ABVC Rescue Partner – The Animal Project
Interview with Montserrat Martin and Nathalie Grall-Sorensen of The Animal Project
How did THE ANIMAL PROJECT (also known as ‘’FRIENDS OF ANIMALS’’ ) start?
I have worked with animals for over 30 years. When I arrived in UAE in 2001, I was helping FF (Feline Friends) and after a while due to dealing with cats, dogs, horses and other animals FA (Friends of Animals) started.
2008 was the year that I stumbled upon a terrible case in Ajman, where an injured dog sustaining an open leg fracture who was only helped by workers that fed him for four months and all put money together to buy Iodine to help the dog. After rescued his leg was amputated and find a loving home, today he is in New Zealand. I realised that the only thing that took was effort and little time. That rescued led to another and another and another, leaving behind hundreds of happy ending stories.
It gives great satisfaction when you can see animals and humans happily merged.
I soon realised that rescuing was the result of strays over populated areas, and the wiser thing to do was to focus on preventive initiatives, allowing some rescues as a collateral process and not the other way around.
What does THE ANIMAL PROJECT do exactly?
We mainly focus on sterilisation campaigns in Dubai. WE are NOT a shelter; we work with technology and speedy social media platforms to achieve fast and cost-effective results, involving the community.
– WE work directly with the community facilitating information, providing discounted veterinary clinic rates, advertising and finding suitable permanent homes for fostered rescued/unwanted pets , provide legal advice and action to be taken as per LAW N16 for Animal Welfare in UAE, and we encourage and help the community to do “Community Social Responsibility” stray cats TNR (Trap, neutering and release).
– WE insist on maintaining an excellent relation and support all the Animal Welfare Groups listed in the region: We have the same interest, Animal rights, and improvements.
What is the primary goal of THE ANIMAL PROJECT?
To emphasize on animal awareness, so people could get involved in small operations (starting in their area) to manage larger areas.
To provide animal welfare advise to public members or direct people to the right entities to do so.
To alleviate suffering from animals and to promote kindness.
To cooperate with the government by reporting any cruelty or abuse to animals, demanding justice.
” BY BELIEVING THAT, WE CAN ALL MAKE A DIFFERENCE”
Why did you want to be a licensed and legalized organization?
We don’t particularly want to be legalised like another shelter or, charity or pity organisation. We are aiming to be a profit making company that finances animals in the community, just as ABVC is a profit making, but highly promotes animal welfare campaigns and finances all TNR campaigns. We are happy to be a different business model that not only covers people’s salaries allowing them to work with animals but also finances a lot of animal cases.
Who are your main partners?
ABVC, GULF NEWS, EMAAR, UNION PROPERTIES, MALLS ETC
How is the partnership with ABVC helping THE ANIMAL PROJECT?
By constantly allowing us to do free TNR and reduce cost TNR and general treatments, by allowing young animals to be exposed and get new homes, by inspiring us making us feel that we are not alone …
What is your general intake on pets in Dubai? What do you think is the biggest factor resulting in so many abandoned pets?
UAE is a highly transient place for work. People get carried away with salaries, glamorous places, new cars, higher lifestyle, adding a pet will complement the rest of their lifestyle. Sadly, before adopting, they never bother to find out a cost of shipping the pet back, pet facilities back home or next visiting countries and so on.
Many pets are also not even sterilised so when they get abandoned so new breeding spots will start.
When that animal adopted or purchased enters a home and people start to find out the responsibilities, sacrifices involved in keeping them, the vet cost (not with ABVC) 🙂 Then, the pets is no longer a pet, but becomes a pest.
What would be your solution to limit abandonment and animal abuse?
Implementation of the law, Implementation of the law and Implementation of the law.
Sadly education won’t be as effective as punishment, and the reason is that often adults commit the offences and not kids. Many cases could be avoided based on preventive measures such as strong registration records from pets and owners. (in an ideal world) An endorsement to the visa stating that the person is a pet owner, proving when leaving the country that the pet has been successful homed to a third party, relocated to the owner’s next destination, put to sleep or has died.
Offering a travelling scheme embedded with a pet medical insurance, so by paying yearly, by the time they leave, their pets relocating transport will be covered.
Please share your nicest pet/rescue/foster story with us?
We can proudly say we have too many. Please read below and see some of the links.
We have a lot of stories, but recently we have been called on Friday by someone who already adopted a cat from our organization, they reported a dog and cat locked in a villa as the owner left to their country over night and abandoned the pets inside their villa. We took them out and found a foster home in few hours. A few days later the Labrador and the Angora cat have found fantastic family and thanks, ABVC who sterilized the two who were not microchip or sterilised.