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First City in Iran to Ban Killing Stray Dogs and the Woman Behind It

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THE STORY:

Shooting stray dogs is common practice in Iran. However, now the northwestern city of Tabriz has become the first and only city in the country to outlaw killing street dogs. It's all thanks to the efforts of one Iranian woman who is campaigning for those who can't speak for themselves.

Jila Pourirani founded her private animal shelter for stray dogs and cats three years ago after a massive cull where nearly 400 dogs were shot down in Tabriz. Some of the animals were reportedly buried alive, some starved to death at an animal disposal unit, while others were strangled with barb wire. The killings were carried out by a private company hired by the city.

The City refused to open a shelter, so she took out loans, sold her gold jewelry, and built one herself on land donated by a wealthy Iranian.

After years of campaigning by Pourirani and other animal advocates, the city council in Tabriz has now agreed to ban the killing of street animals. Any stray dogs or cats encountered by city officials must now be sent to Pourirani's animal shelter called "Pardis," which translates to paradise in English. While Pardis is being considered a success, other municipalities in Iran are continuing to kill homeless animals, some without using any anesthetic. Pourirani hopes other cities will replicate the model established in Tabriz.

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