The Qatar Animal Welfare Society, which was expected to close at the end of May, has been granted a one-month extension of its lease from the owner of the farm on which it is located.
In a post on Facebook, the group, which was founded 10 years ago, said:
We have managed to secure a 4-week extension on our plot of land so we can stay until June 30th and we sincerely hope something can be secured before we run out of time. Please everyone, keep sharing our posts, advertise our animals for adoption and keep your fingers & paws crossed!
The news comes as Central Municipal Council members throw their support behind the organization, urging the government to set aside land dedicated to the shelter.
The issue is not just about kindness, but also public safety, CMC member Sheikha al-Jufairi said in a statement:
“The strays could pose both a danger and nuisance for the inhabitants when left loose on the streets. So, a merciful and humane way should be adopted to deal with the issue to maintain the wellbeing of the society.”
QAWS officially stopped accepting new stray animals in March and began a donation drive to find homes for its 300 pets.
But the organization still has over 240 animals left on the farm due to people just “dumping” pets on the property, QAWS board member Lucielle Burger told Doha News.
Time running out
CMC, an elected body of Qatari officials that has no regulatory authority, also recommended that the land be no less than 10,000 square meters, and urged the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Urban Planning and Ministry of Environment to step in to help the organization.
Meanwhile, QAWS members continue to hope and pray for a miracle. Board member Kelly Allan told Doha News:
We’re hopeful that this meeting of the CMC and subsequent recommendation to the MMUP will help QAWS in finding a new site to operate from. We’re painfully aware that we are rapidly running out of time and we really hope that a solution can be found before the end of June!
Credit: Photo by Alanna Alexander