While people around the world celebrate the National Dog Day to honor and raise awareness about domesticated and stray canines, Egypt remains home to some of the most heinous and cruel acts against stray animals, especially dogs.
Six months after a video of the brutal killing of a dog in Giza which went viral on the social networks, another video recently emerged showing a group of cheering children dragging a mutilated dead dog across the village after tying one of its limbs to a wooden pole.
According to the townspeople of Borg Rashid village in Beheira governorate, the dog was killed due to allegations that it was rabid which led it to biting a few children, reported Masrawy.
However, while rabies is a much feared virus in Egypt which is fatal if not detected and prevented, Mona Khalil, chairperson of Egyptian Society for Mercy to Animals (ESMA), clarified in an interview with Shorouk News a set of misconceptions that are commonly widespread among Egyptians.
Although the dog was assumed to be rabid for showing signs of aggression, Khalil clarifies that a rabid dog does not attack people unless attacked or provoked. She also adds that excessive barking is not an indication of the canine being a rabies bearer, but rather that it’s in a dog’s nature and instinct to bark if endangered or if it senses the presence of strangers.
Rabid dogs cannot be detected at a glance, and need to be carefully observed over a duration of time. In order to locate a rabid dog, Khalil hints out a few traits that may indicate the dog’s illness, including their rejection for drinking water which causes them to suffocate and die. She also adds that rabid dogs hide away from direct light, and prefer to only emerge during the night and early hours of the day.
Furthermore, rabies, which is a virus that affects the brain, causes animals to go blind and shortly afterwards succumb to hind-legs paralysis. This explains the virus-bearing dogs’ disorientation and random movements.
In case an animal is suspected to be rabid, it is highly advised to report the case to the nearest veterinary council which will in turn take the necessary actions in order to ensure the safety of area’s residents.