By Sharmila Dhal, Deputy UAE Editor
Pet lovers in the UAE, particularly in Al Ain, can now look forward to the first-ever pet festival to be organised in Al Ain on October 11.
Festival organiser Shree Nair of PETME and Showline FZE, which is organising the event with Al Ain Municipality and Royal Veterinary Centre, told Gulf News, “This is the first time we are having the pet festival in Al Ain as pet lovers here have always had to travel to other emirates to attend pet shows in the past. Also, the Al Ain City Municipality wants to encourage animal welfare which will be at the core of the festival. Pet experts will educate visitors about the significance of pet care and accessible resources in the UAE.”
“Designed as a highly colourful event, the event will raise awareness about the welfare of our furry, finned and winged friends. The event will also function as an educational and thrilling experience - especially for children - who don’t usually have the chance to see and interact with domestic pets,” said Nadia Al Maskari of Royal Veterinary Centre.
Nair said the festival, to be held from 10am to 8pm at the Al Ain Amblers Club, is free to attend and offers vouchers for free medical check-ups, vaccinations for pets, as well as pet products and service stalls
He said around 100 dogs and 50 cats have been registered for the show.
On the agenda are the 4th World Kennel Union all breeds do show, dog agility competition, cat beauty contest, woof parade, a demonstration by the Abu Dhabi Police K9 Dog Squad, a petting farm, kids play zone and a pet & owner fancy dress competition. The all breeds show will be judged by Natalia Balasinenko from Moldova and Retha Coetzee from South Africa.
Nair cautioned pet owners against bringing dogs without a leash or vaccination.
“We welcome friendly dogs, but they must be on a leash. Also, proof of vaccination is a must,” he said, adding that visitors would do well pay heed to the rules (see box).
Nair said another pet festival is being orgainsed at the Ras Al Khaimah Animal Welfare Centre Grounds at Al Hamra in Ras Al Khaimah in association with the Public Service Department on October 25.
Rules for Entry
For all pets, whether competing or just visiting, a valid pet passport/vaccination book must be presented
The pet passport must show as current all vaccinations required under UAE law
Pet must be in reasonably good health
All dogs should be on a short leash as no extendable/retractable leashes are permitted.
Dog owners are responsible for their dogs and must always have them on a leash.
Owners of smaller breeds should take care that their pets do not get in contact with bigger breeds, without consent of owners.
Look for the ribbons
Dogs will be assessed at the entrance for temperament and coloured ribbons will be tied around their neck-collars. People should be aware of this and behave with these dogs accordingly
Red Ribbon - Not friendly (stay away)
Yellow Ribbon - Not very social (check with the owner)
Green Ribbon - Friendly
For details and pre-registration, go to www.petfestival.ae