Abu Dhabi is an emirate of animal lovers. It houses a pet-friendly hotel, a shelter, a falcon hospital and scores of online communities have been formed all for the welfare of the Capital’s furry friends. Amid the pandemic, however, residents had been worried about stray cats: How did they eat when everyone stayed home?
This was when Provis, an estate management firm, decided to pursue a project: Put up feeding stations for cats.
A pilot project that started at the Gate and Arc Towers on Reem Island has been highly successful that more communities are now embracing the initiative.
Residents, many of whom love cats, are happy to see their feline friends getting a steady supply of food and water.
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Mayada Oudah, a resident on Yas Island, said: “Ever since moving to Ansam in 2019, I started feeding cats around the community, sterilising and vaccinating them, and providing any needed medical care. However, it was always a struggle to maintain a feeding station as we needed to go through a long process to have it approved.”
For Oudah, the initiative comes as a relief, as she has seen a surge in the number of abandoned cats in the locality.
“Our community cats are all amiable, and most of them showed up days after the pandemic, which indicated that they were abandoned by their owners. This initiative will set a fantastic example for others to follow.”
Caroline Stotter-Brooks, another Ansam resident, added: “Having lived in the Middle East for more than a decade, I have seen the struggles faced by strays trying to survive on the roads. I am delighted to hear about the stations placed in our community to help the poor, defenceless animals survive.”
Anand Jeganathan Nirmala, a resident of the Bridges community, said: “The cat feeding stations are well organised and the kids enjoy spending time there.”
Dana Awad, executive director of Provis, noted that the initiative helps ensure residents’ safety and that proper cat feeding habits are followed.
“Many residents in our communities are cat lovers and enjoy feeding strays using various plates, bowls and food, which could at times produce foul smell; block entrances, pathways and amenities; or even generally disrupt the image of an otherwise well-kept space,” Awad said.
“Together with residents from Arc and Gate Towers, which was our pilot community for the stations, we developed a solution to build and instal cat feeding stations at designated areas. Our residents warmly welcomed the idea. What started as a small initiative has become a successful campaign in other neighbourhoods.”
Currently, the feeding stations can be found at Gate and Arc Towers, Ansam, The Bridges and Alghadeer. More communities are expected to be added soon.
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