Help­ing them find homes on­line

New web­site set up for an­i­mal adop­tion and find­ing lost pets

7 Days in Dubai - - FRONT PAGE - glaiza@7days.ae

The num­ber of aban­doned pets con­tin­ues to the rise in the UAE, with res­cue groups and shel­ters re­port­ing a sig­nif­i­cant in­crease dur­ing the sum­mer months. Sa­jid Shafique, the founder of the new free list­ing web­site Adopt An­i­mals UAE, says there are many rea­sons that con­trib­ute to the prob­lem, but it mainly boils down to lack of com­pas­sion and proper pet own­er­ship ed­u­ca­tion.

“Many pet own­ers may not un­der­stand the com­mit­ment needed, and so, when the time comes to leave the UAE, or go for a long hol­i­days, their pets be­come ex­pend­able,” he says.

An an­i­mal lover and a Dubai res­i­dent for 15 years now, Sa­jid have adopted three cats from shel­ters around the coun­try, and he wants to en­cour­age others to “adopt, don’t shop” through this new on­line plat­form.

“The aim of the web­site is to help as many an­i­mals as pos­si­ble find loving homes, and help lost an­i­mals. It is im­por­tant to cen­tralise the great ef­forts of res­cue groups and their ini­tia­tives in or­der to make the process of adopt­ing an an­i­mal much sim­pler. We also list lost and found an­i­mals in the hope of get­ting more peo­ple to keep a look out and help own­ers find their pets,” he ex­plains. He says they also want to raise aware­ness on an­i­mal wel­fare by pro­vid­ing gen­eral in­for­ma­tion re­gard­ing re­lo­ca­tions and other ser­vices to en­sure po­ten­tial adopters are knowl­edgable be­fore tak­ing on the re­spon­si­bil­ity. Sa­jid notes that an­i­mal adop­tion in the UAE is easy as there are plenty of groups and shel­ters, who are quite ac­tive on so­cial media. He is cur­rently work­ing with Dubai An­i­mal Wel­fare So­ci­ety, Mid­dle East An­i­mal Foun­da­tion and Sec­ond Chance 4 Paws. “Pa­per­work is quite straight­for­ward and it’s great that the mu­nic­i­pal­ity now links your pets to your Emi­rates ID. “The vets are also very help­ful and take you through the en­tire process step by step. There is a very good sup­port struc­ture in place,” he adds. Sa­jid’s wife Iram and daugh­ter Miriam are also in­volved with the web­site. “We strongly be­lieve that pets can help raise a child’s IQ and emo­tional in­tel­li­gence. Miriam cre­ated her own YouTube chan­nel for our three adopted cats and she uses it to share the great joy and love they bring to our home.”

Sa­jid clar­i­fies that the web­site is le­gal and they only list res­cued an­i­mals, and no an­i­mals for sale will be in­cluded.

“The par­ent com­pany, Brand­New, is li­censed to de­sign, op­er­ate, de­velop, and man­age on­line plat­forms. We do not get in­volved with the an­i­mals and the adop­tion process di­rectly; we just pro­vide the plat­form,” he ex­plains.

“We haven’t been in touch with the mu­nic­i­pal­ity as of yet, but our goal is to gain their sup­port on this ini­tia­tive.

“We would ap­pre­ci­ate an op­por­tu­nity to meet with them to show them how dig­i­tal technology can help build aware­ness quickly and ef­fec­tively to help deal with the aban­don­ing of pets.”

FOUNDER: Sa­jid Shafique has started adop­tan­i­mal­suae.com so pet own­ers can list lost pets or seek adop­tion

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