The Plight of Pet Animals: Collective Criminality of The Government and Owners in the UAE

The UAE is always in news for the scarcity and violation of many basic human rights. However, we have come to know that animals also take the beating of many of the uncompassionate norms and rituals of the country. No matter how much the UAE tries to mimic the modernity of the liberal world, there are many shadows which expose the true face of the country. This observation was highlighted by the plight of pet animals when they get abandoned by their owners.

Problems faced by pet animals once they get abandoned

It is even difficult for human beings to adapt to harsher conditions if they are used to live in a cozy environment. Then imagine the troubles for pet animals that are used to all the love and care and suddenly they are abandoned in the worst possible conditions. There are two main reasons as to why abandoned pets and cats find it difficult to survive on the streets of the UAE:

  • Pets familiar to the air-conditioned indoor spaces get miserable in the unbearable heat of the region. Most of them fall sick due to the extreme temperatures.
  • Pets are not used to hunt and forage for food like stray animals, therefore on streets, it is difficult for them to find food for the survival.

These abandoned animals become vulnerable to road accidents as well.

Underlying Reasons Behind Pet Dumping

There are many different reasons as to why people abandon their pet animals in the UAE:

Pet animals: used as commodities

People don’t treat pet animals the way they should. Many of them treat them as commodities with shelf lives and consider them dispensable. When it is convenient for owners, they provide them with good food, cozy home, love and care. However, once the pets get old they get dumped by their owners. They are bereft of their domestic lives and are left to spend their remaining life on streets with all sickening and miserable conditions.


UAE is the place where affording the pet-keeping is an expensive fad. Since financial stability is not a long-term prospect in the UAE therefore when hit with any such crisis, people abandon their pets.

High relocation charges

Many pets also get abandoned by the expat owners moving out of the country. Due to high relocation charges, many people are forced to leave their pets here. For instance, relocating a pet from UAE to England can cost the staggering amount of 10,000 dirhams.

Keeping a pet is more than just a hobby; it’s a long-time commitment to ensure the health and safety of the pet animal. They are living beings and one can’t just discard them in the open.

UAE’s administrative lack of concern towards the pet problem

In the compounding issue of pet abandoning, the government of UAE is also equally responsible. There are several shortcomings of the administration that also adds up to this looming problem:

Complex legislation regarding pet-keeping

The problem and confusion many people face in the UAE is the difficult and complex legislation regarding pet-keeping. It is legal to own pets in the country but it is illegal to take them to public spaces which mean you are not allowed to take your pet dog and cat along with you to the parks, beaches and restaurants. Or otherwise, you will be subjected to fines.

People who are used to take out their pets and can’t do it anymore in the UAE also lose interest in keeping the pets.

The Shortage of foster homes

The other reason why more pets are becoming stray animals is the dearth of foster homes in the country. Since elitist Emiratis who are in the echelons of power are not interested in owning domestic pet animals such as dogs and cats, therefore, they are oblivious to the problems faced by abandoned pets.

There is some religious connotation as well to not owning a pet, therefore, the government is not much interested in the welfare of animals as it is interested in erecting gigantic concrete structures.

It’s high time for government and pet owners in the UAE to work collectively towards the welfare of pet animals. Not taking care of the animals is not acceptable on any moral and ethical grounds.

Posted On November 21, 2017