NEWS AND VIEWS – QATAR: Qatar’s behaviour appears to be very harsh in respect of a British charity, Paws Rescue Qatar (RQ), which is saving the lives of hundreds of abandoned dogs and cats. The authorities or a landowner has ordered the charity to vacate their premises next month as reported by the Daily Mirror. They’re going to do this despite the excellent and humane work that this charity carries out. We don’t have the reason. PRQ ensured that for more than 300 cats and dogs were flown to the UK to start new lives. Their current facilities include: three kennel blocks for dogs, four communal rooms for cats, a basic clinic, isolation, quarantine, and facility rooms. What a shame to lose them.
So many human deaths
Qatar has a bad reputation on an issue which has nothing to do with cats and dogs but it is so fundamental that it has to be mentioned on this page. It’s been revealed that 6,500 migrant workers have died in Qatar since the World Cup was awarded to that country as a result of alleged corruption. These are migrant workers from India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. They were construction workers on the new football stadiums. Many young workers have died through kidney failure as they were forced to work long hours in 50°C temperatures without proper protection, proper breaks, proper water supply et cetera. Qatar employment regulations protects workers under the extreme temperatures that their country experiences but it is reported that migrant workers did not benefit from these protections which accounts for many of the lives lost.
So that’s the background to the story I want to focus on right now which is that a charity in Qatar, Paws Rescue Qatar, is being kicked out of their facilities, as reported by them, despite saving the lives of thousands of animals from the killer 50°C heat of Qatar.
Paws Rescue Qatar
PRQ was set up in 2014 to save the lives of abandoned dogs and cats. The founders of the charity, Alison Caldwell and Vicky Lamont, tell us that the animals can’t cope on the streets of Qatar because it’s just too hot. That’s the first problem. The second problem is that the citizens of Qatar regard them as pests. As a consequence, they are intentionally or accidentally hit by cars, poisoned or beaten to death.
Yes, more death. More callous, careless or intentional death but this time it’s animals. The founders also tell us that Qatar is not a good country for rehoming abandoned animals. I read into that that this is a country whose citizens do not want to adopt rescue animals. That is their attitude. There must be some people who will adopt rescue animals but in general they don’t which is why PQR ships rescued cats and dogs out of the country to countries where they are adopted such as the United States, Canada and the UK as mentioned.
Much of their energy at present is focused on an area just outside the capital, Doha, where a huge factory has been razed to the ground about two years ago. Some dogs fell into disused wells and they were rescued. And of course, they must be working frantically now to secure new premises. Further, the Covid pandemic has impacted them very badly. They say that it has “dramatically impacted us”. One aspect of this is that expat workers left Qatar during the Covid pandemic and left their pets behind. “Or [people] purchasing from local unauthorised breeders/local souq (market) and getting bored soon-after.”
As a consequence, there are more animals on the streets of Qatar than ever. And to build a new shelter is going to be very expensive. They need generous donations, please.
The Mirror newspaper reports that the charity currently has 159 cats and 90 dogs and a rabbit at the shelter. That’s a lot of animals who are going to be kicked out of their temporary home next month unless they can find somewhere else. They don’t tell us why the Qatar authorities are kicking off their premises. Vicky does say that the news is “devastating”.