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Saturday, January 22, 2022

After years of struggle, QAWS moves to a new home


QAWS. Credit: Chantelle D’mello/Doha News

One of Qatar’s largest animal shelters has finally found a new (albeit temporary) home for its 110 dogs and 60 cats.

The Qatar Animal Welfare Society (QAWS) is moving this weekend from a flood-ravaged farm to a new purpose built site in Mekaines.

Located just pass the Aqua Park on Salwa Road, the facility was put together by PrimePower Middle East, which donated labor and some materials.

New temporary shelter for QAWS. Credit: QAWS

The rest of the cost was covered by donations from residents following the November flooding of QAWS’ old shelter in Muaither.

“This is a great opportunity for us to have a fresh start and the hope is to have the permanent facility built close to where we are moving to,” QAWS committee members Kelly Allen and Lisa Parkin told Doha News.

They added that the facilities are air-conditioned and include new stables and paddocks for livestock, as well as a new primate enclosure.

Weathering the storm

Over the past few years, QAWS had been struggling to stay open due to a variety of challenges.

In 2013, it announced plans to close because its lease on the farm had run out.

The QAWS rescue center in Muaither flooded in November. Credit: QAWS

It was able to postpone this closure for a few more years, but then was hit with incidents of flooding during the winter months.

The last straw was in November of last year. Rain ended up destroying all of the shelter’s food, blankets and most of its animal enclosures.

At the time, QAWS posted an urgent appeal on Facebook, saying:

“It’s very possible that all our buildings and facilities are beyond saving…It’s possible that we may need a temporary facility whilst we rebuild, or a whole new location and start from scratch.”

New digs

The organization ended up raising some QR175,000 after the flood. And it is now working toward building a new permanent shelter on Salwa Road.

However, this will take time, Allen said.

New temporary shelter for QAWS. Credit: QAWS

“The planning and permissions and construction of this may take months to years to complete, so in the meantime we have ensured our new temporary site will be well-equipped to house all our animals.”

She added:

“We are so excited to be moving and we have been completely overwhelmed by the amount of support and assistance that has been offered by the community as well as local businesses and schools since the flood back in November. Without everyone’s support and contributions, we would not have got this far.”

QAWS begins its move today and welcomes volunteers to help shift animals, food, towels/blankets etc to its new facility.

Anyone who wants to help can message QAWS on Facebook.


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