Dubai cat rescuer says that stray overpopulation is due to ignorance

Samah El Manzalawy and tabby cat
Samah El Manzalawy and tabby cat
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles:- Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

Samah El Manzalawy loves animals. She was born in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). She lives in Dubai. She rescues cats. She has looked after more than 200 strays and has rescued more than 300 cats. At any one time she has had 12 foster cats in her care. The number of abandoned animals is rising in Dubai she says.

She remarks that one problem is people domesticating stray cats rather than using TNR. I presume that she means that people domesticate stray cats but they are unneutered and they remain unneutered and therefore breed.

Samah is a great advocate of TNR. She correctly says that the cat and dog overpopulation problem is due to pet owners. She cites the example of a dog owner.

“I rescued a senior dog about four years ago who had his ears and tail cropped and he was visually impaired. He was dumped by the owner because he was no longer wanted in the house. Other cases would have popped eyes, broken bones, severely malnourished, the list goes on.”

She confronts irresponsible pet owners whenever she can (brave lady). She says that irresponsible pet owners find it a hassle to go through the process of treating their animal or they don’t want to pay the veterinarian’s bill so they simply abandon him/her. We’ve heard that before.

When she confronts people about their irresponsible behaviour towards their pets she discovers that the reasons for abandonment are not genuine. They find excuses to abandon their animals. She has also found that as word has got out that she rescues cats and dogs, people “dump their pets on my doorstep”. We’ve heard that before too. It is the same worldwide it seems.

She has heard all the excuses in the world for abandoning pets from working too hard, to kids not wanting their pet any more and allergies. I have to say, that more often than not when people abandon animals they have a habit of making up a feeble excuse to justify their behaviour to others and to themselves. Sometimes the reasons are genuine but oftentimes they aren’t.

Apparently, in Dubai, UAE, not enough people spay and neuter their cats and dogs. Also, people do not take into account sufficiently the fact that adopting an animal is for the life of the animal which carries a financial burden and a lifelong commitment. People, she says, think they have the right to throw away an animal at any time.

I believe that she is seeking some sort of registration system in Dubai so that a cat or dog is assigned to a pet owner thereby placing a formal obligation upon the person to take responsibility for their animal over his/her lifetime.

She wants the government to change its attitude towards pet ownership.

“A person owning an animal should be accountable and liable to him/her as long as he/she lives. Education programs should be in place in schools and in any location where a pet could be obtained from.”

A big problem, in addition to a lack of education, is the failure of Dubai’s residents to support the idea of adopting a pet rather than buying one. What she means is people should adopt unwanted animals rather than buy ones which have been bred.

These are exactly the sort of problems that we see in the West with respect to pet ownership. Action needs to be taken to prevent the creation of unwanted cats and dogs.


1 thought on “Dubai cat rescuer says that stray overpopulation is due to ignorance”

  1. It’s sad to hear about strays in any part of the world. Unfortunately, in many countries, people just don’t care about animals.

    Re Dubai in particular, I was there just recently for several weeks and I’m happy to report I only saw 2 feral cats, yes two, on the streets the entire time I was there.


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