Cover Story

Green rescue act

June 23 - June 29, 2021
Gulf Weekly Green rescue act
Gulf Weekly Green rescue act

Gulf Weekly Mai Al Khatib-Camille
By Mai Al Khatib-Camille

Animal welfare champions are hoping to clean up on vet bills thanks to a unique green partnership involving a recycling initiative.

The cash-strapped Bahrain Rescues shelter in the Southern Governorate has collaborated with a hygiene and cleaning service company in a scrap metal fund-raising partnership.

The eBin Company reached out to the non-profit rescue organisation that is run by around 15 volunteers, of which three are full-time, to support them as the costs of treating injured abandoned pets continue to mount up.

“Although we are paying off a big chunk of our bills on a weekly basis, there are constantly mistreated animals finding their way to us and we simply can’t turn them away,” said Mojda Banahi, the group’s public relations representative and spokesman.

“We have tried to minimise our invoices as much as possible but we can’t ignore an emergency and even if we manage to pay some of the costs, the bills continue to pile up.

“Hopefully, the funding raised by this initiative will help cover the medical bills for injured animals as well as allow us to purchase food for the animals under our care.

“Currently we have about BD1,800 to pay off at one clinic and around BD400 to another. And, we still have to find the rent money to pay, as well as electricity and water and other supplies.

“We hope this campaign will help raise awareness about our struggle, raise funds for our fur babies and also help the environment through recycling metal scraps.”

The shelter and recycling company are spreading the word to construction companies, waste management concerns, compounds and other corporations to spare a minimum of one tonne of scrap metal to them and in return eBin will donate the value of that soon-to-be recycled metal to Bahrain Rescues.

 “Any individual or company that can donate scrap metal will help us in our cause,” Mojda added. “We even have people that can come and assess the materials and help you deliver them to eBin. Or you can contact eBin directly and say you’d like to donate to us. Every little bit helps. We have so many caring animals in need that have gone through enough in their lives.”

The shelter currently has approximately 80 cats and dogs, including a mule named Martha, and nine recently-rescued hamsters. They have been involved in rescuing injured and abandoned animals for the past four years, including birds, cats and dogs, rabbits and turtles.

“I do need to point out - because this is a common misconception – we are not rescuing strays,” added Mojda. “We rescue animals that have been injured and are in mortal danger.

“Many are domesticated pets that have been abandoned, thrown out or their owners simply lost interest in them. There are a lot of people who buy pets or breed them and then just cannot commit to them, especially if an animal loses its purpose or becomes a financial strain.

“The animals then get dumped on the streets to fend for themselves and because of their domestic upbringing; they do not know how to survive on their own.

“My message would be that if you can’t care for an animal or are willing to take that animal in for the next 15 years of its life, or are ready to pay for any kind of medical issue it might face, you should absolutely NOT get an animal.

“You can volunteer at shelters and support people that do rescue animals instead because we struggle a lot with this kind of issue. And, the more that we feed this profit hungry machine, the more that these poor animals will suffer. So unless you are willing to make this a lifetime commitment, please do not get a pet – help us help these animals instead!”

And once Covid-19 restrictions have eased and people are able to be out and about, Mojda hopes they will stop by the visitor-friendly shelter and give the rescues some much needed TLC too.

“Our aim is to make Bahrain Rescues a home for people that love animals and for those that want to learn more about them,” Mojda added.

For details, follow  @bahrain_rescues on Instagram.

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