Summer in the UAE means death for abandoned pets

Published:  11 Aug at 6 PM
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Tagged: Citizenship, UAE
Animal activists in the UAE are attempting to cope with the largest number of abandoned pets ever.

Summer in the UAE sees expats and citizens heading off for their holidays, but an ever increasing number are leaving their pets on the streets to fend for themselves. Animal activists do their best, but are presently overwhelmed by the sheer number of abandoned pets. One rescuer told local media he’d found 60 cats, but due to a serious dearth of foster homes caused by a higher number than usual of expats leaving permanently there's no way he can find families for all of them.

Shelters are at breaking point, overburdened with abandoned animals and citing the increasing cost of pet food as another reason people are getting rid of their pets. Boarding costs are very high, according to Animal Action Abu Dhabi’s representative Natalie Stone, adding there are now very few takers willing to adopt pets dumped by their owners. She added many of the animals are in poor condition, and all are taken to vets for vaccination and neutering, but foster homes are now so few that many end up back on the streets.

Meanwhile, expat dog owners are complaining about a dearth of places to walk their pets, as more and more open land gets taken over for construction. In addition, the majority of apartment blocks aren’t pet-friendly, and the few green areas and beaches left also ban dogs, supposedly due to health concerns, but more likely because of the inaccurate Muslim belief that dogs are unclean and should not be touched. During the holiday season, it’s normal to see perfectly healthy, happy dogs being euthanized by vets simply because their owners are leaving for a holiday.
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