After a frantic, months-long effort to find a new home following the termination of their current lease on a farm west of Doha, the Qatar Animal Welfare Society has announced it is no longer operating as a rescue facility.
In a message on its Facebook page, the country’s largest animal rescue shelter said it will wrap up operations this fall:
Despite all our attempts to secure a new location, we have failed. Communications, promises and meetings with the various authorities have all been unsuccessful and no assistance has been given in the time allocated.
QAWS first announced that it was searching for a new home in December after its landlord decided not to renew the group’s lease. The shelter was originally supposed to move off the farm in May, but was able to extend its stay for a few more months as it pursued alternative arrangements.
But unfortunately, none of the promises from government entities who pledged to help have been kept, organizers told Doha News.
And despite declaring that it could no longer accept any new animals in March, people continue to turn to the shelter to drop off their unwanted pets, which now number at least 200.
Admitting defeat at this time of the year is particularly painful, QAWS board member Lucielle Burger told Doha News:
“As with every summer, we are seeing more animals being dumped and also found. This problem isn’t going to go away and the numbers will continue to rise in future summers, unfortunately. We hope this won’t be the case, though.”
To give the animals more time to find a new home – and to ensure they survive the heat – QAWS is trying to keep operating at its current location until September, and are making a plea for fund assistance to feed and shelter the remaining animals at the farm.
On Facebook, they write:
On behalf of the animals we need your support one last time. We are being charged a penalty of QR17,000 per month and our final deadline to be gone from the land is the 30th September. We need 68 out of the 7,700 supporters on this page to donate QR500 to cover this penalty so we can give our animals one last chance at finding a home.
Asked if anything could still be done to save the shelter, organizers said that was only a possibility if actual assistance/accommodations – and not just promises – were provided immediately.
Credit: Photo courtesy of QAWS on Facebook