(Persia Digest) – Reports are at times seen in foreign media that Iran has adopted cruel means of fighting increasing numbers of stray animals, from feeding them poison to killing them with air guns or injecting them with acid. These incidents are seen in Iran, but they are not common practice. More often, there are people who have dedicated their lives to taking care of animals.
This can be seen in shelters which have been working across Iran on a volunteer basis as charities who depend on donations. A home for injured animals who need help.
Vafa is one such shelter in Hashtgerd, outside Tehran, which is currently home to between 1200 to 1300 stray dogs of all breeds and sizes. Some are pets which have been abandoned on the streets. Some are strays found by people and taken to the shelter, and most are injured dogs which have been helped by people.
Except for a limited number of employees paid for by donations, Vafa Animal Shelter has a large number of volunteer workers. A GP and a vet work with the shelter and between 10 to 50 volunteers come here every week to visit the dogs and play with them.
One person who has brought four dogs here told our reporter: “I am a simple laborer who earns three million tomans per month. It would not be an exaggeration to say I spend half of my income on medication and treatment for dogs I find. I pay 600 thousand tomans in rent and I am left with one million tomans for expenses. But this one million goes a long way and I can manage to live on it. It is true that they say God is kind. I am happy that my wife and myself value this work.”
In addition to the volunteers, those who wish to keep dogs also visit this place. A team from the shelter then visit the accommodation where the dog will be living before giving it to the family. Once the dog is adopted, they pay periodic inspection visits to the dog to make sure it is well taken care of.
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