Emirati duo make it their mission to save abandoned and injured cats
Muna Lardhi with Nina, an FIV-positive cat rehomed in New York.
Dubai - They have already spent Dh154,713 from their own pockets to pay veterinary hospital bills over the past 24 months.
By Sarwat Nasir
Published: Sat 26 Jan 2019, 9:13 PM
Last updated: Sun 27 Jan 2019, 9:19 AM
An Emirati woman has reeled in debt of nearly Dh20,000 in veterinary hospital bills as she continues to rescue severely injured and sick cats around the country.
Maitha Al Shamsi and her friend, Muna Lardhi, are animal activists and have already spent Dh154,713 from their own pockets to pay veterinary hospital bills over the past 24 months.
They deal with some extreme cases around the country, including cats with the Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV-positive) and those that are severely injured. Now, they owe a veterinary clinic Dh19,168.
However, the management has agreed to take monthly instalments to help Al Shamsi and Lardhi with their cause.
"I've been in the animal rescue world since late 2016. I used to do light animal rescue work - fostering and donating. I got my first assignment and I started to heavily rescue cats. I was financially able to handle a case again and again," said Al Shamsi, who runs the 'Animal Trust Abu Dhabi' Facebook page along with Lardhi.
"My worst case would be a cat named 'Little One'. He was found stranded in the middle of Corniche Park in Abu Dhabi. His eyes were bulging out of his tiny skull, he was dehydrated and had matted fur.
"Later on, we found out he was deaf as well. He is now adopted by a family in Dubai."
Al Shamsi is encouraging residents in the UAE to be open to fostering and adopting cats in need.
"Boarding at vets cost so much and it denies us the chance to focus on finding a home. It is energy-consuming to constantly think about how the pet is still locked up in a cage and might be exposed to other viruses.
"The bill just increases per day for no apparent reason, when people can spare some space for the animal to stay till it is adopted. In fact, fostered animals find homes faster than animals that are stuck at the vet. When they're in a foster home, we focus on getting them an actual home," she added.