hakuna namatata

Being an animal lover and rescuer in the  UAE can be tough at times. Due to the weather and some people’s attitude towards stray animals and  Municipality rules- things can get a little tough…. so being punished for trying to do the right thing is the toughest thing to handle…


As we all know and are reminded every now and then, it is actually not allowed to feed stray cats and dogs.  But a lot of people ignore this. (I do not encourage any one to break rules in any way, but it is up to you if the consequences of your actions are bearable and worth it by helping save an innocent life).


We all know we have a problem with stray animals in the UAE due to people not spaying or neutering their pets, over flooding of the market with back yard breeding (which is illegal in Dubai-You have to have a licence to breed animals) and people abandoning their pets as they have to leave the country or move into accommodation where pets are not allowed.


So we try to help by finding solutions to the problems. They actually really aren’t solutions, but just a way we can manage the situation until one is found and implemented.  Rescuing and doing TNR (trap neuter release) are done by people who care and a lot of the times by people who do not have a lot of money. So they do what they can with the situation they are in.


A lot of people have come under scrutiny for using the free services of spaying and neutering of stray animals by certain veterinary clinics.


And the reason you may ask? Well, it is because they have a licenced pet shop and have some animals on display for adoption at a fee.


Some people have been going crazy and slandering people for using these free services as they think it is unethical. What is crazy and unethical is all of us who want to help NOT SUPPORTING each other. We do what we can with the systems that are in place and with the cash we have.


If some rescue groups can’t do better rates for the people with the vets they are associated with, why put these people down for looking for alternative ways to stop the stray population from exploding???? This will put a lot of people off from trying to help and if you ask me, we need every penny and every bit of support we can muster up to help these poor animals dying on the streets.


I’d rather see them sell one healthy animal (neutered & vaccinated)and in return save 10 cats  from breeding again and their offspring having to endure life on the streets and put more pressure on the system than it already has. And what makes rescue groups any different as they asking an adoption fee in return or depend on other’s charity to pay their vet bills? I say if these places want to give back to the community and the animals they are selling do not breed again and are healthy, I do not see the problem.

I say leave it up to everyone to decide for themselves what they CAN and CANNOT live with ethically. As long as we are saving lives in the process. I do not say make a deal with the devil, but just to try to understand why people are using the services available, even if it is under iffy circumstances.



If you can not help any of the stray animals in Dubai by feeding them or providing some basic medical care, please do not hurt them.     Just leave them in peace.  But if they are injured and you are not prepared to take on the veterinary cost (discounted or not), then please contact the local Municipality and inform them, they do offer some assistance. Better than the animal just suffering.





  1. I find the rules in different countries interesting. I live in the US and have no idea if it’s illegal to feed strays in my state. If it is, it’s not enforced. In fact, I think the general consensus when we hear about feeding or taking in strays is the person did the right thing. However, there’s still a bit of caution because strays return for more and it sets a precedence. My in-laws ended up “adopting” a neighbors cat like simply by feeding it when it came around.

    One thing interesting about the United States is each state has different rules and programs when it comes to animals. I spent most of my childhood in Washington state, which has an animal humane societies. You typically don’t see dead animals laying about, which was why I was surprised to see dead animals in other states rotting away to nothing.

    It’s also interesting how people treat animals in different areas of the country. Some places animals are treated like family members. In others, they’re treated as useful animals but highly expendable.

    Anyway, thanks for sharing a bit about your culture and animal laws.

    1. Hi Renee,

      Thank you for your input. Yes, it is a very diverse world and everywhere it is different. That is exactly the case here. We have one extreme of people loving their animals like family and then others that do not think anything of animals at all. The right thing in some places are wrong and somewhere else is the opposite. But in the end we all hope to make a difference in our area of life where we are and us animal lovers should support each other where we can.

      Cheers Erica :-)

  2. You have some great points in this article, but one that’s of the most importance: don’t hurt the animals. It’s not because they’re in bad condition or on the streets or even lost that it give you the right to hurt them. This is all that these little guys doesn’t need. If you can’t help, it’s all right, but do not make it worse.
    Thanks for spreading the word Erica.

    1. Hi Marcelo!

      That is it! Exactly one of the points I wanted people to understand-is that if you can’t help it is okay,
      just don’t make things worse for the stray animals and the people who are helping. They are battling enough already.
      By doing nothing sometimes is a kindness in itself….

      Cheers Erica :-)

  3. Hi Erica,
    Congratulations on the work you’re doing. Unfortunately there are irresponsible pet owners everywhere in the world but fortunately there are pet lovers who are willing to make the effort to help those who can’t help themselves. So well done!
    I don’t see a need for anyone who is helping the animals to be criticising others who are helping them. You might do it in different ways but as long as the outcome is positive for the pets, that’s what is important. It sounds to me like the Vet Clinics should advertise that they will accept pets if owners can no longer keep them. Better to have the animal surrendered directly to the clinic while it is in good condition rather than picked up off the street a few months later in poor condition?
    Keep up the great work!

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