SHELTER DOG FROM IRAN FINDS FOSTER HOME IN TEXAS - “Facing possible execution and found wandering the streets of Tehran, Iran, Shellman has found her land of opportunity in Texas.”
A two-year-old German Shepherd mix named Shellman was recently transferred from the Vafa Animal Shelter in Iran to the SPCA of Texas. Dogs in Iran face an uncertain future because of a proposed ban on dogs which may be instituted by the government. The Vafa Animal Shelter, the first dog shelter in Iran, has been trying to transfer its dogs elsewhere and has stopped accepting new dogs into its shelter because of the impending ban. Here’s more about the situation in Iran from dallasnews.com:
In Iran, reports have surfaced of police confiscating dogs from their owners off the street and of shooting wandering strays that the government warns could carry diseases, said Farah Ravon, U.S. representative for Vafa Animal Shelter in Hashtgerd, Iran.
For the past decade, the Iranian government has tolerated pet ownership, despite its Islamic impurity according to mullahs.
In 2011, the Iranian government proposed a complete ban that would criminalize dog ownership, Ravon said. Although the ban has not yet passed, she said it is difficult for dogs, particularly larger dogs such as Shellman, to be adopted.
Ravon, who’s based in the San Francisco area, said Iranians with pet dogs often walk them at night, fearful their pets will be taken.
In the past few years, she said Vafa has been working to clear its shelter in case the ban passes. Ravon said the shelter has more than 450 dogs and has stopped taking in more.
Shellman is one of 80 dogs who have been transferred out of Iran thanks to the coordinated efforts of volunteers in Iran, Europe, and North America. Here’s her story:
The 2-year-old German shepherd mix recently made the trek from the Middle East to the SPCA of Texas in West Dallas after living in an Iranian shelter for about a year.
This is the first rescue to cross international borders for the SPCA of Texas, President James Bias said.
“We’ve taken dogs from New Orleans. We’ve taken them from Mississippi. We’ve taken them from Tennessee. We’ve had them come from New York and other parts of the U.S. when there’s been abuse or a natural disaster. But this is the farthest a rescue has come. We’re a global society now,” Bias said.
“All of our pets have a story, but this is a unique story.”
Sponsors for the Vafa Animal Shelter — the country’s first shelter, which is about 90 minutes west of Tehran — paid for and coordinated Shellman’s 22-hour trip to the U.S. with a volunteer traveling from Iran back home to North Texas, Ravon said.
Thanks to dedicated Iranian volunteers and their counterparts abroad, at least some shelter dogs will be taken in by families across the globe. Unfortunately, many other dogs will not be so lucky. Click here for the full story. For more about the Vafa Animal Shelter click here, and for more about the SPCA of Texas, click here.