Two dogs and the ACF are paying the price for a pet owner's negligence

Two dogs and the ACF are paying the price for a pet owner's negligence

As part of a compromise, the dogs that attacked a man in Karachi are being put down and a Rs1m donation has been made to the ACF.
10 Jul, 2021

When the news broke that two dogs involved in an attack on a man in Karachi's DHA will be euthanised, it was met with mixed reactions. One side is glad, believing justice has been served, but the other asks why the animals are paying the price of their owner's neglect and lack of responsibility.

An agreement reached between the two parties — the victim, Mirza Akhtar Ali, and the dogs' owner, Humayun Ali Khan — has stipulated that the dogs will be put down. According to the compromise agreement dated July 6, Akhtar had agreed to forgive Khan "for the sake of Allah" on the following conditions:

  • The dogs' owner tenders an unconditional apology to Akhtar for the "hurt and injury caused to him".

  • Humayun Ali Khan and his family will not keep "any dangerous or ferocious dogs" at their home as pets. Any other dogs kept as pets will be registered with the Clifton Cantonment Board and will not be allowed to venture out on the streets without a properly trained handler and will be muzzled and leashed at all times when they are outside.

  • The two dogs involved in the attack on the lawyer will be euthanised/put down by a veterinarian "immediately". Khan will give away any other such dogs that he owns.

  • The dogs' owner will make a donation of Rs1 million to the Ayesha Chundrigar Foundation/ACF Animal Rescue.

News of this agreement and the condition that a donation must be made to the ACF has sparked what is in our opinion a rather needless debate. The ACF has now been made to bear the brunt of people's outrage. They're angry that the ACF accepted the donation and didn't rehabilitate the dogs but in a legal agreement between two parties, what role does the ACF have? Were they expected to swoop in and grab the dogs from the authorities or refuse the donation that could be used to help many other animals?

In a post on Instagram, the ACF announced it will be using the money for its ongoing trap/neuter/vaccinate/relocate-release programme. It also addressed the hate it has been receiving.

To be clear, the two dogs being put down is a tragedy. As the ACF said in its post, "no dog is born bad". They were products of their upbringing and lack of training and the blame for the attack falls squarely onto the shoulders of their owner.

But to those who are arguing that the ACF shouldn't take the "blood money", we say this: in a civilised society we wouldn’t need the ACF at all. In a civilised society, people would treat animals with respect and the government would have animal shelters to help injured animals. But this isn’t a civilised society and we don’t have that.

Instead, we have an organisation that has worked to help and rescue hundreds if not thousands of stray animals from horrendous situations that is now being bashed for accepting a donation stipulated in a legal agreement. It’s unfortunate that such a compromise was reached in the first place, that our legal system allows compromises of this nature to be made, that our state doesn’t have a mechanism to house and rehabilitate these dogs and that people have the ability to purchase and then neglect animals.

If things were different, there would be dozens of solutions other than euthanasia but this isn't a civilised society. This is one where humans barely have rights, let alone animals. It's one where we would rather kill stray dogs than neuter them, where calls for murder seems to be our instinctive go-to whenever something happens.

The burden of blame here falls on many players — the dogs' owner, the state, the legal system — but it doesn't fall on the ACF or the animals. The Rs1 million donation can be used by the organisation to save many other animals but it's not coming at the cost of two lives. The ACF not accepting that money wouldn't have saved those two dogs — the donation would have been given to another organisation instead.

In a perfect world, none of this would have happened — not the dogs' lack of training, the attack, the compromise nor the donation — but we don't live in a perfect world, we live in Pakistan and, unfortunately, we have to make the best of a truly bad situation.


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M. Saeed Jul 10, 2021 03:21pm
Why capital punishment to the dogs and freedom from any harm to their owner? Is it because the animals cannot defend themselves in court of law?
Asad Jul 10, 2021 03:26pm
So who should pay the price kids, old ones, women?
Mujahid Jul 10, 2021 03:31pm
What's the problem? Kill the dogs which have tendency to attack humans
Falcon1 Jul 10, 2021 03:47pm
In the face of a jail term, fine and damages, the owner offers an apology. What else would he do, but find the cheapest, painless and easiest way out of the trap??
AJ Jul 10, 2021 03:57pm
Don't see a problem with putting down dogs that mauled and tried to kill a human being
Humza Jul 10, 2021 04:05pm
As unfortunate as this may be, the law is similar in foreign countries like Australia - where the dog either has to be kept impounded in the house, or has to be put down.
Ann Jul 10, 2021 04:12pm
@Asad how about the person who committed the actual crime? Why do men always suggest all other family members especially women to pay the price of crimes committed by men? Also no one is more deserving for donation other than ACF. I feel sad for the 2 dogs but many other animals will receive medical treatment that they desperately need.
nk Jul 10, 2021 04:29pm
"but the other asks why the animals are paying the price of their owner's neglect and lack of responsibility." Euthanisation of vicious dogs involved in this type of attack on human incidents is very normal and is regularly carried out in the US too.
Asad Jul 10, 2021 04:38pm
@Ann Read again, there was no reference to women at all.
Rahim Khan Jul 10, 2021 04:44pm
There are vicious dog attacks even in the civilised West because not all of them are civilised and not all of us are savages. However, the percentage of stupid, reckless, and criminally negligent individuals is probably a lot higher in Pakistan. Certain dog breeds are more likely to attack individuals other than their master. A dog that has tasted blood must be put down. In our country, we treat human beings worse than people treat animals in other countries. We are not a normal society. Dismantling the feudal system is not the sole solution because even our businessmen and government employees start behaving like feudals once they get a little power and legitimate/illegitimate money. Dismantling the feudal/tribal - might is right - mentality is the answer and for that we must punish those who abuse power whether to steal money or to usurp rights. Will we ever, though?
Today Jul 10, 2021 04:59pm
Who represented the dog in the court? How can he fight his case against humans
Solomon The King Jul 10, 2021 05:14pm
dont morn or whatever over two dogs, they are dangerous and they should be put down. It happens in the so called most-animals -caring societies. And by the way you havn't shed a single tear over the heap of dogs that local authorities have killed since they were labelled stray (they are not harmful, and always exposed to kicking and hitting of boys out in the streets)
Xain Jul 10, 2021 05:15pm
these angrez ki aulad are following american narrative of "but it was not animals fault".. I'm glad that the beasts were given lethal syringe.
Ahmad Jul 10, 2021 06:03pm
The dogs had proven themselves to be dangerous by attacking a passerby. The owner probed himself to be grossly irresponsible and has been wrongly forgiven. If the writer or one of his family members had been attacked by the same dogs kept by the same owner, this article probably would have a very different message, perhaps arguing for capital punishment for the owner too.
Ahmed Jul 10, 2021 07:45pm
Don’t kill the dogs. This is barbaric act. They were trained bad and were left outside. Instead, ACF should take the dogs and the dog owner should serve community time. Let’s be productive with our sentences.
Fareed ashraf Jul 10, 2021 08:11pm
The dogs involved do not deserve to die. Strongly oppose putting them down.
Fareed ashraf Jul 10, 2021 08:13pm
@Mujahid Disagree. Dogs need to be handled prudently. After all, they were guard dogs and such dogs have a tendency to attack. That's the purpose of their existence.
Mann Jul 10, 2021 08:18pm
Should be capital punishment for the owner. Dogs should be spared.
Zainab Jul 10, 2021 08:25pm
Why the dogs are being punished for the crime of their owner?Take away the dogs from him and get them trained. Send the owner to jail for ten years.
Ejaz Ahmed Jul 10, 2021 11:11pm
It is hard understand the punishment muted out to animal. This is general understanding is that once a animal bit a human, it will do it again. Putting away dogs, is also a punishment for dog owner. Separation will be painful for him too.
Zeeshan Ahmed Jul 10, 2021 11:32pm
@M. Saeed its the same law in all countries.
Unknown Jul 11, 2021 12:12am
No one should be allowed to keep a dog as pet in Pakistan. Poor children are dying in Pakistan because of hunger and rich people in Pakistan are spening millions on dogs. Why dont these people spend that money to give food to poor people?
syd usa Jul 11, 2021 12:19am
America euthanasies millions of animals per year yet they are considered beacon of animals rights.
Umar Jul 11, 2021 02:21am
@M. Saeed It's because when a dog becomes a threat to public safety it is usually put down. It may be the owner's fault for not training his pets well enough but even in a 'civilised society' a dog that repeatedly displays unprovoked aggressive behaviour is put down. Not doing so endangers the lives of people. Had that been a child that was attacked instead of a grown man, we may have had a dead body on our hands. Pakistan certainly needs to do better wrt animal rights. But at some point, public safety trumps that.
Gfg Jul 11, 2021 02:46am
Certainly these dogs are not normal pet dogs. They have tendency of biting and harmful for poeple. Now as they attacked a lawyer and are already blood thirsty. It is best idea to cull them.
Yes Jul 11, 2021 04:34am
@nk don’t compare with USA, in Pakistan dogs owners teach them to attack people! In this case the owner should be thrown behind bars!
Truth be told Jul 11, 2021 05:41am
@M. Saeed so you are suggesting if kids are not taught right and they commit crimes then parents should be put behind bars?
Abu Jul 11, 2021 05:59am
The owner of the dog be whipped and all his dogs be rescued, put in animal shelter and trained at the owner's expense.
Alih Kazmi Jul 11, 2021 06:14am
@M. Saeed Euthanization is a preventative not a punitive measure.
Dr Jul 11, 2021 07:28am
The lawyer knew that to really hurt the owner it would be to kill the dogs. Any pet owner knows how they are closely related to there pets so if you really wanted to punish the owner, no amount of money would have done it as much as killing the dogs. Everything from the dogs attack to the way this all played out is all wrong. But then again, isn’t that what our society is all about !
Emp Jul 11, 2021 08:33am
Mauling behaviour can rarely be fixed. Recently a newborn was mauled in NSW by the family dog. His first incident came 4 weeks earlier when he mauled a neighbour’s dog. Unfortunate as it is, the better way is to put these animals down.
Shoaib Jul 11, 2021 09:27am
It should be dog owner who is given jail term. Dont own them if you cant control them.
Khanm Jul 11, 2021 11:20am
Ism surprised ...the owner of the dog is willing to kill his best friend, for his fault...and he is forgiven ...
Owais Jul 11, 2021 11:24am
Dog owner should be punished instead animal. The state should not see agreement rather act as custodian of society
Ibrahim S Jul 11, 2021 04:05pm
Can someone reach out to Sher to recuse these poor dogs as well
Nadira Khawaja Jul 11, 2021 04:58pm
This is indeed an immense tragedy for all the reasons you have pointed out. Thank you for the article and contextualising the donation of ACF. It is so sad that people keep pets in poor conditions and without caring for their needs as living beings, and then they are punished for their wrong behaviour.
Saad Saleem Jul 11, 2021 05:19pm
Euthanization of unleashed and wild animals is common even in west, when they attack the humans. Also, the owner has to pay compensation to the victim. the detailed agreement made couldn't be better than this. Well done to the prosecutor/victim who made it and well pursued case.
Ashutosh Mishra Jul 11, 2021 11:03pm
Please spare the dogs' lives if you've not killed them already. That's brutal human behavior. Give them for adoption after training and socialization. Dog's too like all species are a creation of the Almighty Lord. A cry out from a pet lover from Pune, India.
AAhmed Jul 11, 2021 11:17pm
In the US "Humane Society of the United States" does the same job. it is a non-profit, not a government organization. The US is a civilized society. The assertion that in civilized societies it is the government that runs the animal shelters is unfounded. The HSUS is fully dependent on donations and no one objects to that. The fact that the donation is blood money or whatever does not make a difference since it is being used for humanitarian purposes. People raising objections on ACF for not refusing that money are only trying to protect the owner of the dogs. That person should be fined and the best place that fine should go to is ACF.
Waseem Jul 12, 2021 07:43am
When you copy West, simply acquiring their dogs is not enough. You need to learn how to handle them. In the event of human attack, the dogs in the West are put down.
Pir Pankhi Shah Jul 12, 2021 09:20am
I will make a humble request to the concerned parties to pardon the dogs and send them to any appropriate dog shelter where they can be taken care off. Apparently the negligence of the owners and keepers cannot be dumped on the poor canines.
sheema Jul 12, 2021 12:16pm
Too harsh a punishment.