raised their voices, calling for an end to the violence and advocating for humane alternatives. Despite these efforts, however, the systematic killings continue. It's clear that a more concerted, international response is needed to persuade the Bahraini government to end these brutal killings and create a humane, effective system of dealing with stray animals.
Unfortunately, the Bahraini government has shown a pattern of hostility towards critics. Human rights organizations, such as Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, have reported many cases of the government cracking down on freedom of expression and peaceful protest. Citizens who raise their voices against the government are often met with punishment, including being forced into prison, travel bans, and in some cases, there have been allegations of torture of those in custody. This makes the voices of the international community even more essential in the fight for the protection of Bahrain’s stray animals.
The Power of the International Community
The international community has proven to be a force for change in similar situations worldwide. In the case of Bahrain, the potential for change is significant. Bahrain's very small size and its relative wealth suggest that it could implement permanent change that save the lives of many innocent animals if the necessary strategies and resources are put in place.
Bahrain is on friendly terms with the United States and many other countries, and it prides itself on being modern and tolerant. There is a U.S. naval base on Bahrain, with about 9,000 military personnel. English is widely spoken in Bahrain. Bahrain also has a large “expat” community, meaning people from other parts of the world. Only 48% of the population are Bahraini nationals.
For these reasons, plus the heroic efforts of local residents who love animals, there is a strong ray of hope, even amidst the ongoing tragedy.
The Path Forward: Compassion Over Violence
To address the problem of dog homelessness, especially on a small island like Bahrain, there are a number of proven methods that the government could use to solve the problem. These include financial support and strongly promoting spay/neuter and adoption, microchipping, humane education, humanely run animal adoption centers, supporting CNR (Catch, Neuter, and Release) programs, and creating a sanctuary for stray animals.
Those who deliberately harm strays should be fined and punished. The government should take measures against the abandonment of pets, the breeding and sale of pets, and dog fighting. With a compassionate approach, the lives of stray dogs -- and cats -- in Bahrain could be greatly improved.
The Call to Action: Be a Voice for the Voiceless
Each of us has a role to play in addressing this issue. By raising awareness and advocating for change, we can influence decision-makers and inspire actions that could save the lives of thousands of innocent dogs. Kevin's cruel death serves as a terrible reminder of the urgency of this issue. Let us honor his memory and that of countless others by being a voice for the voiceless.
This crisis is solvable. It calls for a shift from violence to compassion, from indifference to action. It's time for the beautiful island nation of Bahrain to address this issue and show the world that wealth and progress mean nothing without empathy and kindness.
THANK YOU for helping stray animals!