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The Souk of Stolen Dogs: Morocco’s Purebred Mafia

Last updated on August 3, 2019

The Souk of Stolen Dogs: Morocco’s Purebred Mafia demand for purebred dogs in Morocco has spawned a small-scale but thriving criminal network in Rabat.  Rabat – At 1:41 pm on June 19, a Facebook user shared a desperate plea in an adoption group for cats and dogs in Rabat.  “I need your help to find my three-month-old Husky. Last night my brother got mugged around 11 pm at the corniche of Hay el Fath, Rabat, and they took the dog from him,” he wrote.  Several users commented on the post expressing their sympathy and support for the original poster, but others were critical. One commenter even found the situation amusing.  “This is the problem with Huskies,” another user chimed in. “If she was a German Shepherd, Malinois, or one of the other violent breeds they wouldn’t take her.” “I hope you can find her, and I hope after this experience you’ll be more careful,” he continued. “Always raise and teach your dogs to attack.” This single post offers a glimpse at larger issue within Morocco’s emergent culture of pet ownership: the theft of purebred dogs.  As the demand for purebred dogs skyrockets, opportunistic criminals are taking advantage of the new market.  Some people speculate that a mafia of pet thieves is taking root in Rabat, and that this single network of criminals is responsible for pet heists from Harhoura to Kenitra. Although this theory remains unverified, dogs and cats are strategically stolen from hands and homes every day.  Friendly dogs that are unbothered by strangers may seem the most susceptible to theft, but all dog breeds can be victims of this crime. The Souk of Stolen Dogs: Morocco’s Purebred Mafia


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