x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Long path to walk for dog rights in the UAE

Charity calls for harsher prosecution of animal abuse.

Animal rights have a “way to go” in the UAE, according to Jackie Ratcliffe, chairwoman of K9 Friends.

She said many cases of abuse and neglect go unpunished, and urged authorities to be harsher on the guilty parties. She also said she wanted families to take more responsibility with their pets.

“Most of our dogs are from expats that leave the country and make no provision for their pet,” she said. “Also, pets are bred here indiscriminately with little thought about what will happen to the puppies.”

Running the voluntary organisation, is no easy feat, Ms Ratcliffe said.

“We have to find every dirham just to maintain the shelter and care for the dogs,” she said.

“We do not get money from the Government or any outside body to cover costs. Therefore, the biggest part of our job is fund-raising.”

Some companies sponsor food and the “very high” vet bills, while some residents sponsor animals.

Fostering, volunteering, donating, and buying merchandise are other ways the public can help.

You can visit www.k9friends.com or call 04 887 8739. Dogs up for fostering and adoption can be found on the charity’s Facebook page.

The office is open from 9am until 1pm six days a week from September.

halbustani@thenational.ae