Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 18 December 2018

Every suffering stray animal is a shame on our communities

We have to start showing and extending kindness to stray animals, writes Evelyn Priess

Satish Kumar / The National
Satish Kumar / The National

I wish to highlight an ongoing issue. It’s not an issue from one emirate, but a general one, and it raises the question of what kind of community we wish to be.

Recently we found two stray dogs, one heavily pregnant. Both were in a terrible condition, more dead than alive, dehydrated and starving.

As a community we have to understand that ignoring stray animals is not going to get rid of them. We shouldn’t seriously believe either, that poisoning the innocent is a solution. As long as pet shops are able to sell animals, we will always have people who are buying dogs and dumping them on the streets later. We have created this problem. We have ignored this problem and we cannot punish these animals for our failures. It’s not going to solve the issue.

We have to start showing and extending kindness to stray animals. Even though we are used to seeing them between us, we stopped really looking at them.

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Do we really believe that ignorance is going to get rid of stray animals? At what point do humans overlook a dying animal living among them?

We know that ignorance is not the solution. What we need is proper stray management programmes. Without such initiatives, we will fail to solve the issue of stray animals.

Either we have to develop trap-neuter-release programmes and feeding stations, similar to those in Turkey, so that we can integrate stray animals into our communities, or we should follow the German example, where pets are either sourced from a shelter or from a certified breeder.

The current situation is unbearable and unacceptable. Every suffering stray animal is a shame on our communities and humankind.

Evelyn Priess is a management member of the Emirates Animal Welfare Society

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