Stray dogs alarm students on campus

Jueun Choi, Staff Reporter


Photo by Jueun Choi
Place behind Janoubi where dogs are often sighted [Photo by Jueun Choi]

On a Friday morning two weeks ago, Mohammad Qandas, 19, was filming a class project near a construction site close to the Janoubi male residence halls in Education City. After finishing, he noticed two stray dogs idling near his car parked at the power plant behind Janoubi. When the thin-looking dogs noticed him too, they became aggressive; they started to run toward Qandas while barking. Afraid of being bitten by the dogs, he sprinted in the opposite direction. Qandas ran back as fast as he could. He says the dogs eventually gave up chasing after him.

“I was pissed—how do they just let the dogs walk around Education City?” said Qandas, a communication junior at Northwestern University in Qatar. “I handled the situation but what if this happens to someone else who cannot?”

Qandas is one of several students who say they have recently encountered stray dogs in Education City. Six months ago, Ahmad Almomani, a mechanical engineering junior at Texas A&M University at Qatar, was also chased by three dogs in the same area while he was biking alone at night. “I was surprised, obviously. Once the initial shock dissipated, the fear set in. It was like I got into their territory,” said Almomani.

Both Qandas and Almomani said the dogs approached them when they were alone; they seem to stay away when people are in groups.


[Video by NU-Q freshman Sana Hussain]

Stray dogs have been an unresolved issue at Education City for years. “There has been [several years of] history of stray dogs entering the Al Shaqab estate [behind the student housing]…but I have not heard of any recently,” said Michael McDonough, director of Health, Safety, Security, Environment at NU-Q. Students complained about the stray dogs on the Hamad Bin Khalifa University Residence Hall Association Facebook group last semester. In May, Gabriella Calabro, residence hall coordinator at HRL, responded to the Facebook post: “HRL is very well aware of this issue and is coordinating with the appropriate campus entities who will be able to take care of it.” However, students say the problem remains.

“Two weeks ago, I was in my room and from the window I could see the back of Janoubi and saw the large dog that chased after me laying around the ground. As far as I know, I heard they [HRL and QF security] are responding to the issue, but if I saw the dog two weeks ago, there has not been not much progress,” said Almomani.

Photo by Mohammad Qandas
Road behind Janoubi where Qandas was chased by the dogs [Photo by Mohammad Qandas]
Fahad Ali Adeeba, facilities management administrator at HRL, said the issue was communicated to Qatar Foundation’s Health, Safety, Security & Environment a year and a half ago, which was also the last time that they heard any complaints. “The stray dogs issue was outside the premises of the HRL. However, for the safety of our residents and everyone, we have communicated this concern to HSSE to be addressed,” said Adeeba. “We have not witness another incident involving stray dogs [since a year and a half ago], and therefore we assumed that the issue has been addressed properly.”

According to Isedoro Viola and Cristopher Delacruz, security guards who are part of the emergency response team of Qatar Foundation security, there are currently wild dogs near Awsaj Academy and Oxygen Park. Delacruz said the security guards have received orders from their manager to capture stray dogs in Education City, as dogs are not allowed on campus. However, they said they have not received any equipment or safety gear to carry this out. Viola said that this month, he and a fellow guard caught two dogs – one at the Oxygen Park, and the other from between the CMU-Q and TAMUQ buildings – but this was possible only because these dogs were less wild than the other ones that security guards have encountered.

“They have to get animal control to get it. I can’t imagine security guards doing it themselves,” said Almomani.

“I feel like there should be a better system for animal control that can take care of things like this,” said Jawaher AlMoawdah, a communication sophomore at NU-Q. “Not only can stray dogs roaming in Qatar Foundation potentially be dangerous to the students, but the dogs could also get injured due to all the cars in QF.”

Qatar Foundation’s HSSE Directorate did not respond to repeated requests for comment by The Daily Q.


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