British animal rescue in Qatar has rescued hundreds of abandoned animals from 50°C killer temperatures

NEWS AND COMMENT: A British charity called Paws Rescue Qatar (PQR) has done some sterling work since 2014 when it was founded by Alison Caldwell and Vicky Lamont. Essentially they rescue abandoned cats and dogs from the streets of Qatar. This is an incredibly hot country with temperatures sometimes reaching 50°C. These abandoned animals can barely survive under these killer temperatures. Further, the locals, the Qataris, often treat street animals as pests which translates to being cruel to them. The founders of PQR say that locals sometimes run over them deliberately to kill them or they poison them and beat them et cetera.

Paws Rescue Qatar
Paws Rescue Qatar. Photo: PQR.

Here are some points to make about this excellent British charity which has saved the lives of hundreds of animals. Either the owner of the land on which their current facility is located, or the owner of the facility itself or the local authority have told them that they have to move very soon. The news is devastating to them.

Secondly, the Covid pandemic has also been devastating to them. Many expats working in Qatar abandoned their animals when they went home. And apparently people living in Qatar, which I presume is mainly Qataris and some immigrants, purchase animals from markets, get tired of them and then abandon them. Thus creating more unwanted companion animals. The information comes from PQR.

A third point that needs to be made is that this charity has found it very difficult to adopt out rescue animals. It appears that Qataris are uninterested in rescue animals. And therefore they ship them out to other countries such as Canada, the US and UK and other countries. That appears to be their modus operandi; rescuing cats and dogs from the streets under very hostile environmental conditions and then checking the health and arranging for them to travel out of the country to better homes and a better place.

I don't know Qatar. I never been there. But I do know the following because it is well reported. About 6,500 immigrant workers engaged in the construction of the stadia for the World Cup have died during their work. They died for a variety of reasons one of which is that they contracted terminal kidney disease having worked under 50°C temperatures without proper protection as is required under the Qatari law. 

Qatari employment law protects workers from these high temperatures but I'm told that this protection was not afforded to foreign workers from Bangladesh, India and Pakistan et cetera. I'm referring to practices such as providing adequate breaks to get out of the sun, not working during the worst parts of the day, not having toilet breaks and providing insufficient quantities of water. They had no rights. They were abused.

That is the background in terms of attitude that PQR has had to operate under. I presume they will remain in Qatar because they do wonderful work but we don't know how precarious their position is in respect of finding new premises. They currently have very good premises judging by the the information provided on their website. And they had good relations with a local veterinarian. But how do the Qatari authorities perceive them?

And how are they going to sustain this valuable charitable work to improve animal welfare in Qatar? They clearly need a lot of money and help. No doubt they have worked very hard to find a new place. I think we should watch what happens. I will try and remember to update this page. At the moment they have 159 cats and 90 dogs and a rabbit at the shelter. They need to vacate their premises next month. It's going to be tough. And I must say the impression that I get (although I could be incorrect) is that they are underappreciated in some quarters.


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