Dog rescue centre needs more help in its bigger new location

A dog rescue centre is appealing for more volunteers ahead of its move to a bigger location in November.

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DUBAI // A dog rescue centre is appealing for more volunteers ahead of its move to a bigger location in November. Unless more volunteers stepped forward, K9 Friends would not be able to increase the number of abandoned pets it cared for when it moved to its new site, said Jackie Radcliffe, who works with the organisation. Ms Radcliffe said while the building was almost complete and the group was excited to be moving to a larger area, "we would like to up the scale [of pets cared for] but we can't do so with the same number of volunteers.

"We have more space, so at least the animals will only be two to a kennel rather than three as it is now, and we will have separate puppy and quarantine blocks, but what we really need now are more volunteers." The Dubai-based organisation, which was established in 1987, also has a wish list of items, including computers and desks, that it hopes will be donated by the public for use at the new location. K9 Friends was on the verge of being evicted from its home when the Dubai Government intervened, extending the organisation's lease for another year.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, the Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, donated the land for the new rescue centre. It will be three times the size of the current premises, which shelters about 90 dogs. K9 Friends is also preparing to launch a public awareness campaign aimed at encouraging dog owners to clean up after their pets when taking them out for walks. The move follows a decision by the Jumeirah Beach Residences (JBR) to evict all dogs from its premises.

Ms Radcliffe said: "We have spoken to JBR and the International Fund for Animal Welfare and the problem stemmed from the fact that owners were apparently not cleaning up after their pets. "We are hoping, following Ramadan, to launch a media campaign aimed at encouraging pet owners to take responsibility for their animals and protecting the health of the community." @Email:loatway@thenational.ae