Dubai: For 20 days, Beauty was in hell. Or at least that’s how Salem (name changed) described her condition when he retrieved her from her abductors in a villa in Sharjah on July 29.
She was very skinny, had attack wounds and droopy eyes. The whole of her back had flea bite dermatitis.
Beauty is a one-year-old Japanese Akita that has been with Salem since she was three months old. She was like a family member, Salem said. Hence, when she went ‘missing’ on July 9, the family was shattered.
“I went looking for Beauty here and there but we couldn’t find her,” Salem, a businessman, told Gulf News.
The next day, word spread in the neighbourhood that three men had attempted to abduct his neighbour’s dog. But a French woman was quick enough to snatch the dog back. The men fled the scene immediately. The French woman, however, could not be reached for comment as of press time.
Twenty days later, Salem received a tip from a pet shop owner that a Japanese Akita matching Beauty’s description was being sold in Sharjah. Salem pretended to be a buyer and tried to strike a deal with the dog keeper.
“He [dog keeper] wanted to sell Beauty at any price because she was really very sick,” he added.
When Salem told him the truth, the man immediately offered to give him his dog back and begged him not to tell the police.
At that time, Salem saw four other huskies and three German Shepherd dogs in the cage.
When Fatima, an Emirati dog owner, learned about the four huskies from Salem, she instantly thought that it could be her huskies Lucy and Rex. The huskies were reportedly stolen in Al Warqa on July 5, four days before Beauty was taken.
“We suspect that they were taken by a gang because we found that the cage lock had been broken open,” Fatima said.
Fatima said that they have exhausted all means to try to locate her dogs but to no avail. She said her dogs could easily fall prey to dog thieves because of their uniqueness, a fact confirmed by Dr Matt, head veterinarian at the Desert Veterinary Clinic in Dubai.
“Huskies could be sold for a lot of money because of their blue eyes,” Dr Matt told Gulf News. Dogs can be sold for prices ranging between Dh5,000 and Dh12,000 depending on the breed. It could go even higher if the breed is rare and if all the documents and vaccines have been completed prior to the sale.
“If they are not properly fed, they could lose weight, develop skin ulcers and diseases. Out of fear, they could react with aggression. Dogs could start biting each other,” Dr Matt said.
It’s been more than a month since Lucy and Rex’s disappearance. Fatima has not lost hope that she will be reunited with them and she prays that day will be soon.
Beauty, meanwhile, is still undergoing treatment and will be back home after some time.