Saudi Arabia pet ban: Is it an entirely bad thing?


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From AP: Two men pet a cat in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on Thursday

That a puppy on a leash or a kitten in one’s arms is a magnet for the opposite sex is something we all seem to know, but not think much about. (Or maybe you do think about it more than I do?)

Well, officials in Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia, have thought about it — a lot. And they’ve now banned the sale of dogs and cats, and made it illegal to walk dogs outside. According to the Associated Press:

[An official] said the ban was ordered because of
what he called “the rising phenomenon of men using cats and dogs to
make passes at women and pester families.”

Now, the ban on walking dogs outside makes no sense to me, but the ban on selling pets may be in some ways a good thing.

Saudis — and Americans and Europeans and Indians, etc. — ought to adopt dogs and cats rather than purchase them, letting perfectly wonderful, adoptable pets linger in shelters. Whether Saudi Arabia has shelters where people can adopt pets, I don’t know.

But maybe banning the sale of dogs will cut down on the number of strays in the city, who probably don’t have the greatest lot in life: According to AP, “In Islamic tradition, dogs are shunned as unclean and dangerous, though
they are kept for hunting and guarding. In large cities around the
Middle East, stray dogs are considered pests.”

What do you think?