If you don’t have plans to leave the UAE in the coming months, but enjoy being around animals, here’s a worthwhile cause you can volunteer for.
Most of the country's animal rescue groups have cats and dogs that desperately need homes, including temporary ones, but finding volunteers can be especially difficult during the summer. Many people go on holiday at this time, meaning foster pets are suddenly left without a home.
Petooti, a rescue group run by volunteers in Dubai, is seeking help in finding temporary homes for its felines, from kittens to fully grown cats. The organisation is asking for help from for anyone who can offer space, be it for a few weeks or a couple of months.
“All our cats have a home to go to, eventually; they merely need a temporary stopgap to help them on their way. We will provide you with every cat-related essential to get you started, and vet bills will be covered by us. As a foster caregiver, all that's required is a comfortable, safe home and keeping us updated with cute pics,” says Petooti.
All cats currently in Petooti’s care are fully house-trained, health-checked, and spayed or neutered.
“The pandemic taught us many lessons the past year, one being that family matters more than we realise. However, pets who were once considered a part of the family unit continue to be abandoned across the country,” the group adds.
“Animal cruelty and pet abandonment is an issue that’s been affecting our society for as long as we can remember, with an influx in cases recently. While the rest of us recover and move forward, the animals continue to suffer.”
Here are the cats that need foster homes
Lilly, 2, female
Lilly is cuddly and attention-seeking. Happy to entertain herself, but needs human interaction for comfort.
Hala, 1, female
Hala loves to play with anything and everything, even if it’s simply her own shadow and tail. She is currently in a foster home with children. She is thriving in a dynamic, active household, so her ideal home would be an active one, where she can get attention from several people and be part of the action. She should be the only cat in a household with older children.
Morris, 9 months, male
Morris is shy, but soon warms up to his humans. He likes to watch his humans going about their day and comes for the occasional cuddle next to you. He's still learning to trust, so someone who's experienced with cats would be ideal. He should be the only cat in a household with no children.
Nala, 9 months, female
Nala enjoys spending her time watching TV snuggled up with her favourite humans (indeed, she was named while watching The Lion King), chasing ping pong balls, lasers and feather teasers, surveying her kingdom from the top of her cat tree and destroying toilet paper. She can be paired with another cat and is fine with children.
Tiki, 18 months, female
This sassy little lady will have you running around doing her bidding in no time. She is very much her own boss and makes sure everyone in the foster home is aware she’s in charge. She loves to play and is frequently found rolling around on the floor, wrestling with her toys. Her favourite toys are string-like teasers and she’ll pounce on untied shoelaces if given half a chance. She should be the only cat in the household and is fine with older children.
Jojo, 3, male
Jojo is a curious, loving and cuddly cat. He isn’t a lap cat, but enjoys being petted and snuggling beside his favourite humans, and will purr and knead to show his appreciation. He doesn't like being alone, so someone working from home would be ideal, making him the perfect WFH buddy.
Spartacus, 7, male
Spartacus is a very calm, quiet and gentle soul. He enjoys cuddles and will take a belly rub over food most days. He should be the only cat in the household and is fine with older children.
Leo and Luna, 6 weeks, male and female
Playful, entertaining and full of energy, Leo and Luna will ensure you have excellent Instagramable content. They are fine with other pets and excellent with older children.
Joey and Phoebe, 3 months, male and female
Joey and Phoebe cannot wait to join a family that will welcome cuddles. Phoebe loves to perform a solo concert before each meal and Joey rugby-tackles his human and demolishes his food faster than a speeding ticket. Both kitties are assertive, making them the perfect pair to be welcomed as first-time pets to any family. Both love tummy tickles and chin-rubs, and are fine with children and other cats.
Ginger, 4, male
Ginger used up one of his lives surviving an accident with a truck. He's fully recovered, but needs an extra-caring hand and home to get him ready for his forever home. He should be the only cat in a household without children. Ideally, you will have patience and some cat experience.
Bootsie, 2, female
The perfect kitty all round, she seeks out her humans for a cuddle next to them, or is otherwise happily snoozing catching up on beauty sleep. Her hobbies include Cat TV on YouTube and chasing her own tail. She is fine with other cats, but not children.
Clemmie, 1, female
Clemmie requires an experienced and patient fosterer who can help her come out of her shell to blossom. She's a new rescue, currently in a cage at the vet, which is causing her a lot of stress, owing to the restricted small space.
Miles, 6 months, male
Miles is the perfect snuggle buddy and loves to be showered with attention. He's fine when left on his own during the day and enjoys the occasional playtime. He's low-maintenance and super-cute. He should be the only cat in a household with no children.
Luca, 10 months, male
Luca hasn’t known many people to love him as he loves them. Luck wasn’t on his side early in life. Bred to be sold by an unscrupulous breeder, he was the last one standing in a cage, while his siblings were snapped up. He gives little head bumps, giving out little chirpy meows – he doesn’t even know he’s being cute. He’s just trying to say, ‘Thank you for loving me back.’ He is fine with other cats and gentle with children.
Shiva, 10 months, female
A uniquely marbled Bengal and ginger cat, Shiva has a personality that radiates calm, and her purrs will fill any room with serenity. She is a gentle and docile little kitty, making her the perfect cat for first-time pet owners. She should be the only cat in a household without children.
Zeina, 2, female
Zeina is a great companion kitty for humans and is currently in a foster home with several cats. She loves to get up to all sorts of mischief, of which she is the instigator most of the time.