I have been advocating for animal rights and welfare in Egypt for a little over two years now – specifically after I rescued my two-and-a-half-year-old male blue Persian cat from a breeder who kept them locked in a dark and dirty basement under horrid conditions.
And let me tell you the truth about animal rescue: It makes and breaks your heart every single day tens of times. You end up scared to look at the sidewalks or under cars to avoid seeing an injured stray and your friends turn you into their personal vet.
But it’s worth all the heartache and sleepless nights when you nurture a helpless voiceless creature back to health, when they thank you with looks that are worth a thousand words and when you finally send them to their new forever home.
I did not know there were animal shelters before I started looking into the matter after my cat’s rescue. And I was surprised to see there were so many dedicated and passionate people advocating for the cause in Egypt.
The shelters have been trying to reach out to more citizens, educate children about animal rescue and mercy, and call on the government to establish strict laws against animal abuse.
Here’s a list of reasons why everyone should consider adoption before they go and buy from a pet shop or a breeder. And why everyone should also care for a pet at some point in their lives.
1. Adoption eliminates pet shops and breeders’ greed
When you adopt from a shelter, they bind you to neuter and spay your pet once their age is suitable for the procedure. It’s not “7aram” or against nature because technically, you’re helping to solve the world’s over-population of pets and you’re rescuing hundreds of lives from an unknown and probably gruesome fate.
You make it impossible for pet shops and unethical backyard breeders to abuse these animals and put them in tiny cages without food or water and proper litter disposal systems simply by not purchasing from them.
2. You free up more space at the shelter
By adopting from a shelter you free up more space so that they can take in more serious and urgent cases of abused strays.
The shelter would also be able to utilize its resources towards building better kennels and taking better care of the animals they have.
3. Your options are infinite
While I am against choosing an animal based on how it looks like, its age or breed, I understand that some people do and there is little that can be done to change their minds. When you visit a shelter, you’ll find both kittens and adult cats, puppies and dogs of every size and looks. And if you may find it in your heart to adopt a balady animal, that would be too great for words.
I’ve rescued many balady cats and dogs and they are the smartest, fastest and most adaptive animals I have come in contact with. Their immune system is very strong as well, so you save yourself the trouble of paying a visit to the vet every now and then except for vaccines and regular check ups, of course.
You will still be surprised when you see the number of Persian and Siamese cats as well as pedigree dogs dumped and rescued by shelters in Egypt. People use pets as accessories and don’t understand that it is a lifelong commitment, so they just get rid of them when they’re “not convenient” anymore.
In a shelter, you get to connect with the animal you are going to take home, spend time with them and find one that fits your unique personality.
4. You save yourself the trouble of housebreaking and training your pet
Most shelter animals already have a feeding schedule, can use the litter box and know the dos and don’ts very well. They also know basic commands and are very protective and loyal towards their owners.
Many shelters also provide information’ material about training, nutrition and behavioral issues and they give the vaccines and spay your pet for free.
5. You will be rewarded with looks of gratitude and love for the rest of your life
An adopted pet will shower you with unconditional love, I promise. They will enrich your life in every possible way and they will teach you more about the capacity of your heart than you may ever get to know. You know you will come home every day to your best friend.
There are countless benefits to pet ownership. You have saved a furry little creature from an unpleasant fate and you get to grow a bond with them that is more meaningful than those you can build with people.
WE SAID THIS: Here are the links to the Facebook pages of some of the animal rescue organizations and shelters in Egypt:
Touch of Life: https://www.facebook.com/TOLAnimalSanctuary
The Egypt Horse Project: https://www.facebook.com/TheEgyptHorseProject