UAE: 5 instances when you may be adopting pets for the wrong reason

Several royal family members recently stepped in to rescue ill-treated pets

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Nasreen Abdulla

Published: Tue 16 Aug 2022, 2:08 PM

Last updated: Tue 16 Aug 2022, 5:02 PM

Pet abandonment cases in the UAE have gone up exponentially with many animal welfare groups saying they are being overwhelmed with the number of pets being abandoned.

Groups like Animals and Us Fujairah (AAUF) and Stray Dog Center UAQ (SDC-UAQ) have posted several incidents on social media over the last couple of weeks about horrific cases of abuse, neglect and abandonment.

This has forced several royal family members to step in, save and in some cases even adopt the animals. Now, animal welfare groups are calling on families to think several times before getting a new pet.

If you plan to adopt a pet for any of the following reasons, you might want to reconsider your decision:

Your child wants it: Many parents end up getting a pet because their child wants one. However, with their short attention spans, children are likely to forget about pets once the novelty wears off. “Before adopting a pet, it is important for the family to sit together and discuss the responsibilities,” said Michelle from AAUF. “If there is any hesitation from any member of the family, then there is always an option for them to foster a pet. By fostering, families will be able to gauge what kind of responsibility goes into caring for a pet and whether it is something they can take on as a regular part of their lives.”

Everyone is getting one: Adopting a pet is a lifelong commitment and should not be taken lightly. Instead of thinking of pets as an accessory or a cute addition to the family photo, animal welfare specialists encourage people to think of them as living beings that need love, care and support. “Many people get pets because it is a trend,” said Michelle. “It is a fad and I believe that is one of the reasons why we see so many instances of pet abandonment.”

The Exotic Appeal: For many, the appeal of a cute mixed-breed or thorough breed exotic pet is too much to ignore. However, once the allure wears out, people start to have issues. While some face too much hair shedding as a potential aggravator to their allergies, others realize that the pet just isn’t a good fit for their family. This leads to abandonments.

Pet adoptions are free: Pet adopters tend to underestimate the cost that goes into raising a pet. “Vet bills are expensive,” said Michelle. “Many don’t think about what will happen when they have to relocate to their home country, or the pet has a life-threatening illness. I always advise people to have a Plan B and a Plan C when they come to adopt pets.”

How hard can it be?: A lot of people underestimate the amount of time and effort that goes into caring for a pet. “Many make decisions based on emotion without fully understanding the responsibility of pet ownership,” said Amirah William, founder of SDC-UAQ. She encouraged potential adopters to research well and be completely prepared before deciding to adopt a pet.


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