Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large
Abbey, left, and Silver, Saluki mixes, get ready for adoption in Canada.
Abbey, left, and Silver, Saluki mixes, get ready for adoption in Canada.

UAE pupils raise funds for dogs to fly to cooler climes of Canada

A Doberman Pinscher and two salukis from the Ras Al Khaimah Animal Welfare Centre are on their way to their new homes in Canada, thanks to the efforts of a group of children.

A Doberman Pinscher and two Salukis from the Ras Al Khaimah Animal Welfare Centre were on their way to new homes in Canada yesterday, thanks to caring children from the RAK Academy.

The pupils raised almost Dh4,000 to send the dogs to the frosty climes of Ontario, where they will find what they could not in the UAE – a loving family home.

The dogs had lived at the shelter for months before volunteers contacted friends at the Arabian Saluki Centre of Canada to find homes for them. All they needed was money for the tickets – and the youngsters stepped in to help.
Ellie Hartley, 10, sold lemonade, bracelets and bags. She washed cars and painted ladies’ nails, all to raise money for the dogs.

“I think that they’re no different than humans, and I think we should help them, if we have the chance to,” said Ellie, who is from England. “It makes me feel really happy, because in the shelter they see all of these people come in, and they think for a moment, ‘I’m going to be adopted’, but they’re not.”

Saluki crosses such as Silver and Abby are common strays in the UAE, overlooked by owners who favour dogs with pure pedigrees.

In Canada, any Saluki is a rare and treasured creature.

“The Saluki is not well-known at all in Canada,” said Debbie Jones, the Saluki centre manager. “There are only six breeders in the country, and they breed very few litters each year and tend not to sell them outside of their breeding circle.”

The non-profit Saluki centre works with Arabian Gulf shelters to send unwanted strays from the Middle East to Canadian homes.

Silver and Abby will be fostered by a Malamute and Bouvier breeder in Ottawa. Magnet, the Doberman, has the opposite problem to the Salukis – he is a big favourite in the UAE for all the wrong reasons.
“There’s too big of a risk of people just wanting him for the wrong reasons,” said Ellen Quanjer, the shelter manager.

Dog fighting remains a popular underground sport in the UAE. The biggest admirers of Dobermans tend to be young men, and although the RAK shelter only places dogs with families, many who own big dogs have reported them stolen.

Ms Quanjer believes Canada will be safer for Magnet, who will go to the Ontario Doberman Rescue.

“There is a line-up of people wanting to adopt him,” said Ms Jones. “They raised the money for his flight and are looking forward to meeting him at the airport.”

The stray desert dogs will be greeted like superstars, and dressed in style. “They cope quite well in the cold,” said Ms Jones. “They do have to wear coats ... even heavy-coated dogs wear coats on the coldest days.”

The dogs were due to fly in large crates from Dubai to Amsterdam, where they will check into an animal hotel for some rest and exercise before flying on to Toronto. They have been vaccinated and can go directly into foster homes.

They will travel with a professional pet relocator, who has volunteered for the job.

Her ticket was about Dh5,000 and it costs Dh1,480 for each dog to fly and stay in the pet hotel. Canadians raised Dh5,000 with an auction and the children in RAK are raising the rest. So far, they have Dh3,800 of a Dh7,000 target.

The Canadian centre was picked because a volunteer in RAK knew people there. The RAK shelter said it would consider working with European groups in future.

This was the second year that Year 6 pupils from RAK Academy have worked with the shelter as part of their curriculum. They visit it every Wednesday.

The fundraising was entirely student-led. Megan Barker, 11, who last year organised a swimathon for Year 5 and 6 pupils, is this year holding auditions for a talent show.

“If I didn’t have four pets, I’d adopt them all,” said Megan, who has two cats and two dogs and wants to be a veterinarian. “People should at least come and have a look and be aware of what’s going on and know how many dogs need homes.”

The pupils travelled to Dubai airport to say goodbye to the dogs.

“They’re no different than us. In fact, they have more feelings than us,” Megan said. “They’re not just things that shed fur everywhere.”

azacharias@thenational.ae

Back to the top

More articles


Editor's Picks

 Ali Benflis, opposition leader and main rival to Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika speaks to the press after casting his vote in the presidential elections at a polling station in Algiers on. Former prime minister Benflis ran against Bouteflika in 2004 but lost heavily, charging the vote was rigged 10 years ago and has said fraud will be his ‘main adversary’ during the election. Patrick Baz / AFP Photo

Best photography from around the world, April 17

The National View's photo editors pick the best images of the day from around the world.

 Above, the private pool of Ocean Heights' five-bedroom penthouse flat. Courtesy Christie’s International Real Estate

In pictures: Penthouse flat is height of Dubai luxury living

A five-bedroom penthouse in Ocean Heights in Dubai Marina is on sale for Dh25 million and comes with a private pool and an unparalleled view of Dubai.

Video: Local reactions to a national fishing ban

A federal fishing ban has been imposed by the UAE federal government, but local authorities are taking diiferent approaches to implementing the ban. Two fishermen tell two very different sides of the story. Produced by Paul O'Driscoll

 Walter Zenga is one win away from claiming silverware for the first time in the UAE. Karim Jaafar / AFP

Walter Zenga seeks early retribution at Al Jazira in Arabian Gulf Cup final

A victory over Al Ahli in the Arabian Gulf Cup final will help prove the Italian has turned around the fortunes of the capital club.

 The new Bentley GT Speed convertible on display at a press event of the New York International Auto Show. Jason Szenes / EPA

In pictures: Hot cars at New York International Auto Show

With more than 1 million visitors annually, the New York International Auto Show is one of the most important shows for the US car industry. Here are some of the vehicles to be shown in this year’s edition.

 The cast of Fast & Furious 7, including Michelle Rodriguez and Vin Diesel, centre, on set at Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi. Jeffrey E Biteng / The National

Fast & Furious 7 filming in full swing at Emirates Palace

Filming for Fast & Furious 7 has started and we have the first photos of the cast and crew on set at Emirates Palace hotel this morning. Visitors staying at Emirates Palace say they have been kept away from certain areas in the grounds.

Events

To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National