Special Features

Feline Friends

Feline Friends is a non-profit making organization that was founded in September 1991 by Lesley King, a British Expatriate living in Abu Dhabi. A few months later Jackie Green, an American Expatriate, started a sister organization in Dubai.

Feline Friends is also a member society of WSPA (World Society for the Protection of Animals), and subsequently follows their advice and doctrine. Their website details can be found on our links page.

Feline Friends is staffed by volunteers who all have one common goal - to bring relief and care to the feral/stray, domestic and abandoned feline population in the United Arab Emirates.

The group’s aims can be summarised as follows:

•To provide care and relief to sick and injured cats and kittens.
•To rescue from the streets tame and abandoned cats and kittens and foster them until good, loving and permanent homes can be found.
•To promote the control of the feral and domestic cat population within the Emirates by following a programme of spaying and neutering.
•To provide guidance and support for cat owners and to encourage responsible care and ownership.
•To encourage and educate the public to care and respect the cat population whether they are domestic or stray, via publications, animal related events and visits to schools.

The work of Feline Friends falls into three main categories, these are:

1. The Fostering and Homing Scheme
Sadly, many pet cats are abandoned when their owners either leave the country or just are fed up with them. These animals are not used to surviving on their own and consequently, usually end up in a very bad state.

The same can be said for stray un-sterilised cats that give birth to litters on the streets. The mother very often abandons these litters as she has enough problems trying to feed herself without having the extra burden of many additional souls to take care of.

Cats and kittens from both these categorys are rescued and placed in foster care after they have been seen by a veterinarian and treated if necessary.

They will stay within these foster homes until suitable permanent homes can be found.

2. The Sterilisation Campaign
Many of the cats within the Emirates are not tame enough to be homed, these have become to be known as ’bin’ or ’street’ cats since they survive by foraging for scraps of food that have been thrown out.

The vast percentage of these cats want to stay out on the streets as that is where they were born and managed to survive to adulthood.

Once one of these cats reaches maturity it will start to breed and the offspring that it is responsible for will have too compete for a piece of the scarce food supply that is available to them. Unfortunately, there is never enough to go round and it is normally the strongest that get the food, consequently a lot of the kittens born on the streets die very quickly due to malnutrition and dehydration.

According to the UK’s Cat Protection League, it is estimated that one cat can be responsible for producing 20,000 descendants in five years. Even if only a quarter actually survive to reproductive age, it is still a staggering number of cats.

Feline Friends believe that the best way of controlling the stray cat population is by birth control; consequently, we actively encourage the trapping, sterilisation and release of the stray cats that live and forage around the streets of the UAE.

Sick and diseased feral cats and kittens that are trapped are humanely euthanaized. This ensures that the feline population that live on the streets are all healthily and strong and remain so.

Our mass sterilisation campaign was launched in November 1992 and is still as active today as it was then. To ensure that this practice continues we provide humane traps, expertise in trapping and if required financial aid.

The campaign is fully supported by WSPA and Feline Friends work closely with Dubai Municipality Veterinary Section in its implementation as both organisations are working towards the same goal.

3. Fundraising
For Feline Friends to achieve the above objectives it costs money. We are fortunate enough to be supported by a number of veterinary clinics in Dubai, their details can be found on our links page, even with their support our average monthly vet bills are in excess of 15,000 Dirhams.

Couple that with the cost of running the phone lines, the Feline Friends van, production of traps and other expenses the total amount required to function soon adds up.

Feline Friends are not government funded or a profit making business, consequently we have to raise the money ourselves to continue our work. This is achieved in a number of ways:

•Public Donations - for which we are extremely grateful
•Garage Sales
•Book Sales
•Food Drives
•Linen Sales
•The Feline Friends Ball
•The Feline Friends Calendar
•The Annual Pet Show

The list is not endless by any means, these fundraising activities and others are carried out by a band of dedicated volunteers and those that just want to help occasionally. They give up their free time to ensure that Feline Friends raises the required funds to continue its work and expand to meet the needs of the Feline Population in an ever-growing Dubai.

Email: felinefriendsdubai@yahoo.co.uk

Website: http://www.felinefriendsdubai.com/

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