UPDATE: A petition to raise awareness of QAWS’ dire straits is gaining steam. To show your support for the shelter, visit and sign here.
After an exhaustive but fruitless search for a new home, the Qatar Animal Welfare Society has announced that it will be closing its doors for good.
The organization announced earlier this year that its lease on a farm just west of Doha would run out at the end of May. Because a new home hasn’t been found in time to prepare to move some 300 animals off the property, QAWS said it will no longer accept any more abandoned pets and will try to find new homes for the ones already in its care.
In a Facebook post tonight, the organizers said:
It is with heavy hearts and through many tears that we have to announce the closure of QAWS, effective immediately. As you all know, we are being evicted from our current location and must be gone by May 31st.
Despite exhausting all options, we have had no luck in finding a new location and as such, we need to spend the remainder of our tenancy in securing the future of our animals. We WILL fight to the bitter end but unfortunately we need to prepare for the worst and our priority is what will happen to the animals and as such we have had to make this incredibly difficult decision.
QAWS, which was founded in 2003, has always sustained itself through volunteers who donated time and money. It added that any funds raised in the next 10 weeks will go toward supporting the animals that remain at the shelter through May.
Committee member Kelly Allen previously told Doha News that finding a new suitable location would be difficult for the group, and that the organization was seeking some 10,000 square meters of land on a farm ideally located outside of residential areas that would still be accessible to volunteers.
Responding to commenters’ dismay and questions about whether anything else could be done, organizers on Facebook said:
Yes we have contacted english and arabic newspapers, radio stations, the Ministry of Environment, the Animal Resource Department, individuals, companies, organisations and anyone else you can think of. We have exhausted EVERY single avenue and NO-ONE can or will help us.
Credit: Photo by Alanna Alexander