Those planning to jet off to cooler countries during summer should plan a boarding alternative for the pets in advance. Abandoning them on the street is the most inhuman and cruel thing you can ever do to an animal, warn Feline Friends and vetrinary doctors in the capital.

By Anjana Sankar

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Published: Sat 10 Apr 2004, 2:40 PM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 12:31 AM

"Many pet owners find it very convienient to get rid of thier pets by simply leaving them free, when they want to go for a vacation. But that literally kills the animal, which finds itself in a strange and viscious environment," says Najah Al Maskary, a Feline Friends volunteer.

The household pets which are used to the easy life will find it extremely difficult to adapt to the harsh environment outside. In most cases, they get scratched by the fercocius bin cats, starve themselves to death or get knocked over on the busy roads. "And those who manage to get some food, will end up with serious vomitings and diarrhoea because of the bad or spoilt food. Moreover, in summer there is no chance that they will survive under the scorching sun, as they are accustomed to air conditioned rooms, " added Najah.

So what are the feasible options available in the city? "The best thing for the pet is to arrange a maid or a familiar neighbour who can come and feed them when you are away. That has an added advantage where the animal can live in the same friendly atmosphere rather than a sudden shift to a strange house," remarks Lissie Conroy, Manager, American Veterinary Clinic. She also suggests that it is always advisable to hang the name and the contact number of the owner along the pet's collar, so that in case of any emergency, people can get in touch with the right person.

The most preferred alternative among the pet owners is to rely on the vetrinary clinics in town that offer boarding facility for the pets. The American Veterinary Clinic (AVC) in the capital, that takes in all kinds of pets, is already forty five per cent full with advanced bookings. Lissie Conroy, AVC Manager, says that summer is the peak time with the greatest number of pets to be accommodated as many families go out of the country on their summer vacations. AVC's boarding house in Mussaffah can house a maximum of eighty pets at a time. They have a total of forty cages and two pets can share a cage if they are coming from the same home.

Yet another place is the British Vetrinary Centre, which can accomodate around ninteen cats. But no dogs please. The centre only accepts cats as their guests.

A tempororay shelter for pets doesn't come free too. Per day a pet costs around Dhs30 to 35, including food, water and medicine. "A long-haired cat costs a little higher than a short-haired one as daily brushing is a must for the former,' explains Lissie.

Despite the money you pay, you can't just dump you pets at the clinic and go. A detailed chart on the food habits of the pet, current vaccination card and the owner's contact number with email address has to be left with the vet.

And those who wish to take the pets along with them, will have to check the rules and regulations applicable to the exportation and importation of the pets in the respective countries. Airlines will be the best source for such information, says Lissie, as they are up to date with the changing regulations in each country. They can also advise you on the particular requirements observed by each airline regarding the travel of pets. Most airlines ask for the copy of the current vaccination card and a health certificate issued by the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries. "It is mandatory that you take any vaccination thirty days prior to your travel date to ensure that the animal is immunisied against the disease," says Lissie. All assured, you can have a nice time abroad.

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