Helping them find homes online
New website set up for animal adoption and finding lost pets
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