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How to Take Care of Strays

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Jou Pabalate

Regional Editorial Manager at Destination Riyadh

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When you find a stray animal in need, but you can’t place the animal at home.

By Nelly Attar

Unfortunately, no one person can help save all of the stray dogs and cats in the world. But with a little effort and compassion, you can help at least one stray animal through the harsh and rough periods hopefully on to better days ahead. Here are a few simple yet important steps for you to follow:

Feed it
With appropriate food, and make water available. Appropriate food includes: animal protein in the form of dried or wet/canned food (e.g. fish, chicken, beef, eggs). A well-fed animal is better prepared to fight off illness and infection. On a similar note, please stay clear of feeding feral cats and dogs any milk (as many may be lactose intolerant), sugar, vegetables, and refined carbohydrates.
Build an outdoor home
Building your own shelter is relatively simple, and there are a variety of plans for inexpensive cat shelters available online, from either plywood, Styrofoam or storage bins. When constructing a shelter, size is important. It should be large enough to house several felines. Straw is the best material to line the shelter because it allows cats to burrow. Most importantly, ensure it is in the shade and protects the cats/dogs from the heat in summer.
Trap, neuter, return
This approach is the only proven humane and effective method to manage feral cat colonies (i.e. prevents overpopulation). TNR involves: trapping, spaying, neutering, vaccinating against rabies, and micro-chipping cats for identification – and then returning them to their territory.

You can run TNR at a reliable local vet (while following through and funding the whole process). Alternatively, you can contact Open Paws shelter for assistance. Open Paws carry out many TNR for feral cats on a weekly basis.

To Report Animal Abuse and Neglect

  • Ministry of Agriculture Hotline: 8002470000
  • Animal Cruelty Office, Welfare Department, Dr. Sami and Dr. Osman.

Tel: +966-11-4031371
Email: pubrel@moa.gov.sa

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