Animal welfare: Finding homes for the (four-legged) homeless

The duo has been providing medical care, shelter to stray animals.


Sehrish Ali August 14, 2012

ISLAMABAD:


In a land where the value of human life is trivialised, the animal kingdom doesn’t have much to hope for. However, some people still care about the cute and not-so-cute little critters of the world.


Tuffy is one such critter. The Russian Samoyed, most likely a runaway, was in a bad shape after being attacked by bigger stray dogs. Now, after months of treatment and love, he has a new home.

Animal Welfare Front, started by Fakhar Iftikhar and Sadiyah Ahmed, aims to provide medical care, shelter and refuge to homeless animals that are in desperate need for care.

“Our first case was in 2010. Tuffy had probably run away from home and was being attacked by a pack of dogs. They had ripped up the side of his abdomen. We quickly had him treated and vaccinated, took care of him till he recovered and put him up for adoption. He is now a member of a very loving family,” Sadiyah told The Express Tribune. “Since then there’s been no looking back, its one rescue after another,” said the human resource professional.

At the moment, both partners operate through the social networking site Facebook and cover all medical expenses for the animals from their own pockets. “We haven’t registered as a charity yet and feel it’s unfair to ask for donations from people till we are registered,” she said. Over the last two years, Sadiyah and Fakhir, who owns his own call centre, have been treating homeless and abandoned animals and putting them up for adoption. They also provide boarding and lodging facilities for pets whose owners are going out of town as a means of supporting the animal orphanage.

“People make fun of us, some call us crazy because we pick up random injured or sick animals and help them. According to many, we should just let them die as it won’t make much of a difference anyway,” she added.

However, taking care of animals isn’t the only thing the pair does. The duo has been providing free iftaris to about a 100 people everyday for the last two years. The packages include 10 kilogrammes of wheat flour, five litres of cooking oil, five kg of pulses, five kg of rice, five kg of sugar, five kg of gram flour, two kg of dates, half a kilogramme of tea and one large bottle of sherbet. The cost of the packages is about Rs4,000 per family. For iftar the cost per person is Rs100 per person, or Rs10,000 per day.

Although there are plenty of animal lovers out there that support their cause, Sadiyah feels that as a rule of thumb, foreigners are more willing to adopt strays. “They are the ones who readily adopt strays the most. Apart from that, Dr Faisal from Pets and Vets in F-7 has been of immense help to us by constantly treating and taking care of some of the strays we bring in,” Sadiyah added.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 14th, 2012.

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