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Washington state animal organization rescues puppy slated for research in Iran

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On Wednesday, Jan. 8, KING 5 News reported that a Washington state animal organization saved a puppy slated for animal research in Iran.

PAWS animal rescue in Lynnwood helped two young dogs make it out of Iran, including a dog who had been targeted for animal research. Thanks to a coordinated effort between PAWS and an Iranian animal rescue organization called Vafa Animal Shelter, the puppy will instead have a chance at a loving life in Washington state.

The international animal rescue saved three-month-old Shabnam and six-month-old Apoo. According to PAWS, both dogs will soon have new homes.

Tragically, the Iranian government is considering outlawing all dogs and cats within the Tehran city limits.

In 2011, TIME magazine discussed the future of domesticated animals in Iran, noting:

During periodic crackdowns, police have confiscated dogs from their owners right off the street; and state media has lectured Iranians on the diseases spread by canines.

The cleric Gholamreza Hassani, from the city of Urmia, has been satirized for his sermons railing against "short-legged" and "holdable" dogs.

An Iranian animal rescue team from Vafa Animal Shelter purchased Apoo from the researchers. Apoo's condition revealed just how close she came to being an animal research subject: when she arrived at PAWS, her entire right side had been shaved by medical researchers who were preparing to use her for experiments.

Apoo and Shabnam are thriving with a PAWS foster family.

“They’re healthy and happy,” stated PAWS Foster Care Coordinator Rebecca Oertel.

“They’ve had their spay surgeries, and both girls have been given a clean bill of health.”

This isn't the first time that PAWS has participated in an international animal rescue. Last year, PAWS rescued a Border Collie mix out of Iran.

“It’s tragic,” stated Kay Joubert, Director of Companion Animal Services at PAWS.

“This situation is reprehensible and we will do anything we can to help these poor dogs. While we remain committed to our mission locally, our doors are always open to help an animal in need.”

Are you Interested in adopting Apoo or Shabnam? Visit the PAWS website here.

About PAWS
PAWS is people helping animals. It is their mission to be a champion for animals—rehabilitating injured and orphaned wildlife, sheltering and adopting homeless cats and dogs, and educating people to make a better world for animals and people.

PAWS envisions a world where all people recognize the intrinsic value of animals and consistently make choices that demonstrate compassion and respect.

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