Muscat Municipality has launched a project to manage and control stray dogs in the city. With the number of stray dogs increasing across the capital, including in residential areas, the civic body has decided to start the project for their effective management by floating a tender in October. Accordingly, the last date for submitting the tender was December 13, and as per the details available at the tender board, five companies have submitted their bids.
There has been a steady increase of stray dogs in several localities of the city over the past few years, and according to civic officials, "there was no particular policy for the management of stray dogs."
Speaking to the Observer, a resident of Seeb said, "We find big groups of stray dogs in our locality moving around unattended. We need a mechanism to take care of them as they are vulnerable to road accidents at night, especially in thinly lit areas. It is also seen that some pet owners dump them on the streets for their purposes."
Earlier, a municipal council member told the Observer that voluntary groups involving youngsters should be involved in finding solutions to the problem of stray dogs in certain parts of the capital area.
The issue is currently handled by Royal Oman Police, ROP, but there should be efforts to find solutions without causing harm to the animals.
"Voluntary groups should be involved in rescuing, homing and neutering stray dogs and cats and creating a hotline facility, in coordination with the competent authorities," the municipal council member said, admitting that the matter is serious, especially in the poorly lit and isolated areas of the city.
"We should start exploring options such as shelter homes," he said.