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In a shocking turn of events, hundreds of stray dogs in the coastal city of Tangier, Morocco, are being senselessly killed in an effort to impress FIFA officials who will be evaluating Morocco’s World Cup bid. According to animal rights activists, the dogs are being shot or poisoned on the streets. Many of these killed dogs were even tagged with earmarks to show they have been neutered and vaccinated against rabies.

Sally Kadaoui, the founder of SFT Animal Sanctuary, a non-profit that rescues and cares for the city’s homeless animals, spoke out against this horrific act, saying, “They’re killing our dogs and people’s pets too. Some of them run off, shot and wounded. It’s devastating.”

This brutal treatment of dogs is a result of Morocco hosting the FIFA Club World Cup, a tournament featuring top club sides from each continent, including Real Madrid and the Seattle Sounders. The tournament, starting on Wednesday, is considered a test event for FIFA officials ahead of a potential World Cup bid.

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Heart-wrenching footage shows the dogs collapsing and convulsing, being tossed into trucks on top of other dead bodies. In one devastating clip, a government assassin calls a dog by name, stabs her with a poison dart, and as she lays dying, her companion runs to her side trying to comfort her. Kadaoui, alongside a team of volunteers, has been racing to collect the tagged dogs and bring them to the SFT shelter, which is already home to over 600 animals.

One of SFT’s volunteers, Sylvia Garcia, who has lived in Tangier for many years, captured some of the disturbing footage. She shared that she was unable to save many of the dogs she saw being poisoned and suffering. “It’s insane. Living here is a nightmare,” Garcia said.

Kadaoui, who was born to a British mother and Moroccan father, grew up in Tangier and was traumatized by the suffering she saw on the streets. She sold her home and business in Cambridge to pursue her dream of building a sanctuary in her hometown.

The street cats and dogs in Tangier have guardians or whole communities that look after them, and SFT provides food for pets belonging to poor families. It is heartbreaking to see these beloved animals being brutally murdered, simply because of a potential World Cup bid.

It’s time for us to take a stand and speak up for these innocent animals. We must raise our voices and demand an end to this violence. Contact your local government officials and ask them to pressure Morocco to halt this brutal treatment of stray dogs. Let’s work together to create a world where all animals are treated with love and respect.

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