By Jennifer Bell
ABU DHABI // An animal charity is appealing for volunteers to foster one or more of 31 cats and dogs that will be without a home by the end of next week.
With more people abandoning pets during the summer months, plus foster carers leaving to go on holiday, the Animal Action UAE organisation is at “explosion point” and needs help from the public to offer a temporary or permanent home to one of the many unwanted animals in their care.
“This is the time of year when more people leave their pets behind and, at the same time, we are losing most of our foster homes because everyone is on holiday,” said Melanie Stones, the founder of Animal Action UAE.
Ms Stones said she has 10 cats and 21 dogs needing foster homes in the coming weeks.
“Either their foster carers are leaving or we have been looking for a foster home for a while now while they have been boarded,” she said. “But because it is summer now the boarding facilities are full, so they are getting kicked out.”
Animal Action UAE pays a reduced rate to boarding facilities to look after some of their animals while they hunt for foster homes, but when the facilities are faced with clients looking to pay the full fee to leave their pets the charity’s animals are turfed out, Ms Stones said.
Most of the dogs that are in urgent need of a home are mixed breeds, mainly saluki crosses.
They include Buster, a newly rescued dog who was found with lame legs and a big wound to his head.
“It looks like he has been hit by a car,” said Ms Stones.
Another is Bruno, a saluki-cross. “He is a large, loving dog who loves nothing more than family,” she said.
“He is very family orientated and likes having children tickle and play with him.”
Many of the cats in the care of Animal Action UAE are shy but love company, she said.
Ms Stones said she did not want to think what would happen to the animals should they not be able to find foster homes for them.
The animal charity has already paid out Dh15,000 to a boarding facility in RAK to temporarily board three of the dogs, but needs help with the others.
“We are just begging people to give us even one week to take care of an animal,” she said.
“I don’t like to move dogs around a lot but if there is absolutely nowhere then even if it is just a week then it is something.”
While foster carers are needed, Ms Stones also appealed to the public to help rehome one of the dogs or cats permanently.
“At the end of the day, all these animals need to find their forever home,” she said.
Animal Action UAE is a group of volunteers who foster and find homes for abandoned pets, treat rescued animals and provide information on pet care.
The group is always looking for families who can adopt or foster, as well as provide donations to pay vet bills.
For information, contact Ms Stones: firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.facebook.com/AnimalActionUAE.