Qatar Animal Welfare Society (QAWS) is an animal shelter and animal rescue organisation that was founded and established in 2004. Run by volunteers, QAWS is a non-profit organisation dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation and rehoming of animals in Qatar. This is no small task to take on but founders Kelly and Janet have worked tirelessly for the last 15 years to keep animals off the street and find new homes in Qatar and overseas.
QAWS originally started as a boarding kennels, and very quickly became a shelter when two puppies were dumped on the opening weekend. Not knowing what else to do, Janet and Kelly took the puppies in and cared for them. 15 years later and the shelter now has around 135 dogs, 90 cats, a cow, several baboons, an albino racoon, and a multitude of other exotic and farm animals. With this many animals the shelter is full and with only 5-6 animals being rehomed each month locally and the same overseas, the number of animals in the shelter is not going down any time soon.
We spoke to founder Kelly Allen and asked how/why this has happened and what you can do to help!
Why is it so difficult to find homes for animals in Qatar and why do animals get dumped so often?
“There is a lack of pet responsibility in Qatar. It is very common to buy and sell animals on a whim, breed irresponsibly, leave animals behind when owners go on vacation or move house etc. There is a tendency here for people to see animals as objects rather than family members. There is also a lot of (very untrue) myths about rescue animals not making good pets or having issues. Because of this, people will purchase “purebreds” online or at pet shops instead of adopting from a shelter”
Why is volunteering and giving your time important?
“Volunteering and spending time with the animals at the shelter helps in keeping them socialised, helps keep their minds working, and gets them exercised. All the animals at the shelter benefit from these things and need them to help them find happy homes. Volunteering also helps to spread the word in what we do here and educates people on basic animal welfare”
What can you do to help?
Adopt Don’t Shop
First and foremost, wherever you are in the world remember “Adopt Don’t Shop” if you are thinking of making an animal part of your family. Head down to your local shelter (Qatar Animal Welfare Society if you are in Qatar), and meet all the amazing animals that need a home and your new best friend might just be there waiting for you.
Head down to Qatar Animal Welfare Society and walk some dogs and cuddle some cats (bring a bag of food along with you) and spend some time giving the animals some extra love and attention.
If you don’t have any spare time but you still want to help the shelter donate whatever you can as a contribution to food or the shelters expenses. www.gofundme/qaws2018
Follow and Share
Check out QAWS on Facebook at like their pictures and posts and don’t forget to share and help spread the word about what they do.
Look out for our next blog post
“What we do on a day off in Qatar”
See you on the water soon!
Sora Marine Training