Meet 10-year-old Dubai resident who spends her spare time raising funds for shelter dogs

From baking biscuits to making bracelets, this student finds time, even during busy schedule, for her K9 friends


Nasreen Abdulla

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Romilly baking biscuits. Photos: Supplied
Romilly baking biscuits. Photos: Supplied

Published: Mon 4 Sep 2023, 6:00 AM

Last updated: Mon 4 Sep 2023, 11:08 PM

10-year-old Romilly bakes and sells dog biscuits to raise money for her K9 friends. Witnessing the plight of some of the dogs she met at the shelter impacted this animal-loving student who moved to Dubai in 2022. She decided to do something about it and gathered together like-minded friends from her school, and the group decided to raise funds for the organisation.

The students have sold baked goods and bracelets to friends and family and have raised over Dh800 so far. “The aim is to try and raise Dh1,000,” said Romilly. “But I don’t want to put a definitive number because people will feel pressured to achieve that target.”

The latest initiative that Romilly has undertaken is to bake dog biscuits and sell them to collect money. “I first made the biscuits for my dog Ori on her first birthday,” she said. “And she seemed to love it. So when I was looking for more ideas to collect money, I thought, why not make these and sell them to pet owners.”

Busy schedule

According to Romilly, it takes her less than an hour to bake a batch of 100 biscuits. “It takes a little more than 45 minutes to finish the baking and packing,” she said. “My mum and dad sometimes help me with the dough, but I do all the packing and sticking tags on my own.”

She puts ten biscuits in each bag and can make 15 to 20 packets of dog biscuits from each batch. Now, Aria and Bianca café in Jumeirah Lake Towers is stocking her biscuits, making it easier for her to reach customers.

A student at Arcadia School, Romilly, attends school from 8am to 4pm. “Since we have longer hours, there is no homework for me once I get back,” she said. On three days a week, she has gymnastic lessons at school and also attends singing lessons.

“I find time even during my busy schedule because this is very important to me,” she said. “When we humans want something, we can always ask for it. But animals cannot communicate, and that is why I feel like I want to be the voice of animals.”

From fear to dear

As a child, Romilly admitted to being scared of dogs and other animals. “I was really scared of dogs,” she said. “But once, when I travelled to Thailand, there was a baby elephant there that I fell in love with. With the help of my mom and dad, I sponsored it.”

However, the arrival of her own puppy, Ori, completely replaced the fear with a love for animals. “Ori was such a small puppy and so loving that I just completely forgot my fear,” she said.

Now, Romilly dreams of growing up and becoming famous. “When I grow up, I want to live in a house full of animals,” she said. “And I want to be famous so that when I tell people to save animals, they will listen.”


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