SOS Animal Rescue UAQ New Facility Project
$1,700 raised
3% of $50k goal
27 contributors
4 Years running

In 2012 it was discovered that many stray dogs were living in the desert, coastal and urban areas of Umm Al Quwain. There was no rescue group operating in the area and no established shelter. SOS Animal Rescue UAQ (aka SOS for Emirates Dogs) was formed out of an urgent need to address the stray animal population in the Emirate of Umm Al Quwain. 

At the onset the extent of the problem was not evident however, once rescuing began it became obvious that stray dogs, cats and animals including donkeys and camels were literally everywhere. A feeding program was put in place to feed and water animals in need. Fosters were sought to enable dogs and injured cats to be rescued. However, the sheer number of strays exceeded the number of fosters available. The only choice was to continue the feeding program and to rescue animals when fosters become available.

Through Social Media SOS gained momentum. Four Safe Houses were established with each safe house, housing on average up to 16 dogs and several cats. With no funding SOS relied heavily on public donations and fundraising to carry out its work. Without this support the feeding programme, safe house feeding and medical care would not be possible.

The issue escalated when information was received from members of the public that animals were being poisoned and shot. Evidence of this practice became obvious with the discovery of dogs that had died from poisoning or shooting. Sadly, dogs that were part of the feeding programme were targetted and after being shot were dumped at one of the SOS Safe Houses.

A bold move was made in March 2014, to open a "No kill" private shelter. This gave SOS the ability to rescue a larger number of animals than was possible beforehand. From 2013 to 2014 over 400 animals including, dogs, cats, birds and a donkey have been rescued and 240 animals have been rehomed. Currently, we have 138 healthy dogs plus 12 special needs dogs.

Active lobbying of the Umm Al Quwain Government began in February 2014 with a now successful collaboration with the Police in the rescue of animals. A proposal for animal welfare was presented and ongoing talks have continued throughout the year. The negotiations reached a pinnacle three weeks ago with what we thought was a very successful meeting with the Acting General Manager of the Municipality where he mooted his support for land with water and electricity to be given to SOS. At the conclusion of the meeting he assured us that the shelter would be safe until the conclusion of the negotiations.

However, on the morning of Thursday, 9th of October, the Municipality visited the shelter and issued a warning. Upon visiting the Municipality we were told that due to complaints received we had one week to vacate the shelter which was extended to two weeks. 

The initial publicity that followed did not reflect well on our group. However, our story was then covered by all major UAE media and reached the international forum. Following the publicity we received notice from the municipality that the eviction was called off. At the time no reason was given. We were then informed that a meeting was to take place with Sheikh Saud. As a result of that meeting land with water and electricity has been granted to our group, which is a massive step forward for animal welfare in this emirate.

We now need to fundraise again to build our new facility. The last fundraising effort was fantastic. We reached 25% of our goal. We need to reach 100% of our goal to build our new facility from scratch. We need to erect boundary walls, accommodation for our doggies and caretakers, concreting, as a bare minimum. We have the chance now to ensure we have an appropriate and suitabe facility. This will enable us to save so many lives in not just this emirate but also focussing on those emirates that do not have animal welfare centres like Ajman and Fujairah. 

Please help us to reach our goal so we can continue to save lives...

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