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A video recently circulated on social media showing a person inside a car firing at a roadside dog. Illustrative image. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Cairo: Saudi police have said they arrested a citizen after he had appeared in an online video shooting at an animal.

The arrest was made in Saudi Arabia’s south-western region of Jizan and the suspect has been referred to public prosecution. Police did not say when the incident happened.

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A video recently circulated on social media showing a person inside a car firing at a roadside dog.

In response, the kingdom’s prosecution ordered the shooter’s arrest.

Saudi law criminalises unlicensed possession of arms and attacks on animals, according to lawyer Ahmad Al Rashed.

“Animal care laws make it clear that any person or an establishment involved in causing harm to animals, will be penalised if convicted,” he told Okaz newspaper.

Under the animal care law adopted by the Gulf Cooperation Council countries including Saudi Arabia, the offender faces a maximum fine of SR50,000 that can reach SR400,000 on repetition.

The offender can be named and shamed after a final court ruling is issued and published at his/her expense in two local newspapers, the lawyer added.

“The crime of shooting at the dog is a complicated crime,” Al Rashed said.

“The accused will be interrogated on the legality of the used gun, as well as on filming and broadcasting the video as a cyber crime, and the crime of attacking the dog,” he explained.

Care for animals has increasingly drawn attention.

In August 2022, the first five-star hotel for cats in Saudi Arabia opened in Riyadh where their owners can leave them for hours or days and can still follow up on their health using a free smartphone App.

Last July, rescuers in Riyadh freed a cat that had got stuck in a house sanitation pipe for 10 days.

The rescue was carried out by a team from the Riyadh mayoralty with participation of some volunteers.

The 240-hour rescue was conducted after local authorities were alerted that the cat had been stuck into the pipe.