It is surprising that Saudi Arabia has only one animal shelter other than informal arrangements set up by a group of individuals concerned with animal rescue and adopting rescue cats rather than buying pets.
Pet ownership is increasing in Saudi Arabia we are told. There are cat breeders and there are abandoned animals just like any other country but…only one shelter properly funded by donations. That shelter is the Riyadh Animal Rescue and Shelter.
I had intended to write about the complete lack of animal shelters in Saudi Arabia because that’s what I was told. However a search also told me that one exists. If there are others please tell me in a comment.
The Riyadh shelter has a clinic and a website. It’s the genuine item and looks good, although there are no pictures of it that I can find. It was started by an female animal activist who decided to go beyond informal animal rescue as an individual and start a proper animal shelter. Good for her.
Ironically there is also an animal market in Riyadh. It does not look great; selling animals in small cages. It looks horrible quite frankly. Without wishing to sound like I am preaching there is a way to go before the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia meets the standards of Northern European countries and North America in terms of animal rescue.
Perhaps it is time for the government to step in and open a shelter funded primarily through public donations and partially funded by the state. A public-private partnership. It would be good PR and it would meet the current desires and objectives of the person, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS), who is modernising the Kingdom.
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