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Thursday, August 5, 2021

Dogs, cats and even sheep – Qatar animal shelter welcomes them all

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QAWS rescue Shaun the sheep
QAWS rescue Shaun the sheep

Over the past 10 years, the Qatar Animal Welfare Society has rescued thousands of stray animals, some of them more unusual than others.

Its latest addition: Shaun the sheep, an animal who was found wandering along the road outside of West Bay Lagoon late last week.

Shaun the sheep and friends
Shaun the sheep and friends

According to QAWS board member Kelly Allen, the couple who found him herded him into an under-construction villa and gave her a call for help.

“He’s a young baby – very sweet and once I put a lead on him he just followed me straight to the car,” Allen told Doha News.

Since no one has claimed him – the going theory is that he was supposed to be someone’s dinner – Shaun has been set up in the same space as the shelter’s other farm animals.

That includes Daisy the goat, Bella the donkey and Ferdinand the cow.

According to Allen, the sheep is far from the shelter’s most peculiar rescues.

“We have 10 years worth of strange..stories! Baboons on building sites, donkeys in gardens, iguanas, goats, falcons, owls etc!

A lot of people think we’re just dogs and cats, but we have the farm animals (chickens, ducks, geese, pigeons etc) and the monkey and falcon and super gliders. They’re not all up for adoption but we either keep them for educational visits or we find them suitable places to go abroad (like the monkey).”

Difficult endeavor

Animal rescue in Qatar is a largely decentralized practice.

Though the government has been working to build a state-run animal shelter to house the stray cats and dogs it takes off the streets, that project still has no completion date.

Meanwhile, the five private rescue centers here that care for abandoned animals have said that they are rapidly running out of space and money.

QAWS shelter
QAWS shelter

This hasn’t deterred many volunteers, however, from continuing to take in strays.

QAWS is Qatar’s largest animal shelter, and also one of its oldest. It has been through rocky times in recent years, almost losing its lease on its farm just west of Doha in 2013.

Opened in 2003, the shelter had to be rebuilt in 2009 after a fire leveled the entire facility.

Now, it once again provides abandoned dogs, cats, rabbits and other animals with food, medical attention and regular care as they await permanent homes.

Currently, the shelter cares for around 250 animals, including 120 dogs and puppies, 70 cats and kittens and 14 rabbits, and other less common strays like Shaun, Allen said.

Because it is an all-volunteer endeavor, the shelter often seeks contributions of time and funds from members of the community, who are invited to take the dogs for a walk or sponsor an animal for a small donation a month.

For more information on how to help, visit the shelter’s website here, and learn about Qatar’s other animal rescue groups here.

Thoughts?

14 COMMENTS

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MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago

If no one wants the sheep I’ll take it. There’s a lot of good meals in it and I’ll give it a good send off.

Althani
Althani
6 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

That’s animal cruelty!!!!!!

Osama Alassiry AlMaadeed

Looks delicious.

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago

I saw it first!

Scarletti
Scarletti
6 years ago

QAWS do a simply amazing job, they are heroes ! I don’t understand why the government doesn’t fund them and allow them to grow rather than want to do its own thing (painfully slowly)

yesjay
yesjay
6 years ago

I think much of these pets will have an original owner, who either lost his pet unknowingly or in some cases deliberately. QAWS should try to find the original owner by verifying facts and credentials and hand over their pets if possible, again those who want to adopt a pet legally, should be given priority to adopt it from QAWS.

Doc
Doc
6 years ago
Reply to  yesjay

How do you verify the facts, interrogate the animal until it talks?

yesjay
yesjay
6 years ago
Reply to  Doc

I suppose there are records with govt. authorities for certain pets type, and who has permit to own, may not be much of help though.

Coco
Coco
6 years ago

Not surprisingly it’s mostly white trash (don’t call me racist as I’m part of that “race”) are the ones dumping their pets behind. When you call them on it (5-6 families that i knew and worked with) they complain about costs…this coming from a minimum of 30-50k…Make “chipping” your pet mandatory and have them get clearance before they leave Qatar for their pets as well (relocation, given for adoption, etc). These same people then complain about arabs not knowing how to treat animals…Fine, why don’t you teach them?

Jen
Jen
6 years ago
Reply to  Coco

White trash!! Sorry but all the dogs I have seen and helped have def not come from whites. Please don,t generalise-many race groups leave their pets behind and neglect or abuse them! My experience is vastly different to yours.

Coco
Coco
6 years ago
Reply to  Jen

Then you and I have nothing to worry about and no need to defend the trash be it white, brown or blue.
ps: I took 2 dogs back home that I rescued here and now I have a cat that will also join us when we leave.

YAP
YAP
6 years ago
Reply to  Jen

I must agree with Coco. A good friend of mine owns a vet that houses some strays and quite a few do come from Westerners who are leaving and don’t want to pay the ticket to bring the animal home.
Why get it if you are just going to abandon it?
Of course as well, many other nationalities, are not the best when it comes to animal care.
Sadly I know someone who bought a husky (shouldn’t be allowed in the country anyways as they are cold weather dogs) and just left it out alone in a farm; bad for pack animals as they get depressed when lonely. It sadly suffered until it passed away.
A lot of people here want the animals as decoration but don’t want to deal with taking care of it. They also seem to do no research. Hence all the huskies I see here roasting outside people’s houses on chains…
Once they realize how much work it is the animal is abandoned.
Makes me feel so sad for them all :I
Luckily there are people here who care and try to help-like the lovely Sam Al-Mannai, QAWS, etc.
Just bad the facilities are too limited to accommodate the expanding amount of homeless animals.

Auldstory
Auldstory
6 years ago

One way of reducing the number of animals who remain unadopted in shelters is by avoiding discrimination against potential adopters based on their race. I know many cases where Southeast Asian expats have tried to adopt but were discouraged due to shabby treatment by some of these groups and individual rescuers.

For instance, a friend who had asked to see the animals for adoption in a
well-known clinic was told there had to be a ‘screening’ before she could see
the animals. Meanwhile a group of white folks who had the same inquiry were
immediately ushered inside.

Another Southeast Asian friend, who had a big heart for animals and was quite financially capable, was discouraged from adopting as she felt looked down upon by the women
running one of these groups.

Still another friend was promised an adoption (and donated good money in return) by a
well-known rescuer, who proceeded to renege on that promise and instead gave
the fluffy white thing to a white family.

Is it any wonder that many of these folks, who have gone out of their way to adopt
and help out these groups, but have received this kind of treatment for their
pains, would abandon the idea of adopting, or if they wanted animal
companionship, would opt to procure pets from other sources rather than be made
to jump through hoops?

Don’t treat people like crap and tell them they cannot adopt a certain animal because ‘a lot of money’ has been spent on that animal; don’t treat them suspiciously as if they will sell your white Persian cat just because they happened to have brown skin. They may just be genuinely capable of permanently providing for that cat your countryman dumped when he went back to England. Show some gratitude, not attitude, that these people are around and willing to help you help animals in need.

RescueMe
RescueMe
6 years ago

In my estimation there must be over two thousand animals I would say in Doha right now that have been abandoned and are in ‘foster care’, this being in rescue centres/groups and foster care. These animals come from EVERY nationality, from the mega rich to the very low income. Irresponsibility has no nationality. These animals, usually cats and dogs, are purchased from the souq, purchased from breeders (who buy a male and a female and breed like mad to make a little extra cash to try and bump up their income, parvo included in the price) taken on as a rescue from a group or even rescued from the streets. Salukis, which are either hunting or racing, working animals find themselves abandoned when they are injured or not up to speed. Salukis are often abandoned, usually injured, on the street or in the desert. Other dogs, or cats are abandoned when expats plans change, they leave the country then suddenly its all too much trouble to take that animal with them when they leave, or cost too much money. THIS HAPPENS ALOT. THIS is the reason rescue people ‘vet’ new owners. What would be the point of rescuing that animal for it to be abandoned and thrown out again? I am sorry but many people here view animals as a commodiity, a thing and they are not, they are living and breathing, feel pain, suffer hunger and thirst. I heard recently that iguanas and snakes are being abandoned in Aspire Park. Aspire Park is man made. There is nothing for an iguana or snake to eat, how is it going to survive? How are dogs and cats, abandoned on the streets, going to survive in 50 degrees in the Summer? They die a painful, slow death (usually from an injury after being hit by a car) and sadly rescue groups, through lack of funds and space cannot take every animal on from the irresponsible. These animals die while you are on your plane home. BE A BIT MORE RESPONSIBLE DOHA PEOPLE. Do not buy an animals unless you are going to keep it for its lifetime. If you think you can be this responsible, if you can keep it for its lifetime and will put in the work do not buy one and add to the problem, go and get a rescue. An animal will reward you with a whole lifetime of happiness whether it is a topclass pedigree or a mutt, a persian or a street cat. Happiness that’s what we all need, including animals.

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