Muscat: Stray dogs in residential areas of the city have become a menace for the city residents, and many who chose to spend the long Eid Al Fitr vacation at home soaked in the blissful domesticity of life, complained that the canines spoiled some of their joy.
The residents, both Omanis and expatriates, particularly those living in Ghubra, Azaiba, and parts of Al Khuwair, Seeb and Ruwi made clear their disgust at the presence of packs of stray dogs in open areas.
Often such dogs make it difficult for them to go out in the open to have a good time.
Khalid Al Ka'bi, a resident of Al Khuwair, said that during the Eid holidays, he decided "not to leave my locality and instead enjoy the verdant atmosphere of nearby parks in the evening and at night."
"It was a difficult choice this time as groups of dogs roamed around the parks, scaring my children. I think during occasions such as Eid holidays, dogs should be shooed away so that families can have peaceful outings within their residential areas," he said.
Mathew, an automobile engineer resident of Ruwi, said at times it becomes difficult to drive a car in the Main Business District of Ruwi "as groups of dogs start chasing our cars, and it can cause accidents if one tries to reflexively swerve to avoid hitting a dog."
Amir, a student of Indian School Ghubra, said, "Every evening when I go for a walk from my house to the main road, a stretch of half a kilometre, I have to remain on tenterhooks, being extra careful due to the dogs roaming around."
"My younger brother, who is a little obese and needs to have a brisk walk, does not come along due to fear of dogs. Dogs actually chased him once when he was jogging, and people around him came to his help. After that, he stopped going out for a walk," he said.
Packs of dogs are a common sight in the open areas from Azaiba Roundabout to Ghubra Roundabout and adjoining residential areas.
"My neighbours keep complaining about it. At night, when they start barking, it becomes difficult to sleep. We have been facing this for a long time now, much before Ramadan. I do not send my wife and children outside to have a stroll or visit the nearby foodstuff shops due to this," said Ahmad Murad, an Egyptian company secretary who lives near the Ministry of Tourism's building in Al Ghubra.
Jayant Roy, a marketing executive in a readymade garments firm living in Mabela, said that authorities should prevent dogs from entering residential areas as they cause a lot of inconvenience to the people.
Some people find it unclean if they come in touch with a dog, particularly when they are visiting a mosque for prayers. There must be a civic plan against dogs roaming around everywhere creating nuisance, he said.
Maryam Al Lawati, a housewife living in Darsait, said, "When my children go out, they throw stones at the dogs to keep them away, but I hate the idea of hurting them as they too are living creatures. However, children sometimes handle the situation in a poor fashion. It is painful and it hurts, but what can one do? My seven-year-old son cannot go out to play nearby due to fear of dogs. His elder brothers teach him to carry stones to pelt at the dogs if they come closer."
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