In Abu Dhabi, the local authorities have begun a thorough investigation following concerning reports of innocent cats being abandoned in the desert.
Residents in the Al Falah area made the startling discovery on the last Friday morning in September. Locals reportedly observed numerous cats searching for food and water.
Rescue organizations and volunteers have since posted pictures of pets abandoned in isolated desert regions, where temperatures can soar to nearly 104°F (40°C). According to the rescuers, 90 of the cats managed to survive, with some having made their way into neighboring communities. Unfortunately, at least 62 of them have died.
Community efforts to save cats abandoned in desert
“It has been incredible to see how the entire community has come together in the effort to save as many cats as possible, give them treatment, and hopefully find them new homes,” said David Appleby, a dedicated volunteer rescuer, as per The National.
Videos circulated widely on social media, depicting numerous deceased animals in Al Falah.
The Department of Municipalities and Transport (DMT) in Abu Dhabi promptly initiated investigations upon receiving the report. Furthermore, officials pledged to take all relevant administrative and legal actions. DMT is conducting the investigations in collaboration with appropriate authorities.
In a statement, the department emphasized that investigations are still in progress to identify those responsible for this cruel act. Accordingly, such actions are seen as standing in stark contrast to civilized morals and values.
“The DMT has also underscored that it values the sentiments of the public and activists and recognizes the contributions of volunteers in responding to this incident,” the statement further noted. The department urged anyone with information to step forward, aiming to prevent any future occurrences of such incidents.
Moreover, a group of seven volunteers is actively working to match the microchip numbers of cats with photographs of missing pets. Rescuers have recorded the microchip information for each deceased feline.
Volunteers have been scouring the Al Falah desert using off-road vehicles in their mission to locate other abandoned cats. During their efforts, they also stumbled upon several dead dogs.
Six veterinary clinics in Abu Dhabi provide free treatment for the cats
In a heartwarming display of support, at least six veterinary clinics in Abu Dhabi have stepped up by offering free treatment for the sick felines. Currently, approximately 30 felines are under veterinary care. Furthermore, compassionate animal lovers have contributed bags of cat litter and food for the surviving cats.
Appleby shared, “On Friday, people were coming from all over the country to join the rescue to collect cats.”
He continued, “The animals will go through a 14-day isolation period to ensure they are healthy and will then be vaccinated and given passports to make them available for adoption, if no owners come forward.”
The team is working diligently to try and identify the owners of some of these pets. They are also hoping to provide some much-needed reassurance. Meanwhile, the DMT is urging the public to report any abuse or neglect of animals to them at 800555, an in-country hotline number.