Over 5,000 stray cats rounded up in Dubai in 2015


Over 5,000 stray cats rounded up in Dubai in 2015

Dubai - 'Residents who abandon their pets are fined'


Sherouk Zakaria

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Published: Sun 23 Oct 2016, 11:30 PM

Last updated: Mon 24 Oct 2016, 9:04 AM

There has been a 15 to 20 per cent increase in the number of stray cats found in 2014-2015, according to a top Dubai Municipality official.
In 2015, 5,300 stray cats were found and neutered. The municipality received 3,284 notifications about stray cats in Dubai and captured 314 feral felines during the first half of this year.
Hashim Mohammed Al Awadhi, head of the civic body's veterinary services section, attributed the increase of stray cats to population increase, surplus food found in public trash bins and low awareness among residents who abandon their pets.
Residents who abandon their pets are fined, he said.
The civic body follows the TNR (trap, neuter and release) programme to control the number of stray cats.
The cats are released back to the localities from where they had been netted in efforts to control the environmental balance that prevents the presence of rats and insects on the streets. However, if the animal is seriously ill or wild, it is put down.
Dr Murad Basheer Mustafa, head of therapeutic services at the section, said an average of 250 neutering operations take place per month with an average of 15 to 20 cats that are treated for injuries before being released.
The civic body, however, has a zero tolerance policy towards stray dogs in Dubai, which has helped the emirate to manage its dog population.
The municipality runs a holding and adoption centre where stray dogs when found are kept. "After a stray cat or dog is captured, we first check if it has a number. Then we wait for five days. If the owner does not contact us to look for the pet, we offer it for adoption," explained Mustafa.
The municipality has launched the Aleef app, which is a platform for current and prospective pet owners to better manage the roster, adoption and care of animals in Dubai.

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