Activists campaign to give stray cats a home

Updated 06 March 2014

Activists campaign to give stray cats a home

Several young, avid animal rights activists have launched a campaign on social networking sites advocating the adoption of stray cats found on the streets and the opening of government-owned pet shelters with animal protection laws.
The campaign, under the slogan, “adopt, don’t buy,” encourages pet lovers to take in animals without shelters instead of spending money on high-end breeds, while warning of the cruel fate that awaits strays if left unsheltered.
Hussain Al-Dossari, a campaign participant, said that the idea of adopting cats is a wholly new concept within local society no matter how popular abroad.
“The goal of this campaign is to look for homes for stray cats and return lost cats to their owners or find them new homes. Our campaign also encourages residents to be kind to strays they encounter in the street,” he said.
“We also spread awareness on the fact that Islamic law permits the castration of cats whose owners cannot afford having more than one or a few,” said Al-Dossari. “This is pivotal in reducing the number of cats and the likelihood that so many will end up on the streets, some of which are picked up by authorities after receiving complaints from residents and dumped in the desert, where they die of starvation and dehydration.”
“We are appalled by shops that put cats in small cages to force them to mate and then sell the kittens off before they have been weaned because they are in high demand,” he said. “Our Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is quoted to have denounced taking baby birds away from their mothers after witnessing a newborn flapping its wings for help.”
Some shops do display cats that have been given up by their owners for adoption, he said. “Yet many private residential compounds are guilty of killing cats by drugging them or separating them from their babies, which is inhumane.”
Nada Ahmed, the owner of a profile for animal lovers on a social networking site, said: “I put up pictures of stray cats and animals on my page in a bid to find them homes.”
“I try to raise awareness about our religious obligation to be kind to animals,” she said. “There are many such pages on social networking outlets.”
Muhammad Al-Sofaian, spokesman for the Eastern Province Municipality, said: “We have a program in place to control the number of stray cats and dogs in residential neighborhoods. Residents are urged not to leave food on the street to avoid attracting a congregation of animals.”


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