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Close Down Arman Zoo

This petition had 10,544 supporters

Dear all, My name is Colleen Hegarty and I am the individual that started the initiative “Zoo Dogs of Bahrain,” which aims to rescue, rehabilitate, and rehome cats and dogs from Arman Zoo in Bahrain, a small country off the coast of Saudi Arabia. In 2015, I graduated from The George Washington University with a double major in Arabic and Middle East Studies and started my ten-month long Fulbright Grant in Bahrain. In late April of 2016, I stumbled upon this zoo, which I later found out previously made international headlines for abusing a monkey. I was initially shocked upon entering the zoo- animal abuse had been completely normalized and visitors not only enjoyed, but made animals' conditions worse by banging on cages, throwing rubbish at animals, provoking animals, and poking animals with sticks through the cages. What was most surprising to me was that cats and dogs were in cages alongside baboons and alligators. Cats, ribs visible and missing large patches of fur, were starving and clinging on to the sides of the cages begging for a morsel of food, while in the background sat the zoo's 20+ antique premium cars. Large breed dogs hid in the backs of their cages hoping to not attract attention while visitors paid the equivalent of $3 to “walk” smaller breeds around. The skin on their paws were burnt and their tongues hung out without any access to water during the hot midday sun (with temperatures regularly over 100 degrees) and children continued to drag and kick them as they whimpered and tried to stop walking. Originally, I convinced the zoo manager to let me put ten dogs (now twenty) and all mixed breed cats (but I ended up taking the Himalayans as well, totaling to 24 cats) up for adoption- animals he said he has "no use for". The dogs I took either couldn’t be bred or sold because they were “mixed” breeds or were too sick to be walked by children or bred. I created a successful gofundme which can be viewed here: to treat and neuter the dogs and cats and prepare them for adoption. The dogs taken out of the zoo had tick fever and were covered in ticks and matted; some dogs were malnourished, had colitis from severe cases of worms, had to have oral surgery for 10+ rotten teeth, had broken knee caps, broken tails, broken jaws, and severe anxiety and food aggression disorders. Cats were so skinny that you could feel every bone in their spine and ribs. Cats were starving and developed mouth ulcers as a result. They were malnourished. They were covered in fleas and anemic from the fleas and in addition suffered from other conditions like ringworm and eye infections. One cat passed away from severe health issues he suffered as a result of conditions at the zoo. The last cat removed from the zoo was pregnant and had a broken, bleeding nose from being beaten by a zoo worker, which was witnessed by two visitors. Using social media, word of mouth, and my Facebook page “Zoo Dogs of Bahrain” and Instagram @zoodogsofbahrain we were able to find homes for 18 cats and five dogs in Bahrain. We coordinated the shipment of 14 dogs to the United States and only 4 are currently up for adoption in the Fort Lauderdale/Miami area (they can be seen on Although all the cats have been rescued, more dogs and wildlife are still suffering at Arman Zoo. Culturally, dog adoption in Bahrain isn't common and people often look for smaller dogs-making it almost impossible for the larger dogs to find homes in Bahrain. Besides for dogs, the zoo has other animals like alligators, baboons, monkeys, a tortoise, deer, ostriches, Hyenas, rabbits, Guinea pigs, Egyptian vultures, Peacocks, etc. The zoo illegally imports and occasionally sells the wild animals that they’re holding captive and some of these animals, like Egyptian vultures, are endangered species. Animal rights in Bahrain are nonexistent and the government has not been responsive in dealing with the issues at the zoo. Since the government is unresponsive, I'm trying to raise awareness of the conditions at this zoo and prove to the government that the international community cares about these animals using this petition. Please view the conditions of the animals here: And photos of animals still suffering here: Like us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram @zoodogsofbahrain for photos and updates. Donations to help save the doggies still suffering at the zoo are welcome here: If you have any further questions, please feel free to email us at Thank you! Colleen Hegarty

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