Is it permissible to kill stray dogs?

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Okaz daily Newspaper

Several videos were recently posted on social media showing dogs lying dead in the street after being poisoned. The sight was disgusting. It reminds me of the young Saudi who captured himself on video shooting cats in the street. He was sentenced to one-year imprisonment and a SR20,000 fine.

The late Sheikh Bin Baz was once asked about giving poison to dogs to kill them. He said: “It is impermissible to kill harmless dogs. However, rabid dogs should be killed.” Also, in another fatwa, he said: “It is not permissible to kill dogs just because they cause noise or bark a lot. The mass killing of dogs is not permissible as well because the Prophet (peace be upon him) only permitted the killing of rabid dogs.”

Every week, we read about accidents that happen on highways because of stray camels. Although it is clear that there is a strong relationship between camels and coronavirus, we have not heard about any campaigns calling for the killing of camels. So why are dogs being killed?

One of the sayings of the Prophet (pbuh) is: “If dogs were not a nation among nations, I would have ordered that they be killed.” This saying clearly shows that the mass killing of dogs is impermissible. Another saying is: “An ant had bitten a prophet (one amongst earlier prophets) and he ordered that the colony of the ants should be burned. Allah the Almighty revealed to him: ‘Because of an ant’s bite you have burned a community from amongst the communities which sings My glory.’”

Let us look at the following sayings:

“Allah had once forgiven a prostitute. She passed by a dog panting near a well. Seeing that thirst had nearly killed him, she took off her shoe, tied it to her scarf, and drew up some water. Allah forgave her for that.”

“A woman was tortured and was put in Hellfire because of a cat which she had kept locked till it died of hunger.”

“Whoever kills a sparrow or anything bigger than that without a just cause, God will hold him accountable on the Day of Judgment.”

Dogs are loyal animals and have deep emotions like humans. Ibn Al-Marzuban, who passed away in 922H, wrote a fascinating book called “The Book of the Superiority of Dogs Over Many of Those Who Wear Clothes,” which contrasts the loyalty and faithfulness of dogs to the treachery of human beings.

One possible solution is to follow the example of Western countries. We can put the dogs in a shelter and allow volunteers to take care of them.


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