The Qatar Animal Welfare Society is a charity very close to my heart.
Having been a committee member of QAWS for 7 years, I know firsthand what goes into the running of this organization – Blood, sweat and tears doesn’t even begin to cover it…. It takes money too… lots and lots of money.
When I joined the committee in June 2007, the shelter consisted of 1 dog block and 1 cat cabin. It could house about 28 dogs in general population and 8 in the isolation unit. The cat block could take about 30 cats and kittens.
In those days, the monthly rental on the land was only around QR3,500 and it cost QR5,000 a month to feed/vaccinate the animals and buy cleaning materials.
On 3rd September 2009, a month after finishing off a new wing, that would house about 24 extra dogs, a fire started in the kitchen section of the original block due to an electrical fault. Within 45 minutes, the entire shelter had burnt to the ground. That day we lost 20 cats and 2 dogs to smoke inhalation. The rest managed to get to safety with the help of a kind passerby and some supporters who managed to get there in time due to their close proximity.
By November 2009, we had a make shift shelter of metal and chain link cages for the dogs and donated portacabins for the cats.
With the help of the community, QAWS was able to rebuild a 40 kennel dog block. More portacabins were donated which were converted into extra kennels and cat cabins. Today, QAWS houses over 130 dogs and puppies, 70 cats and kittens and another 60 or so animals of various specises.
The costs to run QAWS on a monthly basis have gone up annually and currently the monthly spend is over QR50,000 a month. All funded by the generous donations of people like you.
“The QAWS Girls” as the committee are affectionately known, do everything themselves. From fundraising, to vet runs, adoptions, rescues and co-ordinating the running of the facility. These ladies do all this while working fulltime jobs and raising families. What’s more, they don’t get a cent for their efforts. It’s all on a volunteer basis. I cannot recall the number of times we have put our hands in our own pockets to make up the rent, buy food and cleaning materials or pay for medical treatments at the local vets.
Coming up this weekend (20th February) is the QAWS Scavenger Hunt – Its tonnes of fun, so grab some friends or family and send your registration to email@example.com
If glitz and glamour is more your style, then the annual QAWS Fur Ball is for you. A formal black-tie event to be held on 5th March at the Radisson Blu hotel, this event is well known for being THE Ball of the season. You won’t be disappointed as the evening is full of fun and entertainment. It’s the only day(night) of the year you’ll see the QAWS committee in dresses and high-heeled shoes. A change from their usual attire of jeans and polo-necks your used to seeing them in, down at the farm. To reserve a table please mail firstname.lastname@example.org (see feature pic for further details)
Please keep an eye on the QAWS Facebook Page for events that will be held in the future.