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Posted On: 22 September 2020 10:30 pm
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:08 pm

Qommunity Voices: This group rescues, fosters and helps furries find their forever homes

Vrinda Abilash
Vrinda Abilash
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“Saving just one dog won't change the world but surely for that one dog, the world will change forever“, and so goes the saying. Now imagine not only saving one stray animal but hundreds of them in Qatar and also making sure that they are cared for. This is exactly what Rescuing The Pack is doing in the State of Qatar. They are a family-run rescue group, who along with the support of volunteers venture out into the streets around Qatar, rescuing strays, giving them the necessary treatment and getting them adopted.

ILQ got in touch with Dona Devina from Rescuing The Pack team to get an insight into how they started this journey and what inspires them to continue doing what they do.

ILQ: Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do?

My brother Rahal and myself Dona Devina, are the founders of the little group called “Rescuing The Pack”. As the name suggests, we literally find a pack of stray dogs/cats and support them till they are all off the streets. We are passionate about animal rescues and finding them good homes means the world to us.

Image Credit: Rescuing The Pack

ILQ: How and when did your journey with Rescuing The Pack begin?

It began after my family and I rescued 62 dogs by ourselves and finally needed to open a public account to gain support for the stray dogs and cats that find us.

ILQ: What inspired you to start this initiative and what keeps you going?

Shiro the first dog we ever rescued was also the inspiration behind continuing to rescue. Shiro was a retriever mix that has been used for breeding, had mastitis, and was thrown out to fend for herself. Simply put, rehoming her and watching her grow into a very playful dog gave us immense happiness and this is where we decided that we were going to do more.

ILQ: How many members are part of this group and when did you want to take up this kind of responsibility?

The group consist mainly of my family who are always available to grab and go on a rescue mission. However, the team truly consists of some of the most amazing men and woman rescuers in Qatar. Here are some of the strong supporters and rescuers that we work with to accomplish rescues successfully; Shakeeb Ishak, Georgina Librado, Sabrina Fernandes, Kimmy Clarkson, Ashwariya Gandrolla, Dina Altarawneh, Homeira Ali, Sam Al Mannai, Abir Elkateb, Marie Dsouza, Sashri Rangika, Sora Diab, Good Samaritan group, BarkinQ, Hamad Boturki Animal Welfare foundation, Qatar Animal Welfare Society (QAWS) and PAWS Rescue Qatar.

Image Credit: Rescuing The Pack

ILQ: Why do you love what you do?

It brings me great pleasure to know that a dog or cat that would otherwise be looking for his or her next meal, is at home getting belly rubs and plenty of treats. The strays in Qatar are BEAUTIFUL, and you are glued to all of them the moment you recognise their various personalities.

ILQ: How has your journey been in Qatar so far with respect to Rescuing The Pack?

Our journey began with amazing adopters, great support and lots of encouragement from a vast rescue community within the State. To be quite honest, each rescue effort presents its own situation and our last rescue was the most daunting experience as it was to grab 8 dogs out of a location - that received many complaints from residents - in a very short time.

ILQ: What are the steps involved in Rescuing The Pack and what happens once you take the rescues in?

  • As we are not a shelter, we always try to find a foster or adopter before a major rescue.
  • Once in foster care, we handle the dogs medicated baths, deworming and allow the dog to decompress to a home surrounding.
  • All dogs fostered undergo potty training, basic manners, and follow a feeding schedule in order to have a smooth transition from their foster homes to forever homes.
  • Once settled in their forever homes we connect the adopter to a specialised trainer. A trainer that we absolutely adore and recommend is The Pawkeeper Dog Training by a certified trainer and behaviourist Jasmin Maier.
  • From this moment on, we provide any and all sorts of support to the adopter from questions to pet relocation when/if they travel to their homes for good.
Image Credit: Rescuing The Pack

    ILQ: What is your biggest achievement till date?

    Meeting a pack of 8 dogs at Fereej Abdul Aziz, and knowing that today all 8 are off the streets, is one of our biggest achievements. They are adult dogs with various personalities and they are all in safe hands of fosters and in Qatar’s shelters PAWS & QAWS.

    Do check out our video on our visit to QAWS and know all about PAWS rescue here.

    ILQ: What are the difficulties faced by you and your team in rescuing the dogs?

      Limited time given to relocate dogs/cats and limited resources are generally the roadblocks in all rescues. If we have more donations and volunteers, we can push to neuter and spay all the dogs/cats in a pack, thereby preventing the increase in stray population. This also means preventing innocent animals from dying of starvation, disease and exposure to dangerous situations (i.e. road accidents, hazards from construction areas etc.)

      Image Credit: Rescuing The Pack

      ILQ: How is the animal rescue scene in Qatar, according to you?

        There are many rescuers in Qatar, working tirelessly out of their own funds and efforts to neuter/spay their colonies/packs, to find them reliable homes locally and/or abroad and to feed them daily. These rescuers are amazing, however, we need more rescuers on board. Awareness of the support we can give to the stray populations in Qatar needs to greatly increase in order to see significant progress. The goal is to one day see that there are no stray animals on the street and we need all the support we can get.

        ILQ: Have people reached out to you for help?

          Yes, and the number of people reaching out to rescue dogs have increased significantly since we started our page.

          ILQ: How can the people of Qatar contribute more to your cause?

          • They can start by reaching out, sharing photos of the dogs/cats that need support in their neighbourhood, so we can share this information with the public, gain support and initiate rescuing the dogs/cats.
          • They can donate directly to the vets in case of surgery bills or directly to us against relocation bills to move the dog from Qatar to overseas (to their forever homes), or for basic vaccinations.
          • They can volunteer to feed the strays along with us at different areas in Qatar.
          Image Credit: Rescuing The Pack

          ILQ: Where can people reach out to you or your team? Can they volunteer?

            You can direct message us at @rescuingthepack on Instagram or email us at [email protected]. In addition, you can join our Facebook group Rescuing the Pack - Qatar, to check out the dogs and cats available for adoption.

            ILQ: Do you have a message for the community?

              Yes, we do! To all animal lovers, know that a shower, a full belly, and your love and affection will change the street dog/cat into a happy, grateful and lovable pet you were hoping for.

              Do not turn away because they look dirty and do not look away because their photos don’t represent what you had in mind when you thought of getting a dog or cat. The love and gratefulness they have for you will outdo all imaginable expectations, and you will be happy and blessed in your journey in life with them.

              Isn't what they do inspiring? Would you like to volunteer with them? Do let us know your thoughts in our comments section. Like and share the article - it keeps us going!