Although everyone seems to have it tough here in Egypt, animals seem to be having it even worse than the humans. Whether they’re the poor donkeys dragging heavy carts all day, puppies left out on the streets because their owners decided they don’t want a pet after they got it used to living a sheltered life, stray kittens being tortured by children, or the random stray animal poisoning/shooting campaigns, the list of animal cruelty in Egypt is endless.
Sadly, the shooting and poisoning of stray animals is the government’s answer to the overpopulation issue we have. Animals are killed in bulk and thrown away like garbage. A few people would try to save animals by taking them into their own homes, but there is only so much they could do compared to the endless numbers of animals being killed and tortured. Until finally Animal Rights Organizations started to emerge!
ESMA’s work depends on donations, whether it’s money, time, products or expertise; they need all the help and support they can get.
Those superheroes started gaining notoriety and support especially after the spread of Social Media use across Egypt. They could finally connect with more animal rights defenders who can help with donations and/or their efforts. They could also easily find animal abusers as videos of torture are shared on social media and spread like wildfire. Suddenly, animal rights activists had a platform to call out against animal cruelty.
ESMA (Egyptian Society for Mercy to Animals) was founded in 2007; they try to work with all animals, from cats and dogs to wild animals. They have two animal shelters (one for dogs and one for cats) they are non-kill shelters; meaning that they support the animals until they find a home. ESMA doesn’t give up on them; this is something that not all animal shelters do. ESMA’s work depends on donations, whether it’s money, time, products or expertise; they need all the help and support they can get. You could even sponsor an animal, meaning you pay for all their costs without having the responsibility of taking them home.
Not many people in Egypt are very open to adopting animals, this is where ESMA got creative! They collaborated with Uber on Friday, the 6th of November for a puppy delivery service. You would call Uber for a 15 minute play date with a little puppy. Uber would then deliver the puppy to you, you would get to play with it and if you fall in love within those 15 minutes, you can adopt it, if not Uber would take them back. The service costs 50 pounds which goes to ESMA, so it’s a win win situation. We hope to see more innovative ideas like this that would help increase animal adoption and donations.
Sadly, the shooting and poisoning of stray animals is the government’s answer to the overpopulation issue we have.
CART (Cairo Animal Rescue Team) is another, more recent, organization founded by Abd El Rahaman “Abdo Youssef” that helps animals. They focus on rescuing injured, abused and unwanted animals and aim at finding them a home. They try to manage the costs among themselves, but of course accept donations of any kind. We spoke to Abdelrahman about this issue in Egypt and he tells us “Unfortunately, many still don’t grasp the concept of animal cruelty, and do not see the importance of saving animal lives, I wouldn’t waste my time on someone who thinks I’m wasting my time on animal rescue”, he explains, “they wouldn’t understand”.
ESAF (The Egyptian Society of Animal Friends) was founded in 2002 and is directed by Chairperson Ahmed El Sherbiny; it started with a group of passionate animal lovers that thought it was time to really make a difference, and they did. ESAF started in a small apartment in Maadi, but with the growing number of animals they needed a larger place and were granted one in 2004. They continue to grow and have long term plans for Egypt’s animals.
E.A.R.A (Egypt Animal Rights Awareness) is a different kind of group that mainly aims at implementing laws against animal cruelty. They also try to find homes from abandoned animals, along with trying to treat the sick ones. They collaborate with other organizations and groups in order to achieve the maximum for the animals.
SPARE (Society for the Protection of Animal Rights in Egypt) is a charity organization that started in 2011. It was founded by Amina Tharwat Abaza and Raouf Mishriky. It was one of the first organizations in Egypt to seek the protection and well-being of animals in Egypt. They have dog and cat shelters as well as many clinics. SPARE have the only donkey sanctuary in Egypt! They have done some impressive work and saved countless animals. Creating awareness among the community to be more compassionate and caring towards animals.
If you want to make a difference in an animal’s life you could do something as simple as sponsoring an animal, adopting one or even taking the ones you find in streets to a shelter. Then again, you could go big and start an organization of your own.