As expats, we lived in many countries and got involved in animal rescue wherever we went. While we worked in Qatar, we decided that cats are our lives? passion and focused solely on rescuing abandoned cats, rehabilitating and rehoming them. MadCatters’ Haven existed informally for several years until we decided it is time to apply for Charitable Trust status in the UK in 2019.
The state of abandoned cats and dogs in Qatar is dire. The government doesn’t impose the few animal welfare laws. Extremely transient population (only 15 percent are locals and the rest expats) is uneducated about animal welfare. It is a common practice to leave the family pets behind (out on the street) when jobs are lost, contracts terminated and expats leave Qatar.
Breed cats and dogs are bought and sold like disposable commodities; animal healthcare is minimal; disease is rampant on the streets and the climate unforgiving. Every single day, quite a number of sick/unwanted breed cats are thrown out on the street and left to fend for themselves.
Licensed breeders are a rarity and there is no authority that checks on them and regulate their actions. Many cats are bred until they can’t, their babies sold on the street markets and online; parents who get too old are thrown out onto the street.
Furthermore, setting up an animal rescue in Qatar is prohibited by law. All the rescues that operate do so without a license and at the mercy of the authorities who simply turn a blind eye to their existence.
Having moved back to the UK, we finally had the opportunity to build a safe haven for abandoned cats. It is a work in progress. We hope it will evolve into something unique. A place cats can be free, happy and healthy.
We are working hard to find new families for as many rehabilitated cats as possible. Having witnessed the situation first-hand, we choose to continue to work with our colleagues in Qatar.