Fur Champion of the Month – Ahmed Sultan Taha
This month we meet Ahmed, an absolutely incredible fourteen-year-old (almost 15!) school kid making waves in the UAE animal welfare world.
Ahmed started his Strays in the UAE Facebook page in 2014, growing to Paws and Claws in 2015. Unfortunately, Ahmed was asked to stop Paws and Claws, so his page Ahmed’s Animal Rescue is a personal blog highlighting the plight of the strays he cares for and rescues across the UAE.
Ahmed first joined the Dogs in Dubai Facebook page, where he became aware of the problem dogs face in the UAE, but also saw how passionate and caring individuals were towards the stray animals. He then began volunteering to help at veterinary clinics and adoption days. The Middle East Animal Foundation was a big help to Ahmed when he was starting out, helping him understand how a rescue organisation works.
Ahmed’s parents are fully supportive of what he does, and a typical day begins with feeding stray cats in his area. Then it’s a full day at school followed by feeding the stray cats again and any stray dogs that are around. Ahmed feeds around 24 strays at a time, feeding them dry food in the morning and wet food as a treat at night. He also takes them catnip toys to play with. He always leaves food out for those that don’t turn up, so they don’t go hungry.
Last year alone Ahmed took 35 dogs and cats to be spayed to help prevent the stray population from growing, and he still takes six cats every two weeks to be spayed.
Ahmed would love to see strict rules brought in for pet shops and breeders and those who are unlicensed to sell animals. He hopes that one day the UAE can close some of the crueller pet shops, or at the very least replace the pets they sell with rescue animals. Ahmed believes the UAE is already very caring about animal welfare and he’s certain that one day it will definitely change for the better.
Ahmed has a few tips for those who wish to help support the stray populations in their areas. He says that everyone has a responsibility for the strays in their communities and that the population of strays will definitely decrease if the communities could come together to spay and neuter a couple of cats and dogs every week. There are a lot of support networks in place already, but Ahmed feels everyone in the community needs to keep an eye out for each other’s pets, especially if they are missing or stolen. Stand together, because he is sure it will all change for the better if we all work together.
Unlike your average schoolkid, Ahmed’s life outside of school is completely dedicated to rescuing and helping animals. Ahmed loves taking his rescue animals for day trips to the beach, parks, and Bark Park for them to experience life. He also enjoys painting, which he sells to raise funds for his rescue animals. His favourite breed of dog is the bully breeds, as they are a misunderstood breed.
Ahmed has the support of several rescue organisations, trainers, and pet relocation specialists to help him with his rescue and educate others about the importance of ‘adopt don’t shop’.
If you wish to help Ahmed out he is always looking for people to foster or adopt the rescues he saves, donate towards vet bills, boarding and food for the strays/fosters that he feeds is always appreciated.
“Ahmed’s commitment and enthusiasm in the face of daily challenges that many of us would struggle to overcome is an inspiration. The commitment he puts into his rescue work, whilst balancing school, time with friends and family and other activities is highly commendable. He is the light of the future here in the UAE.” – Kirsty Kavanagh, Pawsome Pets
“Ahmed is a wonderful person and very wise and compassionate beyond his years. It’s great to know that the future of animal welfare and rescue in the UAE is in such great hands.” – Aimee Orme, Pawfect Behaviour