What Health And Legal Risks Await Girls That Have Dogs As “Boy Friends”?

By Sandra Ijeoma Okoye

If there is any news story that is presently trending on media landscape, and which is set to break the internet, it is the news of girls in Lekki, Lagos allegedly engaging in sexual activities with dogs. Personally to yours sincerely, and perhaps to other Nigerians, it is a story that will at any time makes the ears to tingle, and that should be met with utter disgust.

As gathered through google search that eventually led me to medical websites where I was able to pick some facts from online medical journals, the act is commonly referred to as bestiality, which, according to medical experts, is harmful, but cannot result to pregnancy.

According to medical experts, naturally, fertilization of gametes (sex cells) only occurs between a male and a female of the same species. Hence a dog’s sperm cannot fertilize a human’s egg. This means fantasy seekers with animals cannot get pregnant.

Paradoxically put, animals provide many benefits to people. Many people interact with animals in their daily lives, both at home and away from home. Animals provide food, fiber, livelihoods, travel, sport, companionship, and education for people across the globe. Millions of households, particularly in urban communities have one or more pets. Again, we might come into contact with animals’ settings, during travel, while visiting animal exhibits, or while enjoying outdoor activities. The foregoing, no doubt, paints a graphical picture of the extent and the limit man can have anything to do with animals.

According to an African proverb, “When a man’s playfully touches the navel of a woman, it means the man has crossed his boundary”. It is from the perspective of the lesson drawn from the foregoing axiomatic expression that one can in this context say that those that were alleged to have been sleeping with dogs have crossed their boundaries. The reason for the foregoing cannot be farfetched as animals can sometimes carry harmful germs that can spread to people and cause illnesses known as zoonotic diseases or zoonoses. Zoonotic diseases are caused by harmful germs like viruses, bacterial, parasites, and fungi. These germs can cause many different types of illnesses in people and animals, ranging from mild to serious illness and even death. Animals can sometimes appear healthy even when they are carrying germs that can make people sick, depending on the zoonotic disease.

Zoonotic diseases are very common, such that scientists estimate that more than 6 out of every 10 known infectious diseases in people can be spread from animals, and 3 out of every 4 new or emerging infectious diseases in people come from animals. Because of this, public health workers in other climes work round the clock to protect people from zoonotic diseases.

Therefore, because of the close connection between people and animals, it’s important for people to be aware of the common ways they can get infected with germs that can cause zoonotic diseases. These can include: direct contact as coming into contact with the saliva, blood, urine, mucous, feces, or other body fluids of an infected animal that can be dangerous to anyone’s health. Examples include petting or touching animals, and bites or scratches, not to talk of having sex with dogs.

Another way by which people can get infected with germs is coming into contact with areas where animals live and roam, or objects or surfaces that have been contaminated with germs. Examples include aquarium tank water, pet habitats, chicken coops, barns, plants, and soil, as well as pet food and water dishes.

You might have been wondering why I chose to express my view on this topic. I must confess that the news of women in Lagos, particularly within Lekki axis having intercourse with dogs has been virally trending of late, and it has unarguably become worrisome. It is worrisome because it portends serious health risks for those directly involved, and indirectly on public health, and general safety of the populace.

Without resort to disclosure that may be misleading in this context, it suffices to say that the reason for this act is unknown, and should be left to public health officials. Though speculations are rife that the girls engaged in the practice of sleeping with dogs do it for the pornographic contents obtainable therefrom. Others think it is due to the craze for cheap wealth as they say it is an advancement in the spiritual realm, particularly in the area of money rituals, and for the rest, it is recreational, while some say it is because of the money payable to any girl that participates in the evil act, which they said in the media is within the range of N1.2m to N1.7.

As gathered, some of the diseases that can be contacted through the bestial act cut across rabies, which is a viral disease from dogs that is fatal in humans. It is transmitted from the saliva of dogs. Immediately after the symptoms set in, the human has little chance of survival if not treated.

Another disease that is likely to be contacted from the act is Echinococcosis, which is a parasitic tapeworm found in the faeces of dogs. The disease is asymptomatic and would not manifest until after few years, after engaging in somewhat Sodomy. The worms would cause cysts to develop in the kidneys, heart, spleens and brains of the person so affected. If not treated, it can lead to death.

At this juncture, it is expedient to call on the government to criminalize such conduct. While the reason it should be criminalize may be unclear to many people, it could be argued that bestiality, though a victimless crime, which majority of the population believes is immoral should not be allowed to thrive in this part of the world and blight our moral fabric.

At this juncture, one may equally ask, “Are there additional reasons justifying the criminalization of bestiality?” Left to me, having sex with animals, particularly dogs should be prohibited for the same reasons that justify making it a crime to engage in sexual intercourse with a child.

“Even if animals can desire to have sexual contact with humans, that does not mean that they are “consenting” to that contact any more than does a child who can have sexual desires (or who even initiates sexual contact) can be said to consent to sex.

Sandra Ijeoma Okoye (Author)

Disclaimer: "The views/contents expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of The Nigerian Voice. The Nigerian Voice will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this article."