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Into the Stray Situation: How you can help

Adopting a pet means adopting it for the rest of its life

Gulf News

Dubai: Getting pets in Dubai is like shopping for a smartphone, a tablet or anything other must- have item, as the buyer will have a lot of options to choose from, except that pets have a life too.

Based on figures from Dubai Customs, the number of dogs imported to the UAE during the first quarter of this year stood at 448 and the total number of dogs brought to the country last year stood at 1,787 of various types and breeds.

But if you are looking to buy pets, before hitting a pet shop, animal welfare advocates say it’s best to first consider pets that are up for adoption by many rehoming organisations in the UAE, or participate at Dubai Municipality’s pet auctions every Thursday.

Once you have them in your homes, consider them as family.

“If you take on a pet, you are responsible for that animal for the rest of its life, not for as long as it suits you. In general, we feel there is no excuse for abandoning or surrendering a pet,” Ellen Quanjer, manager of Ras Al Khaimah Animal Welfare Centre, told Gulf News.

If pets are not allowed in your building, however, there are still other options where you can show your concern for animals. One way is to help sterilise them.

“If you want to help a cat, number one sterilise. Even one cat a week or one cat every two months. If you have five cats on the street, you can coordinate with your neighbours, maybe five cats can be fixed in a month,” Montserrat Martin, Friends of Animals Dubai founder, told Gulf News.

While it may be costly in some clinics, Martin said the clinics they work with charge Dh130 for sterilising a male cat and Dh175 for a female cat.

“If we could sterilise 1,000 cats a month, I can tell you that within two years the problem [of the increasing stray population] will not be here,” Martin said.