Abu Dhabi: If you are looking for a warm and fuzzy gift for Christmas, what better present than a friend for life.
The Dhabian Rahma Animal Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre located at the Dhabian Equestrian Club (DEC), is offering members of the public free adoption for some of its rescued dogs and cats during the farm's third annual Christmas Fete.
The equestrian club is opening its doors to members of the public next Saturday, where 18 dogs — mostly mixed saluki and labrador breeds — and 25 cats will be displayed for adoption.
Children and adults will be also offered the chance to meet with Santa Claus, while enjoying face painting, a bouncy castle, pony rides, and a fancy dress competition. A burger stand will also be available.
The rescue centre became an extension of the DEC last year, as the need to rescue and offer homes for abandoned cats and dogs became a necessity for the farm owner, Tina Al Qubaisi, who has managed to vaccinate all the cats, and some of the dogs.
Tina has been taking care of the rescued animals at her own expense with the intention of saving them from being euthanised.
However when the pressure outgrew her passion, she decided to give them away for free to a caring family and for a good cause.
"My intention is to help save and home the animals safely," she said.
"They are all tame and well-mannered, and belong in a home environment and not in a farm. That's why I would like to invite everyone to join us for our annual Christmas fete this Saturday, there will be lots of fun and games for all," Tina told Gulf News.
Most of the cats and dogs rescued by Tina have been found roaming the streets of Abu Dhabi. When and if found on the streets, and as per the UAE Animal welfare regulation, the animal is transported to a veterinary clinic for medical screening.
Challenges of finding adoptive families
Dr Rachel Shaw from the American Veterinary Clinic (AVC) and the homing and fostering coordinator for SAD spoke about cat and dog adoptions:
"Cat adoptions over the past few months have fortunately however increased. Dog adoptions however, are more of a challenge for veterinary clinics such as the AVC", said Dr Shaw.
Fewer families are taking them in, thinking that if they eventually leave the UAE, that keeping the dog will only add to their financial burden.
Visit the Christmas Fete
Date: Saturday, December 18
Time: doors open at 3:00pm
Fees: Dh50 for adults, Dh30 for children from 3 to 16 years old, and free for children under three.
Venue: Exit number 366 from Dubai road
Contact details: 050-662-0969
Venue Description: from Abu Dhabi go around the roundabout and over the bridge, heading for Shaliela, go straight across two roundabouts, after 500 metres you will see a red sign (warning high voltage) turn right. Go for 3km and the sign for stables is on the right.