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MDX Redbeat

A walk in the Park – K9 Friends

In the spirit of the love for all animals, Animates, a student-run animal welfare campaign decided to visit K9 friends on Monday, the 17th of February to walk their rescue dogs. Both the dogs and the volunteers enjoyed walking the dogs so much that a few of them decided to go back again to speak to their volunteers. What they found out was that each dog spends a different amount of time in the shelters. People also have a preference for smaller dogs and pure breed dogs. The reason for choosing a small dog may be due to the high amount of people living in apartments and not having space for larger dogs. The amount of time a dog spends at the shelter can vary from 10 days to 10 years.

Animates were happy to hear that there wasn’t a preference for puppies over older dogs, allowing a chance for all aged dogs to be adopted. Puppies are the first choice for some, but others may see them as high maintenance and that is when they would opt for adopting older dogs that are trained. There is an adoption fee of AED 1050 that comes when adopting a dog from K9 Friends which covers the cost of vaccinations, neutering and micro-chipping the dog. The fee for some can be seen as a blessing in disguise. The new owner will not have to worry about getting all these things done as they would if they were buying the dog from a pet shop. The pet shops also include additional charges.

When deciding to adopt a dog from K9 Friends, the volunteers make sure to explain the process well and to find out which dog would best suit the individual’s lifestyle. It is important for the volunteers to know how many people live in the household if they work a full-time job, and if they have any other pets. After getting to know the potential adopter, they will invite them to spend time with the dog that is the ideal match. K9 Friends want to ensure that everyone is comfortable around the chosen dog and that a strong relationship is built between the owner and the dog.

To those looking to adopt  

We interviewed Belinda Prince, manager at the K9 foundation to really understand what must be considered when adopting a pet in this region. She lays down the following five points as the most important factors to be considered while adopting a pet.

  • 1.) Duration of Your Stay

How long are you going to stay in Dubai? Dubai is a very trendy city and people are often here only for a couple of years before they move elsewhere. This leads to a lot of pets being abandoned in the region. If you are going to move out of the country, will you take your dog with you? Belinda, recalls that there have been cases of dogs locked up in empty villas. A dog lives for 15- 20 years, and it is important to question if you are able to commit to that dog for its lifetime as it is only fair because the dog will be committed to you for all its lifetime.

  • 2.) The Right Reason

Usually, parents adopt a pet to please their little children. Children, however, are incapable of tending to their needs. They are not play toys and should not be regarded as temporary objects. The entire family has to be willing to take care of them, not just the kids.

  • 3.) Finances

Like us, dogs are not immune to sickness or injury. When they do fall sick or get injured, the vet bills can be quite high. That’s why it is important to consider if we really are capable and willing to consider a very huge medical cost of the pet. Belinda advises that pet owners must put aside a certain amount of money every month, just like health insurance, to make sure they can cover any unexpected medical costs.

  • 4) The Right Kind

It is important to choose a pet that is best suited to the lifestyle we live in. If the whole family is out either for work or school the whole day then, Belinda suggests that a cat would be a much better-suited pet than a dog. This is because it is much more independent, and usually does not need the attention a dog does. Dogs are pack animals by nature, so naturally, they are more social and require greater interactions. They need people around and get unhappy if they are left alone. Cats, on the other hand, are solitary and wouldn’t be upset if they are left alone throughout the day

  • 5) Procedures

Anyone looking to adopt must let go of misinformation against neutering pets. All dogs here should be nurtured. There is a large stray population and we should prevent adding to it. All dogs are legally required to be microchipped as well, this ensures they are documented and can be found or tracked if they get lost. The owner must also make sure he meets UAE’s compulsory law of annual rabies vaccination and must also register their pets with the Dubai municipality.

As long as the above factors are taken into consideration and an individual is

prepared to give that 15 – 20% daily commitment to the pet, then adopting a dog from a shelter and giving it a second chance will be “the most rewarding experience” remarks Belinda.

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