A while ago, I explored the possibility of buying a beagle puppy from Creatures Pet Shop in SABCO and when I got there, I was fed what can only be described as total and utter bullshit from a guy called George who works there and also another local man who claimed that all his animals had verifiable histories that were in line with all the Omani laws.
Only now am I more fully informed of the reality of what is really going on down there and also, I suspect, in other pet shops in Muscat.
Having returned a week later to have another look, I was told that the beagle had died due to a "birth defect" and that they could get me another in a week or two. Meanwhile, I asked about the young puppy who was clearly in a state of distress in a plastic transporter cage which had a blanket thrown over it.
Closer inspection revealed that the pup was sitting in a pool of its own liquid feces and could hardly stand up.
I was told by George that the dog had suspected Parvovirus but they were going to give him a few more days to recover.
When I went back the next day he was gone.
Now....I have some questions.
The staff there told me that the person in charge of the veterinary upkeep of these animals is Elka from the clinic in Qurum Heights.
I have also heard her name mentioned at the other pet shop next to Markaz Al Bahja.
Over the past years, I have accompanied friends to this woman's vet clinic and have been very impressed by her attitude and skill - but if she gets to read this, can she tell us what steps she has taken to try and prevent the daily suffering of all of these animals?
Surely as a veterinary professional, she and other vets have a duty of care when animals like this show up REGULARLY in a clinic.
And what is the local municipality or whoever doing to prevent this?
The general public carry more whack than most people realize when it comes to getting stuff like this actioned.
Would the pet shop in question like to have a full page spread about them in one of the local rags? Or a general information release to advise people of the problem?
Knowledge is power. The more people who know about this issue, the more chance there is of seeing it being changed.
I am so far from being a tree-hugger, however the mindless and callous treatment of any living creature just to make money is unacceptable - and they have no voice of their own.
It is for that reason that I am asking you all to get on your blogging, Twitter and email bikes and spread the word.
In response to some of your comments, I am in no way insinuating that Elke or her team are involved in any kind of under-handed dealings in relation to the above pet shop, I find her to be a vet of the utmost integrity and has only the welfare of her patients at heart.
George at Creatures and also the Filipino guy in Markaz told me that Elke provides all of the vaccinations and healthcare for these animals. I do not know if this is true or not - I am just relaying what I have been told.
What I am asking is, if the above is true, then what reports have been issued, or actions taken by vets when confronted with an animal from this pet shop?
Is it just ignored because "that's just the way it is around here"?
Is there any way that these animals can be impounded and cared for?
Does Oman have an anti-cruelty law for animals, and if not then why not?
I know the lady down in the marina is very active in animal sheltering but at the same time I am aware that space to shelter them is finite.
I think it is time for some ballsy investigative journalist to have a deeper look into the activities of Creatures Pet Shop - or maybe the owners would care to comment and show Muscat that they really are above board and this has all been a terrible misunderstanding.