One cannot ignore the sight of cats and dogs during the brutal months of summer, palpitating and in need of help on the streets of Qatar. This has further worsened with the increasing number of abandoned pets and strays. There is very little that an animal lover can do besides approaching one of the animal rescue organisations.
The 2nd Chance Rescue centre is one such organisation. Founded by Qatari national Abdullah al-Naemi in 2009, 2nd Chance takes in abused, abandoned and stray animals and also raises awareness on the issue of animal welfare in Qatar.
What started off with rescuing eight puppies and re-homing them, the facility, set in a farm on the way to Shamal, at present shelters over a hundred animals. When asked about the inspiration behind setting up 2nd Chance, al-Naemi said it was his love for animals that made him establish such a centre. “As long as I work with these animals, I’m very happy about myself. I feel proud, I feel like I have achieved something. Ever since I picked up a cause that I really cared about, it made me feel good. It changed my life completely,” he said.
Al-Naemi spoke about the upcoming Dog Adoption Day that is to be held at the premises of Pampered Pets Kennels and Cattery on March 22. This is the first time that 2nd Chance Rescue has joined hands with Dogs in Doha to conduct a dog adoption day.
Leigh Bowers from Pampered Pets said “this event is for people who are interested in coming and meeting our dogs, petting and walking them. It’s going to be a fun day; there will be fun activities for kids and adults. If anyone is interested then the adoption process can also be started. There will be food and entertainment for the families on this day.”
When asked how conducting such programmes help the cause, al-Naemi said “It helps a lot, both to create awareness and to raise funds. It helps our dogs to socialise. Every riyal counts.” Funds at present are being raised to help build a better facility at 2nd Chance Rescue.
It was no easy task setting up the facility, said al-Naemi. It took a lot of hard work, dedication, funds and support of people who shared the same interest. “Before I opened the clinic I was constantly broke. I had no money; I used to spend it all on the dogs. I couldn’t shop, eat out, couldn’t fix my car. If I found out that a dog was really sick or got hit by a car, it would cost a couple of thousand riyals’ worth of treatment. I was at that point on family allowance.”
Criticism was a close friend of Abdullah’s at the beginning. “Everyone kept criticising me for what I was doing. My parents thought I was just wasting all my money, while my friends said I was taking my hobby too seriously.”
When asked what such a cause needs most in Qatar, he replied government support. He suggests that the government should do more to improve the situation of animals in Qatar. Stray animals roaming on the streets don’t look good for the image of the country, he feels.
Al-Naemi stressed on how educating people through such awareness campaigns is the best way in striving to achieve an improved status of animals in Qatar. School children should be taught about how animals need to be treated with care and love, and keeping this in mind, school visits are undertaken to help educate the younger generation on animal welfare.
Lots more here: Giving abandoned pets a second chance