Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 14 November 2018

Adopt don't shop: 39 cats and dogs that need homes in the UAE

'You cannot buy unconditional love,' says Daniela Rauso - here are the adoption days and animal rescue centres to know about in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and the Northern Emirates

Looking for a new furry friend to add to the family? Then head to one of the many adoption days put on by the multiple rescue organisations around the UAE. With so many animals looking for their forever homes in the UAE, adopting or fostering from these organisations really helps.

“Apart from aiming to find a happy home for these cats and kittens, we hope the adoption days will help create awareness among those who don’t know how many pets desperately need a home,” said Carol Geldenhuys, founder of Kittysnip.

Read more: A quick guide to helping street cats in the UAE

Adopt, don't shop

In May this year, a pet shop in Sharjah was fined Dh3,000 after complaints over the conditions the animals were kept in. A couple filmed a long-haired cat laying on its side, heat-stricken and heavily panting, prompting many on social media to lodge a complaint with the Sharjah Municipality.

Last year, another shop in Dubai had its animal licence suspended and eventually closed because it sold sick puppies that were ill with parvo virus because they were never vaccinated. Some of the dogs died, while other pet owners had to pay thousands of dirhams in vet bills for treatment.

Meanwhile, at the adoption days, all pets that are old enough will be microchipped, vaccinated, dewormed and spayed/neutered ensuring that they are healthy. For younger kittens and puppies, they will also undergo the same process, with the money being used from the adoption fees.

"Adopt don’t shop," says Daniela Rauso, of Posh Paws in Dubai. "You cannot buy unconditional love."

Healthy cats and dogs have an average life span from 7 to 15 years, which is why people need to be sure they are ready for such a commitment. “We not only want to inform people about the multiple benefits of adoption but also the commitment involved when taking on an abandoned or neglected cat or kitten,” Geldenhuys says.

Your guide to adoption days

Here’s a running list of adoption days (that we will continue to update)...

Kittysnip Adoption Days

What: Kittens and cats

Where: Dubai Garden Centre, Dubai

When: Every Friday, 11am to 5pm


Where: The Courtyard, Al Quoz, Dubai

When: Saturdays (Sept 1, 8, 15 and 29) from 10.30am to 4.30pm and Fridays (Sept 21 and 28) from noon to 5pm


Where: The Pet Shop, Al Quoz, Dubai

When: Fridays (Sept 7 and 21) from 11am to 6pm


K9 Friends Dubai

What: Puppies and dogs

Where: Shelter in Jebel Ali, Dubai

When: Call for an appointment, 04 887 8739 (open Saturday to Thursday, 9am to 1pm)


Rescue of Abu Dhabi

What: Kittens and cats

Where: Furry Friends, JVC, Dubai

When: Every Friday, from 1pm to 7pm


Amanda's Animal Rescue UAE

What: Puppies and dogs

Where: Paws and Whiskers, Al Quoz 4, Dubai

When: Every Friday from 3pm to 6pm


Red Paw Foundation

What: Kittens, cats and dogs

Where: Happy Puppy Grooming Boutique, Motor City, Dubai

When: Every Saturday, from 4pm to 7pm


Stray Dogs Center UAE

What: Puppies and dogs

Where: Sept 22 and 29 at Dog Walk in Al Quoz, Dubai - for other dates check on Facebook page

When: Most Saturdays, 1pm to 3pm


What: Puppies, dogs, cats and kittens

Where: K9 Central Kennels, Dubai Investment Park

When: Every Friday, 1pm to 4pm


Why street animals need TNR

Getting a pet spayed or neutered is also of the upmost importance. The UAE has an abundance of animals, and unfortunately there are not enough homes for all of them.

“Sadly, for every cat we rescue at least another 100 suffer or die on the streets," says Geldenhuys.

Read more: There should be zero tolerance towards animal cruelty

For a lot of welfare groups, TNR (trap, neuter and return) is a top priority because it stops adding to the overpopulation of animals on the streets already.

“It’s no secret that there are more cats in Dubai than we know what to do with. An average female cat will have between two and three litters a year, of four to six kittens per litter,” she adds. “In a bid to reduce the street cat population, we are continuously working to trap stray cats, have them neutered/spayed, treated for wounds and either adopted or released."