Sarita Harding, a volunteer with Animal Action UAE, said it was hard to estimate the scale of animal abandonment given the number of rescue organisations – more than 20 – veterinary clinics, individual volunteers and shelters all helping foster and care for unwanted dogs and cats.
However, the British expatriate said, there are likely to be “several thousand” animals in need of a home.
Many rescue organisations – including K9, Animal Action, Wags and Purrs and Feline Friends – all said they take several calls daily asking them to rehome one or more animals.
Advertising agency MullenLowe Mena has worked with Animal activists 38 Smiles to create a powerful short film, Abandoned Lives, using the issue of abandoned cars to highlight the growing number of unwanted animals in Dubai, released on social media last week.
Working with information they received from animal action groups, they estimated the number of abandoned pets in the country each year is about 3,000.
On the free classifieds website Dubizzle alone, there are 586 pets listed for free adoption and a further 90 pets listed as lost and found.