Ukranian expat Nataliya Kartavenko Image Credit: Archive

Dubai: Dubai Municipality on Monday said it rescued 80 street cats which, according to animal lovers, were dying, starving, thirsty and sick from the old fish market in Deira.

The civic body said it sent three trucks and 15 specialists from the veterinary service section to save the cats after receiving a report on their difficult situation.

Some animal lovers in Dubai had started an appeal to rescue these cats as they had no means to get food once the old fish market shifted to the new premises last month.

Ukranian expat Nataliya Kartavenko had launched a Facebook campaign and sought the help of animal lovers to rescue the “dying, starving, thirsty and sick” cats. She had managed to trap 13 cats and kittens which were sent for neutering/spaying and relocating, according to her Facebook posts.

Dr Manal Al Mansouri, group director of Yani Animal Welfare, had also appealed to support the efforts of Nataliya and friends.

Dr Murad Basheer Mustafa, head of Dubai Municipality veterinary therapeutic sub-unit in Al Khawaneej, told Gulf News that the clinic had already started treatment of the captured cats.

“We first put them under air-conditioner and gave them food and water. They were then inspected by the vets. Each one has been separately looked into. They were dehydrated and hungry,” he said.

“We have internal kennel and cattery in our pets’ clinic to keep the animals for treatment and recovery. We have nine vets and more than 12 assistants to take care of them.”

Dr Mustafa added that like any street cat captured and treated at the clinic, these cats would also be posted for adoption as returning them to their old habitat is not possible.