How to rescue: What do I do when I find a stray cat/dog

There are thousands of sick strays, abandoned animals and animals on death row in the U.A.E. and it’s safe to say that the rescuers have their hands more than full. Rescue organizations are at their limits, with high outstanding bills at the vets and boarding facilities and little support. Although I would love to be able to help every single animal – that’s sadly not possible, so here is a basic instruction on how to help an animal in need. There is no official animal organisation which is responsible for injured or sick animals, it is up to us, the people of the U.A.E. to help the animals and ensure their welfare. If you are going to do nothing, this may mean the death sentence for the animal in need.

First you should assess the situation and think if the animal actually needs rescuing, or may just be doing perfectly fine on the streets. This only goes for Arabian maus on the street, dogs and long-haired cats will not survive on the streets and should not be there either. If the Arabian mau has the tip of its ear missing and looks healthy, its most likely part of a colony and has already been fixed. The cat is taken care of, and in return takes care of the area it lives in. If the cat does not have an ear tip missing you can take the cat to get spayed/neutered and release it back to the area you found it in. For rescue discounts for spaying/neutering cats please contact bin kitty collective in Dubai, or Strays of Abu Dhabi or Animal Welfare Abu Dhabi.
If you find a kitten that is too young to survive on its own, please wait for some time before touching the baby, as many mothers leave their babies to get food and return for them. This may take a few hours, if the mother still does not show up, it means that the young kitten needs to be taken care of by humans.

Animals that need to be picked up from the streets: long-haired cats, abandoned kittens (if the mum did not come back after hours), stray dogs, injured Arabian maus.

Animals that can stay where they are and need no further action: healthy looking Arabian maus with tipped ears. Unspayed/unneutered Arabian maus: street cats can be trapped, neutered (or spayed) and released back into their safe area.

catearsIf you find a stray cat that is hurt, has long hair, seems abandoned or it is a dog then it’s time to become active. Fluffy/long-haired cats are unable to survive on the streets and neither can injured Arabian maus. Street dogs will sooner or later be hit by a car, so leaving them on the streets is not safe either. First you should take your phone and document everything, take pictures and videos. If the animal seems to be lost, please follow this link – Help, I found an animal what do I do now. If the animal is badly injured, please bring it to the closest vet in the area. In order to find the closest vet you can use google map. Just typing in ‘vet’ will lead to results. In case the vets are already closed, you can keep the animal in your guest bathroom until the next morning.

You may not be able to catch the animal. Some cats – and even dogs are difficult to catch, as they are ferral and not used to being handled by humans. If the cat is very sick and weak you might be able to pick it up easily, otherwise placing food in a cage/crate/box might be helpful. The box/cage can be closed once the cat is in it, and the animal can safely be transported to the vet. If you need assistance when catching the animal, you can ask for help on facebook. Make sure to add a picture to your post and post in groups that are filled with anima lovers, such as bin kitty collective and dogs in Dubai. If the area has a community page you may also want to post there. Be specific about the location of the animal and post a way that people can reach you easily.

When the animal arrives at the vet make sure to ask the vet/nurses to check for a microchip. Even if the mircochip is not registered at the vet you have brought the animal to, it might be registered at a different vet in a different Emirate. The only way to find out is to contact all the veterinary clinics in U.A.E. Sadly there is no system which registers all animals. If the animal does not have a microchip but seems to be healthy otherwise you can vaccinate, microchip and neuter/spay the animal, and then take it home to foster and find a forever home. If the animal is sick and needs treatment you may want to leave it at the vet, until it can be released to a home. If you are unable to foster, you can take beautiful pictures of the animal and ask for a foster home on social media. Some vets allow rescuers to leave open bills, this way you can ask others to help you cover the bill for the animal. Posting pictures and their story on social media will get the animal exposure, which will help to rehome the animal but also to cover the veterinary bills.

Although the animal situation in the U.A.E. seems to be getting worse every year, there are many kind-hearted volunteers out there who are saving lives every day. If you have some spare time or a space in your house to foster an animal it will be highly appreciated. The most popular Facebook group for dogs is Dogs in Dubai and for cats bin kitty collective.


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