The Cairo Animal Rescue Team (CART) is a godsend to animals in Egypt. The group was started by Abdelrahman ‘Abdo’ Youssef, a man who has been troubled by animal cruelty which we all witness on daily basis in Egypt. Animals are abandoned, abused and sometimes even killed. CART is here to try and fix that.
He had been working on his own before that, but two years ago, he decided to change that, “I had been getting injured animals treated and dropping them off at ESMA before”, he tells, “when ESMA couldn’t receive more animals, I started looking for volunteers who want to work on rescuing animals and building a shelter”. They are currently working on the shelter and already some animals are staying there. At first CART only took donations to pay vets who treat the rescue cases, and worked on the shelter on their own. However, due to the urgent need of a place for the rescued animals, they are accepting any help, whether it be financial or actual help to improve the facilities in the shelter.
Abdo is a Broadcast Manager at Sada El Balad, and his job is affected by his volunteer work. However, this wouldn’t stop him from working with animals, “it’s the soul of an animal; it’s a huge responsibility”, he says.
they dissect the animals when they’re still alive, and have even once thrown a dog from the balcony so that they can train on him
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”.
A huge factor into how animals are treated should be veterinary doctors. There have been a few bits of news of animal cruelty in the Veterinary College. Unfortunately, according to Abdo, it’s true, “being merciful towards animals depends on the person, but their teaching methods could make a merciful person turn into the opposite”, he says, “they dissect the animals when they’re still alive, and have even once thrown a dog from the balcony so that they can train on him”.
A government is responsible for the country and its residents, both humans and animals
As for the government’s hand in this, Abdo knows exactly what animals need, “we need a law to protect animals. A government is responsible for the country and its residents, both humans and animals”, he says, “the government’s response to any overpopulation issue is to kill those animals. It’s an inhumane and impractical solution”. Abdo believes that the best solution to over-population of animals is by spaying and neutering the animals, stressing over the fact that vets should be neutering animals; not killing them. According to him, the poison used is extremely harmful and is illegal, thus making the killing also expensive, “this money can be used to spay and neuter the animals, but it looks like nobody wants to work”, he tells. Abdo also believes that the government needs to build an animal sanctuary and raise awareness about animal cruelty.
children who abuse animals do so with their parents’ knowledge
Awareness in particular is not an easy thing to do, “it needs to start at home and at schools for children”, he says, “children who abuse animals do so with their parents’ knowledge”. As for adults, Abdo believe it is key to start with religion, “raising awareness culturally and psychologically won’t be as easy, but a Sheikh on TV actually said it’s okay to poison cats”, he explains, “’ religious awareness is vital to Sheikh and the public”.
Taking all of this into consideration, CART seem to have a long journey ahead of them. It is good to know they have a plan, “we are now working on making CART an official organization so that our conversation with the government is official”, he says.
CART’s work thus far has rescued many animals. And they continue to work in every way possible to give animals in Egypt the sanctuary they need. Make sure to check out their group on Facebook: Cairo Animals Rescue Team.