Let the Pearl Kitties LIVE!!!!!!
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We are proud residents of the Pearl in Doha, Qatar. We consider ourselves blessed that the UDC has created this beautiful environment for us to live in. Thanks to their professional team, the Pearl is easily one of the best managed residential developments in the Gulf region. UDC management has always been responsive to the needs and concerns of the Pearl residents, creating a community that is harmonious, generous and caring.
Most of the residents are particularly attracted to the "green" environment that the Pearl represents, the ability to be away from the city's hustle bustle, to be "closer" to "nature" in the company of birds, domesticated pets and other wildlife.
Sadly, like many parts of the city, the population in the Pearl is transient. When a small number of residents moved away, they left behind what were once their family pets, primarily cats that have not been sterilised. These are beautiful, healthy, gentle, loving creatures who have never learnt the skills to survive outside a home.
Seeing their plight of hunger and suffering, many of the responsible residents have taken it upon themselves to form a community effort to care for these Pearl kitties. Out of their own pockets, they have them sterilised so population growth is controlled. They feed them daily so there is no need for them to rummage for food. They also provide them with immediate veterinary care should the need arise so they are all extremely healthy. The Pearl residents take pride and joy in meeting and greeting these friendly felines, and for many, it is a regular family ritual. Many of the Pearl community cats have dwelled here for a number of years, since they were merely kittens.
Heartbreakingly for these residents, and detrimentally for the community cats, UDC Management ( via the Pearl Master Community ) has started to implement a policy of trapping and forcibly removing these community cats from the Pearl in an apparent attempt to curb population growth.
Alarmingly, not only do they not have the necessary licence from the Ministry to trap cats, they had no procedures in place to identify privately owned cats who have been microchipped and registered! During the week that they were trapping, a number of residents have reported their cats lost, so they are most eager to be reunited with their family pets.
On a couple of occasions, Master Community mentioned they were handed over to Qatar Animal Welfare Society ( “QAWS” ) for rehoming. Worryingly, QAWS representatives confirmed no such arrangement exists with any pest control companies. On another occasion, Master Community mentioned that when they previously trapped 200 cats a few years back, they were taken to a “farm” in Mesaieed. However, they were unable to tell us the location or name of such a farm or how such a large number of cats were subsequently cared for. To our knowledge, no such farm exists and it is normal practice for the pest control companies to dump the animals in the middle of the desert, with no access to food, water or shelter. The pain and suffering of such a long drawn-out death is unimaginable and inhumane. For the owners’ whose cats have gone missing during the trapping period, their grief is beyond consolation.
Cats are synonymous to the Qatari landscape ever since they were brought into the country to combat rodent infestations. While we understand that the Pearl Management is concerned that the number of community cats will get out of control, by removing them, it will not yield the results that the UDC Management is hoping for. It will only cause unnecessary pain and suffering to the poor cats whose only fault was to have had a heartless owner who abandoned them.
1. The Vacuum Effect is well-researched and well-documented: By removing these sterilised cats, new un-sterilised ones will move into the territory very quickly to take their place.
2. The root of the problem is that a minority of residents abandon their cats without having them sterilised. Ending the lives of these poor dumped cats will not prevent more from being dumped.
3. In an ideal world, all of these community kitties will have a home called their own. But we know this is not impossible. So by removing them from the Pearl, the problem is just being shifted to another location, unless the trapped cats are all sentenced to an early death which would be inhumane and unthinkable.
TNR ( Trap, Neuter and Return ) and community support is a realistic long term solution along with responsible pet ownership. In Qatar, TNR is supported by the Government and other leading private veterinary clinics who offer special TNR discounted rates.
The success of TNR in maintaining and controlling community cat population humanely can be seen as close to us as in Qanat Qartier in the Pearl itself, where the number of community cats in one colony has declined by almost half in 5 years. In other parts of the country, it has been successfully implemented in residential compounds such as Al Jazi Gardens, Al Fardan Compound and West Bay Lagoon; in commercial properties such as the Doha Golf Club and Al Jazeera, and schools such as ADS and DESS. Outside of the region, the success of TNR in nations such as the US, UK and Europe is well documented.
The Pearl is strategically placed to be a pioneer in this field and be the model community in the whole Gulf region. The Pearl has an Environmental Policy of Sustainability that respects wildlife, it has numerous ecological and animal welfare conscious businesses: a yoga studio, holistic well-being spas, organic grocery stores, vegan restaurants, pet grooming and boarding. The very essence of these businesses is the co-existence with and a respect for all nature’s creation.
We believe that it is possible to embrace social responsibility within the framework of UDC corporate interests, as demonstrated by Qatar Airways' recent policy shift. We have every hope that this forward thinking attitude will be the cornerstone for a forward thinking development such as the Pearl.
We urge UDC Management to review their policy of trapping and forcibly rehoming the Pearl community cats. We would like them to consider working closely with the Pearl residents in support of TNR, that is the trapping, neutering and return of the community cats, and to establish a most humane way of achieving their objective whilst respecting the concerns of the Pearl residents in the preservation of precious live.
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