Iranian Lawmakers Could Make It A Crime To Own A Dog

Lawmakers in Iran have proposed a bill that would ban people from keeping dogs as pets.  The measure would criminalize dog ownership, assess fines and confiscate animals. 

The proposed bill is latest tactic by the Iranian government to crack down on the popularity of Western culture creeping into their country, but if passed it will endanger the lives of thousands of dogs.

This isn’t the first time Iran has tried to make it a criminal act to own a dog.  During the past decade police have periodically seized dogs from their owners — right off the street.

Traditionally dogs have not been kept as pets because civil and religious custom consider dogs to be najes, or unclean animals. 

But as Western values have become more acceptable to wealthy Iranians and city dwellers — dog ownership has become commonplace.  Thousands of dogs, especially small lap dogs live throughout Tehran. 

However, the Iranian Parliament now wants to put an end to any tolerance of Western values and they want to begin the new era by making an example out of dogs.

CNN said, “The proposed law would take the dogs away from their owner and fine them $100 – $500.  The legislation does not say what would ultimately happen to the animal.”

A story from NPR said, “If the law passes, dog owners will be banned from taking their pets out into public spaces and into vehicles, as well as living in private flats.  If they fail to do so, health authorities will be called in to take the dog away from its owner.”

The government is not the only supporter of criminalizing dog ownership — religious clerics have called for a ban for many years. 

NPR reports:

In June 2010, Iran’s Grand Ayatollah Naser Makarem Shirazi issued a fatwa, a religious edict, that said Iranians should not keep dogs, because it meant they were blindly following the West and because they were “unclean.” Later that year, reports Al Arabiya, another cleric called for the arrest of dogs and their owners.

Omid Memarian, an Iranian journalist who specializes in human rights told Time, “This is very frightening for Iranian officials, who find themselves in a cultural war with the West and see what they’re offering as an ‘Islamic lifestyle’ failing measurably.”


Creative Commons - Ed Yourdon



I have some very good friends in Iran & they are totally against what their government & religious leaders are doing. Until they made friends on Facebook with people from the west they thought that all of us westerners believed everything we heard in the news they also thought that we hate all Iranians. They now know that we do not & that we only hate the Iranian government & the religious bigots running the country. Given the chance the ordinary Iranian people would gladly get rid of them & live like the rest of us. The ones I know are always the first to sign any petition I post on behalf of animals. Love the Iranian people but hate the regime!!!

Judy C.
Judy Cook6 years ago

What absolute idiots

Jovita Prinz
jovita d6 years ago

I can´t believe either Mahoma or any other profet could condem to own an animal. If so, they are not religious people, they are not spiritual, they´re fanatic and extremist. It´s the human interpretation of religion but not the God message. All creatures were created by him, no superiority complex, no power to hurt the others. The message from a honest and compassive God should be clear all over the World, no matter the religion and the status you belong to: we´ll are living creatures and deserve respect, love, support, freedom and compassion. If anyone talk about harming, condemnation, it does mean NO RELIGION, it does MEAN a particular point of fanatism coming from mind no from spirit

Sue Matheson
Sue Matheson6 years ago

thanks for the post.

L. N.
Neela N6 years ago

To Margo A.--- You say u r a vegan and u have all those health problems. I dont know if u r kidding or not! I've been a vegan for around 20 yrs and have never felt better.
You say in your profile that one of your passions are animals, but, its ok to slaughter and consume them? You also say u r for the 'abused', 'lost', and 'the oppressed'---that is what animals are. You say people up here and animals down there and that they don't have rights. You are one very confused person and I feel sorry for you.

KrassiAWAY B.
Krasimira B6 years ago

Not surprised.

Cynthia Mattera
Cynthia Mattera6 years ago

OMG! What will happen to these innocent dogs if the law is passed?

This is sick!

caterina c.
caterina c6 years ago

I totally agree with Maresa M....(..a proposito...ciao. Maresa...!!!...)

Lori E.
Lori E6 years ago

This is crazy! Having a dog as a pet means that Western culture is seeping into their country? Makes NO sense and what about all those poor dogs?! I don't even want to think of their fate :(

Carrie Anne Brown

Thanks for sharing this article =]