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Posted On: 9 August 2016 05:58 pm
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:16 pm

QAWS: The Animal Shelter That Gives But Also Needs to Receive

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Written by: Hiba and Masah

What is QAWS?

The Qatar Animal Welfare Society, also known as QAWS, is a community based animal shelter in Qatar which currently provides temporary shelter for 300+ animals in need until they find a permanent home. 12 years ago, QAWS was merely a boarding kennel, providing care for animals while their owners were gone. It then became a shelter when people started dropping off animals and leaving them at the boarding kennel.


Can I bring any kind of cat to the shelter?

What you should know is that there are two types of street cats: feral ones and strays. The difference is that feral cats are the ones who haven’t had any human interaction nor assistance and can survive on their own, while strays are previously owned cats that may or may not rely on people. Strays could potentially be reintroduced to a new household environment. If you come across a feral cat however, it’s best to leave them alone as they are wild and can fend for themselves.

“We have a theory: if we go towards an animal and it runs, it doesn’t want to be rescued, and it’s managing,” QAWS said.

QAWS would be delighted to care for every stray cat on the streets, but they are limited in regards to their holding capacity. That is why, at this point in time, if you encounter a stray cat that has learnt to cope on its own, it’s preferable that you do not bring it to the shelter. The priority goes to the stray cats that cannot fend for themselves at all.


What should I do with my needy neighborhood cat?

We’ve all seen it. The average compound cat that lurks around homes and meows charmingly at residents. Although these cats venture around the streets looking for food, they are more sociable and interact more with humans.

If you find one of these cats, and are charmed by its cuteness, by all means, feel free to leave some water or a food in a container. However, there are some risks with doing that. As mentioned before, these cats can easily become dependable, and may cause some problems.

Firstly, who will feed these cats when you leave? Secondly, the problem with allowing these cats to become dependent is that it increases their speed of reproducing. They’ll start to parent tons of kittens and form tiny colonies of their own. If you want to continue feeding these cats, the only reasonable solution is to neuter them. QAWS has informed us that you can contact the “Trap, Neuter, Return” (TNR) team at the Animal Resources Department (the government vet) for help.


How does QAWS sustain itself?

While QAWS does try its very best to give all of its animals the best care and love, it does have its struggles. The organization receives very low funds to run and has to depend on volunteers showing up to help and the community to make donations. Since QAWS hasn’t received sponsorship yet, it’s unable to become a registered organization.


How can I help?

How can YOU help QAWS with its mission? Well, since it is a community‐driven body, everyone is free to bring them dog food, cat food, or cleaning materials and anything else helpful. If you’re leaving the country, you could contribute your towels, pillows, and even your bedding. You can also support their fundraisers. The easiest way to help is by showing up to walk the dogs! Not only do you get to be around cuddly puppies, but you get to help the organization at the same time!

Have you ever visited QAWS? If you have, share your story in the comments below!