The Qatar Animal Welfare Society (QAWS) recently announced that it is facing closure if the local community doesn’t act fast to secure funds for the stray animal shelter to continue operation.
“We have been given notice to leave our current facility by May 31. We have been on this site for some nine years and have simply outgrown the space, not just physically with our facilities but also with the sheer numbers of volunteers, visitors, vehicles, and activity,” says organising member Janet Berry.
The shelter currently stands on a privately owned farm west of Doha and the bustling activities and outgrown populations have increased in farm employee and resident disturbances – the reason why their lease was refused renewal.
“Our relationship with the landowners has always been good and we respect their decision. The farm is a small family farm that they have allowed us to continue to encroach upon year after year,” she added.
As it stands, the QAWS is in desperate search for a 10,000 sq m area to continue their operations which include housing some 300 animals from stray dogs and cats to birds, goats and even bulls, veterinary services, educational programmes and finding adoptive homes. The entire operation is run by volunteers and donations, according to Berry. That’s all about to fold if the organisation can’t secure a facility to continue operations.
“We need non-residential land – so as not to cause disturbance – that would be secure for QAWS to operate from for a minimum of three years,” she specifies. “We need somebody who knows the master plan to step forward with suggestions for location.”
While until now the mission has proven fruitless, the local communities have tried to find a solution.
“We have been surprised by the huge response, we are aware that QAWS is much needed for the animals and are pleased to see that it is also much needed for the community as a whole. People are naturally saddened that the achievements so far could be halted indefinitely,” Berry adds.
“The community is also frustrated over the fact that, while QAWS has made a huge difference to the stray animal population over the years, all that work will be undone with increased numbers on the streets again if the shelter cannot continue to take them in when called upon.”
The QAWS is already planning adoption drives to take place until eviction in order to keep the animals they have off the streets and the QAWS are in contact with other organisations to see what outside assistance can be provided.
If you have an idea or a solution for the QAWS, or want to adopt a new pet, please visit www.qaws.org or call 55396074 to see how you can get involved.
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