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Has Turkmenistan Learned to Love Dogs? (Hint: No)

Turkmenistan loves sports, so this unusually despotic nation’s attempt to garner some positive international press ahead of next month’s Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games in Ashgabat warrants an apt metaphor.

Announcing the opening of its first shelter for stray cats and dogs was a tap-in putt.

Alas, in characteristic fashion, Turkmen authorities took their driver to that shot and planted the ball straight in the nearest bunker.

Over the past few years, there have been multiple reports of cruelly executed mass culls of homeless dogs. During one wave in 2016, municipal workers in the capital, Ashgabat, went around the city leaving poisoned food for the animals to eat. Inevitably, many house pets were also swept up in the cull.

One Ashgabat resident at the time told foreign-based Alternative News of Turkmenistan that she was on night duty when she got a phone call from her crying children. They told her that their dog had been poisoned and had died in agony.

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Has Turkmenistan Learned to Love Dogs? (Hint: No)

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