UAE: Dog shot with air gun pellets in skull, eye sockets, body; police launch hunt for culprits

This is one of the worst cases of animal cruelty we have seen, says rescue group chief


Dhanusha Gokulan

Published: Wed 2 Feb 2022, 8:48 PM

Last updated: Thu 3 Feb 2022, 12:12 PM

A dog in distress was found in Sharjah with at least eight air gun pellets lodged inside her body — including the skull and eye sockets — and an animal rescue group said authorities are trying to find the culprits who shot the hapless animal with air guns.

The tan-coloured saluki mix named Grace was found with 5-8-inch deep pellet wounds in a residential area in Sharjah.

Mariam Alquraishat, founder of Bubbles Pet Rescue, said, “This is one of the worst cases of animal cruelty we have seen. Grace is barely a year old.

“A woman living in the area informed us that she heard the dog crying near her home late at night on January 28. She said she saw two men shoot Grace with air guns. The first shots were fired at 12am, and the two of them came back at 2am to repeat their actions.

“We heard from this woman at 3am,” added Alquraishat.

By early January 29 morning, Bubbles Rescue Group volunteers began searching for Grace. “Fortunately, Grace walked into someone’s villa a day later. The residents there recognised her and were able to keep the puppy safe till we were able to send help,” she added.

Alquraishat said authorities were alerted, and investigations are ongoing. Khaleej Times has also reached out to Sharjah Police for comments.

She said the injured puppy could be a pet, as she seems well-trained and has a sweet temperament.

After an x-ray scan, Grace was found to have pellets lodged inside her skull, eye sockets, neck, chest, and hind legs.

Grace was rushed to the Harmony Vet Clinic, where three superficial bullets were removed, said Alquraishat, who has been rescuing since 2013.

“However, the others are lodged in sensitive areas of her body. If these are removed, she might lose her quality of life, or it could be life-threatening,” she added.

Grace is currently at the Europets Clinic, Sharjah, where vets are trying to gauge the full extent of the damage.

Like all rescue operations, the volunteers at Bubbles are trying hard to give Grace a chance to live.

“We do not euthanise these pets. We are trying our best to give her a good life. She is already starting to trust us. As of now, we are unsure if these pellets would cause further complications,” stated Alquraishat.

“It is a miracle she is still alive and still stable. The vet has informed us that there is a chance for her to live a normal life; unfortunately, the bullets might have to stay in her forever,” she added.

Strict laws

The UAE has strict laws against animal abuse. In 2016, President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, issued Federal Law No 18 for 2016 to tackle cases of animal cruelty.


According to the law, people who are found guilty of abusing or illegal hunting, buying or selling animals face a one-year prison term and a fine of Dh200,000.

Further, Article 432 of the Federal Punishment Law stipulates that anyone found torturing or abusing an animal can be fined Dh10,000.

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