Tag Archives: Qatar Animal Welfare Society

Supporting a good QAWS

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.

Now that you have read this, you will understand why I push events held by this organization – Every cent raised goes towards the dogs and cats who call the shelter their home. QAWS Scavenger Hunt - Resize

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 qaws.events@gmail.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 qaws.furball@gmail.com  (see feature pic for further details)

Please keep an eye on the QAWS Facebook Page for events that will be held in the future.




My gratitude knows no bounds

“Please and Thank you aren’t swear words,” was my mom’s retort when as a child I might forget those two little words when asking for or receiving anything.

Thank you! You are No 1 in my books:-)
Thank you! You are No 1 in my books:-)

Since it’s awards season (it is… just watch E! TV on OSN), I figured I best get my thank you speech ready! “For what?” you might ask…. Well to everyone who has gotten me this far with what I have achieved in the last year.

When I started out on my adventure of going it alone in the big bad world of self employment, I would not have guessed it would be leading me to this point.

I have known for years that a website of this magnitude was needed in Qatar. New expats coming into the country needing info on where to get their pet’s veterinary care or supplies from, to everyone wanting ideas on where to walk your dog and even which compounds are pet friendly.

A fully comprehensive site where a touch of a button gives you all the info you need. There are a few expat sites giving you info on where to eat, how to dress, where to go, but nothing like this, so I knew it had to be done, and decided to take on the task.

There are a number of people I want to thank for helping me get this site off the ground, so without further a-do, here goes:

None of this would have been possible without the IT genius of my friend Francis Myers of FM Photography. Francis is relatively new to Qatar so in between trying to get his own business off the ground, he helped me to get this site up and running. Thank you for everything, Francis. You are a superstar.

My dear friend Janet of Qatar Pet Relocators. Her support over the last year has been enormous. I have some very good friends, but Janet is 1 in a million. Thanks Jan, you know I will go to the moon and back for you, if I could x

Faten and Aziz from Hakuna Matata – Happy Pets. I don’t know where I would have been if you guys hadn’t offered your help over the last few months. Some of my favourite times are spent in your kitchen testing dog treats and cuddling the boarding animals staying in your home and your own pack of cats and dogs. Thank you x

Drs Rhett and Nicola of Qatar Veterinary Centre (North/Duhail). I had streak of sick animals last year. Your compassion when I had to put my gorgeous Korin to sleep reminds me that vets sometimes have the hardest job of all. Thank you for always being there, no matter what my bill may be;-)

To my Sponsor (you know who you are) and Chairman for allowing me to take the risk and keeping me “safe”. You are both wonderful people and I thank my lucky stars everyday you saved me from my life as an editor;-)

Last but not least, I’d like to thank someone who I don’t think even knows how he’s inspired me. Khalifa Saleh Al Haroon of I Love Qatar.Net

Years ago, Khalifa started one of the biggest online communities in Qatar. It’s a site which has far reach, and this is what I am aiming for with petsofqatar.com, to achieve the same amount of reach within the pet community. Thank you for showing me how to achieve success online. I have been watching and taking notes.

To my clients (both human and K-9) over the last 13 months, you have all been wonderful. Thank you!


How to start a Blog?

Me and Anex messing around in the park in Rosebank, Johannesburg, South Africa - Taken October 2005.
Anex and I at a park in Rosebank, Johannesburg, South Africa – Taken October 2005.

Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would have a website, let alone a blog website. I love writing (short stories, song lyrics, press releases – long story) but I am just too lazy to keep it going. I have started many diaries over my years on this earth, but they’ve always gone by the wayside a few nights later cause true to my Gemini nature, I grow bored. When my website developer told me he’d be creating my new site as a Blog, I freaked out…. How on earth was I going to   keep this going? Then when he told me I’d have to maintain it up to 6 hours a day, I nearly fainted!

So, here I am, my first entry, and let’s hope not my last… I thank my lucky stars that there are  so many good sites and articles I can “steal from”, giving credit of course, that I am almost recovered from the initial shock of being told to keep the site interesting, entertaining and informative.

Who am I you might ask. My name is Lucielle Burger,  a South African in Qatar. This country has been my home for the last nine years and counting… Anyone who knows me well will tell you, I am a loyal, reliable friend, if a little loud and opinionated, and anyone   who doesn’t now me well, will tell you I am a difficult cow.

I know I am hard to take sometimes, and not the most patient person in the world with humans, but when it comes to animals, I will give my life and soul for them.

My favourite breed is the German Shepherd Dog. Strong and guarded with strangers (like me), playful and lovable with those in their inner circle (just like me, too). My experience comes from working with GSDs since I was 21 years old (my love for them beginning when I was 4 years of age). I’ve had 3 Pedigreed GSDs: Angel of Laynedenburg; Glato von Xanor (Anex) and Xandri.  My ex-husband brought me into the world of working GSD’s when I was 24 and I have never looked back. While I haven’t ever won any working competitions, due to low confidence in myself, I can teach people to take their dogs to that level, and that’s what I am good at. Some people believe my methods don’t work and criticize how I do things, but many of my clients will tell you differently, and they are the ones who are important. Concentrate on your strengths and not your weaknesses, is what I have come to believe.  I am open to learning new things, though!

As I mentioned previously, I have been in Qatar for 9 years, which gives me tonnes of experience on how all things animal related work here. From protocol, rescue, government laws and regulations, those who know what they are talking about and those who don’t and last but not least, the people with the biggest mouths in this country are those who come in, shout about how things should be done, and then leave without having achieved anything. I have seen it all.

I was a committee member with the Qatar Animal Welfare Society for 7 years until a little more than a year ago, when I stepped down to start Laws for Paws Qatar, but still fully support the group and help out at events.

While I don’t have any pure bred GSDs in Qatar, I do have a menagerie of pets I call my pack. They are all rescued from the streets of Qatar. I had very little say in bringing my furry kids into my life, they all just sort of found me. My first rescue, Korin (a GSD X) sadly passed away in July last year after a short illness, so I am left with 5 dogs:  Lycan (Husky – 8 years old) is my Alpha – she rules the rest. They walk a wide circle past her. Coming too close gets you a “talking too”. I have had her since she was 8 weeks old; Molly (Doha Special – 9 years old) belonged to a dear friend who had to leave quickly and didn’t get to take Molly with her;  Kendra (another GSD X – 4 years old) found in Bin Omran after I got a call from a Filipino lady about a dog being abused by some kids; PeeWee (Doha Special – 5 years old) came home from QAWS for a bit of TLC one Christmas, as she wasn’t adjusting to kennel life… she never left; and Saabiq  (Saluki X Lab – 3 years old) my miracle baby. I call him that because he would have been a dead puppy if I hadn’t had to find an alternate route home due to some road works. I truly believe I was meant to find him running down a Wakrah road, just meters from horrendous traffic. He was only about 5 months old at the time.       

Saabiq on the day I found him. He was skin and bone and feeling very lucky to be alive - Taken 18 November 2011.

Home from the farm and loving it! PeeWee - Taken January 2012.
My old girls, Molly and Lycan - Taken in November 2011.
Loves from my boy Xandri - Taken in February 2006
Training on the outskirts of Magaliesburg with Anex - Taken in May 2006.
Kendra relaxing at home - Taken in October 2011.
Beautiful Dalton - Taken in September 2011.
Little Chaplin at 3 months - Taken December 2013.
4-month old kittens Chocolate and Blue - Taken in April 2010.

I have cats too – 4 of them; Blue and Chocolate (brother and sister Burmese/Siamese mix – 5 years old). They were pretty sickly kittens when they were dumped at QAWS, so home they went for some medical care, again, never left; Dalton (Domestic Long Hair – 5 years old), rescued from a hoarder and Chaplin (Domestic Short Hair – 14 months) found outside my home.

I have had many others come into my life here in Qatar, who have since crossed over Rainbow Bridge or been re-homed. I feel very blessed that they chose me to find and help them, no matter the time they had left, or went onto their forever homes, each and everyone still holds a special place in my heart. I am sure I will talk of my babies many times during the life of this webpage, be it during examples of behaviour, snippets of humour or just reminiscing about their lives, so you’ll get to meet them all at some time or another.

I guess I’d better get to the point of this Website – Our goal? To make it THE go-to page for anything animal related in Qatar. If you need info on veterinary services; pet relocators; where to walk your dog; pet friendly accommodation; pet nutrition; dog training; pet health and grooming advice, this is going to be the place you’ll want to frequent. You will find me rambling on about nothing, or something. You can ask questions and hope for coherent answers. The possibilities are endless.

We’re not quite done fine tuning what we’re hoping will be an AWESOME addition to the online pet community in Qatar, so please bare with us as we mix and match, delete or add; and sometimes just randomly mess things up.

You might not like what we post, feel free to voice that, whether we publish it or not, is up to us – Haha!  If you find an interesting article and think it’s something people may enjoy, click send and we’ll have a look at it.

There is so much we still want to do and slowly but surely we’ll get there, so sit back, keep an eye on the page and enjoy the ride with us.

So I guess… This is how one starts a blog!