The excessive barking of a dog that caused disturbance to neighbours in a residential apartment in Jeddah has led to the conviction of its Sudanese owner.
The Saudi Appeals Court has upheld the verdict of the Jeddah Criminal Court to sentence the Sudanese national to 10 days in jail for the violation of public decorum. The court also directed the convict to sign an undertaking not to repeat the violation of rearing dogs in residential apartments.
Sources said that the Sudanese national raised a dog inside his apartment in a residential building in Jeddah. Two women neighbours in the building filed a lawsuit against him, alleging that the excessive barking of the dog caused them disturbance and became a public nuisance. They complained that the dog had caused harm and panic to the neighbours.
But the Sudanese resident objected to the complaints, saying that the complaints were baseless. In a written statement, he pleaded that the source of the disturbance in the building was not his pet dog, but rather some of the children residing in the building had disturbed and frightened his pet, forcing it to bark repeatedly. The dog’s owner urged the court to dismiss the charges levelled against him.
During the trial, the defendant requested the court to grant him a grace period to bring the papers issued by the Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture, claiming that these documents permitted him to own a dog. In a subsequent session, the accused asked the court to review the Veterinary Quarantine Act of the Gulf Cooperation Council and the GCC Animal Welfare Act, arguing that these substantiate his right to own pet dogs.
According to the sources, the court listened to the parties to the dispute and issued a final ruling convicting the owner of the dog for violating public morality, and sentenced him to 10 days in prison. The court also ruled to take a pledge from him not to repeat what he had done, as well as to keep away from harming others, and not to breed dogs in residential apartments.
The Court of Appeal upheld the ruling issued by the Criminal Court, and it directed the competent authorities to execute the verdict.