Straying onto the dirty roads of far south western Tehran foraging for food, these dogs do not fear humans anymore. On a cold morning of one the last days of winter, a municipality worker shoots a napping homeless dog, but with non-lethal bullets.
Their practice was very different less than two years ago.
The easiest way to deal with stray animals used to be shooting them to death.
Municipality authorities now claim that not a single dog is shot. In 2015, a video showing the dogs dying while moaning in agony went rapidly viral sparking widespread outrage and prompting animal rights activists as well as celebrities to protest.
An animal activist who filmed it in the city of Shiraz, central Iran claimed that the private contractors were paid about $4 for each dog they killed.
However, the local authorities denied having any role in the incident.
Now in a major shift, stray dogs are being treated in a far more civil manner. Urban animal control overseen by Tehran's municipality catch them alive, take them to foster homes, neuter them and release them again.
Private contractors were invited to bid for the urban animal control programme and running of the hospice.
Video Editor: Mohd Ibrahim
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