All photos courtesy of QAWS
Updated to reflect that the cats at QVC have now been fostered.
One of Qatar’s largest animal shelters is in ruins following yesterday’s rain and is urgently seeking financial assistance.
According to the co-founder of the Qatar Animal Welfare Society (QAWS), an underground well burst onsite, submerging the Muaither shelter in three feet of water.
Last night, the volunteer organization sought foster care for its hundreds of animals.
Thankfully, most have been temporarily rehoused by the dozens of residents who responded to its plea for help, the organization said on an update on its Facebook page today.
However, the rain water destroyed all of the shelter’s food, blankets and most of its animal enclosures. It has also ruined the accommodation of workers living on site and left other buildings badly damaged, QAWS said.
“It’s very possible that all our buildings and facilities are beyond saving and until the water level recedes enough for us to get in and assess everything, we just don’t know how we can move forward.
It’s possible that we may need a temporary facility whilst we rebuild, or a whole new location and start from scratch,” the post said.
Janet Berry, co-founder and QAWS chairperson, told Doha News that the damage was worse than when the shelter flooded after last year’s heavy rain.
“Usually when it rains it is knee-high, but this year the farm has underground wells and they burst because they couldn’t cope with the amount of rain yesterday. The whole shelter and buildings are destroyed,” Berry added.
After yesterday’s appeal for help, all the dogs at the shelter had been rescued, she said, adding: “We’re so grateful that the community stepped in and helped.”
Farm animals, donkeys, sheep and monkeys remain on site. QAWS posted a photograph on its Facebook page of two donkeys under towels.
Some trucks from Primepower Middle East arrived last night to start pumping water from the site, and the operation is expected to continue today.
Staff from the company worked through the night to erect temporary pens for the farm animals and to build small stores for the supplies the shelter could save, QAWS added.
In addition to the animal shelters, accommodation for workers on the site was also destroyed, it said.
The men are currently staying at Garveys, but most of their personal possessions including their clothes have been ruined, it added.
Volunteers at the shelter are still assessing the extent of the damage and whether any of their existing facilities can be salvaged.
Storage facilities will need to be rebuilt before they can start accepting in-kind donations.
In the meantime, Kelly Allen, one of the charity’s founding members, has launched an appeal on gofundme to ask people to start collecting essentials including:
- Men’s clothes for their workers;
- Cat, dog, puppy and kitten food;
- Blankets and towels; and
- Indoor crates and playpens.
A number of residents around town have volunteered to act as drop-off points for these goods until the shelter is able to accept them.
Since the page was set up this morning, a little over QR60,000 in cash has already been pledged to the rebuilding effort.
QAWS is also looking for additional foster homes for some of its cats and dogs for “up to a couple of weeks,” it said.
There were 41 cats currently at Qatar Veterinary Center in Al Waab, although the surgery updated its Facebook page this afternoon to say all the animals had now been found temporary accommodation.
Other animals from the shelter went to homes that can only provide very short-term care.
Meanwhile, another of Qatar’s animal charities, 2nd Chance Rescue, has been appealing for donations of equipment to help repair its animal pens, during the rainy season.
On its Facebook page, the shelter has been asking for building materials such as old canopies, tarpaulins, plastic sheeting, corrugated iron sheets and wood to patch up enclosures if they get damaged in the wet weather.
During last November’s rain storms, 2nd Chance’s shelter and that run by Paws Rescue Qatar (Paws) in Muaither also suffered leaks and floods.