On 18th August, animal lovers around the world will mark the 27th annual International Homeless Animals’ Day.
It’s a time when organisations around the world host activities in a bid to raise awareness about overpopulation and being a responsible pet owner.
So what can you do in Abu Dhabi to help the city’s homeless animals?
There are numerous animal welfare groups across the emirate that need your help. Organisations such as Animal Welfare Abu Dhabi, the Abu Dhabi Animal Shelter, Animal Action UAE and Emirates Animal Welfare Society welcome volunteers to help rescue stray animals, provide them with food and water, donate supplies and even give their time and services for bigger projects such as field clinics.
Are you living or working in an area with multiple stray cats and dogs? The Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital is responsible for the Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) programme launched in the emirate. This is considered the most humane way to help homeless animals and you can take action by calling the hotline for Tadweer – Center of Waste Management Abu Dhabi on 800 555.
Tell them the location and number of stray animals and they will dispatch a team to collect them, take them to the hospital to be treated and then return them to where they were collected from.
If you’re considering getting a pet, make sure to thoroughly do your research and carefully consider the commitment and responsibility that is involved.
If you’re sure it’s the right step for you, avoid going to a breeder or pet shop – there are thousands of homeless animals in Abu Dhabi looking for new homes, many of which have been abandoned and need loving homes to call their own.
You’ll have to go through an adoption process and answer a few questions first. Groups such as Animal Welfare Abu Dhabi, Animal Action Abu Dhabi, Jackie’s Cats and Feline Friends all have numerous animals that need adopting so get in touch to find out more.
Be a foster parent
If you’re not able to make the commitment to adopt, then fostering could be another great option. Most of the well-regarded rescue organisations (see above) are regularly looking for people to come forward to foster an animal. Keep in mind that you will be responsible for the animal until it is adopted, and this could be anywhere from a few days to months.
Be a responsible pet owner
Abu Dhabi is a transient country but your pets shouldn’t suffer just because you are travelling or leaving the country. If you already own a pet and cannot take it with you, you should never dump it or abandon it. Pets are living things and require constant care. If you are travelling, consider a suitable boarding facility such as Cloud 9 Pet Hotel and Care or the American Veterinary Clinic, or hire a pet sitter for the duration of your holiday. If you are leaving the country for good and need help finding a new home for your pet, reach out to one of the rescue groups who may be able to offer advice or post photos and descriptions of your pet to help you find it a loving new home.
WORDS Ioanna Orphanide