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Saudi Arabia bans Riyadh residents from buying cats and dogs

August 1, 2008 |  6:13 pm

Discouraging_dogs_as_a_love_connectYou've probably heard of the guy-with-a-dog ploy: A single man goes for a walk around town with a dog (or even better, a puppy) and coincidentally finds himself lavished with attention from the opposite sex.

Men using pets to pick up women have officials in Saudi Arabia's capital so worried that they have prohibited them from buying cats and dogs or even walking them in public, the Associated Press reports:

The prohibition went into effect Wednesday in the capital, Riyadh, and authorities in the city say they will strictly enforce it — unlike previous bans in the cities of Mecca and Jidda, which have been ignored and failed to stop pet sales.

Violators found outside with their pets will have their beloved poodles and other furry companions confiscated by agents of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice, the official name of the religious police, tasked with enforcing Saudi Arabia's strict Islamic code.

The commission's general manager, Othman al-Othman, said the ban was ordered because of what he called "the rising of phenomenon of men using cats and dogs to make passes at women and pester families" as well as "violating proper behavior in public squares and malls."

"If a man is caught with a pet, the pet will be immediately confiscated and the man will be forced to sign a document pledging not to repeat the act," Al-Othman told the Al-Hayat newspaper. "If he does, he will be referred to authorities." The ban does not address women.

Let's hope the man pictured above gets the message.

--Tony Barboza

Photo: Associated Press

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