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Where to Adopt, Foster and Volunteer in the UAE

By Katherine Cebrowski on October 26, 2017
Where to Adopt, Foster and Volunteer in the UAE

If you're looking to add a furry family member to your home, where do you start looking? Dubai and other Emirates in the UAE have one thing in common, an overwhelming and increasing amount of abandoned household pets and stray dogs and cats.

Rather than purchasing animals from a pet shop, reach out to the rescue organizations below. From pure breeds to loveable mutts, toy to giant breeds, puppies to seniors, your ideal 'furever' pet may be a few clicks away. If you ask us, rescues are Furchild's favorite breed!

Not ready to adopt? No problem. Fostering and volunteering with animal rescue groups within your community is equally important. Supporting these groups plays a vital role in the rehabilitation of animals, and ensures that they can continue helping other animals in desperate need.

Here is a list of rescue groups and organizations (in alphabetical order) that are spread across the UAE: Dubai, Abu Dhabi, RAK and UAQ. Go out and get involved!

Abu Dhabi Animal Shelter

Get involved: adopt or foster dogs and cats

The Abu Dhabi Animal Shelter for stray cats and dogs was set up by the Abu Dhabi government’s Executive Council 2010. Their mission is to enhance animal welfare for feral cats and stray dogs as well as abandoned and surrendered cats and dogs by finding suitable loving homes.

Animals and Us Fujairah

Get involved: adopt, volunteer, donate and foster dogs and cats

Animals and Us is a non-profit, registered, animal welfare charity operating in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), founded in 2006, with the goal of reducing pain and fear inflicted on animals by humans.
The organisation was licensed, by the government, on 1st September 2017, in Fujairah, and solely relies on donations from the public to fund the charity to care for mainly cats and dogs. Those that have been rescued and those still living in the desert and on the streets.

Amanda's Animal Rescue

Ramsay, 1.5 years old is up for adoption. He's great with everyone, kids and other dogs. He is very loyal loving and would make a great family pet. Get involved: adopt or foster dogs

Amanda's Animal Rescue started with one determined individual and has grown to six dedicated people and the support of a larger community. Visit the links below to browse through and see if any of the dogs steal your heart! "Saving one dog will not change the world, but surely for that one dog, the world will change forever."

Animal Action UAE

Get involved: adopt, foster, volunteer for fundraising activities for dogs and cats

Animal Action UAE's mission is to save all creatures great and small! They hope to educate, hold discussions and provide up-to-date news concerning animals in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Their goal is to create a friendly and more informed community!

ASCOD - Arabian Saluki Center of Dubai

Get involved: adopt and foster Saluki and Hound dog breeds

ASCOD is a community of volunteers dedicated to the rescue of Salukis in the UAE. They do not have a shelter and rely on foster homes for their rescues. They are based in Dubai but cover the entire UAE. Their rescues are sent all over Europe, Russia and North America and they have a network of volunteers there to support and assist them.

ASCOD is dependent on fosters as fostering is the best way to help their rescues become a pet and ready for their forever home. So please do volunteer your homes to their Salukis. If you see or find a Saluki in need, please contact ASOCD by sending a private message on their Facebook page.

DAWS - Dubai Animal Welfare Society

Get involved: adopt, foster, donate food and pet supplies for all Bulldog breeds (American, English, French, Boxers, Staffordshire, etc.)

DAWS does not have a facility but they operate out of foster homes. All their Bully breeds are fostered and live with families and sometimes other pets, the advantage of which is that they don't become institutionalized. If you are interested in adopting or fostering, please visit the links below. "Buying a pet shows you've got money, adopting a pet shows you've got heart."

Helping Hands For Small Paws of the UAE

Get involved: adopt and foster small animals. No dogs or cats.

This group advocates for and supports the care of small animals such as rabbits, hamsters, guinea pigs, chinchillas in Dubai and the greater UAE.

K9 Friends

Get involved: Adopt, foster, volunteer with kennels and dog walks, pet transport and sponsorships for dogs

K9 Friends is a very well-known animal shelter in Dubai. Their operation is to rescue and rehome stray and abandoned dogs. They reunite lost dogs with their owners, or care for them until new homes can be found while giving them shelter and high standards of kenneling and veterinary care. They offer extra training and socialisation to those dogs who need it and detailed help and advice to new pet owners. K9 Friends also endeavours to educate the public and to encourage a responsible dog-owning population in the UAE.

Special Events and Offerings:

  • Annual fundraiser ball, The Puppy Ball” is a formal dinner and dance event which is open to all their supporters and friends. 'Pawty' for a cause... it's a blast!
  • Educational Talks and Tours: K9 Friends offers regular educational talks and tours for schools and other organised groups in our purpose-built education centre. The talks are given by experienced K9 Friends volunteers.

Contact K9 Friends

Little Angels - Animal Rescue League

Get involved: adopt, foster, donate food and pet supplies for dogs and cats

Little Angels is ran by a group of Emaratis. They rescue dogs and cats all over United Arab Emirates. Their aim is to make the UAE a better place for the animals in need. They feel that "Dubai is a beautiful place, so let the animals feel it too".

Any way of helping their rescued furbabies is highly appreciated. Donations of dog and cat food is always needed. As well, donations such as blankets, beds, toys, leashes, collars, anything that a rescued animal could use would also be appreciated.

Para UAE - Protection of Animal Rights Assocation

Get involved: adopt and foster dogs and cats

An Emirati, non profit organization that aspire to: Rescue animals, Relocate animals to good homes, Animal welfare education. "Putting our best heart forward!"

RAK Feline Rescues

Get involved: adopt and foster cats

RAK Feline Rescues strives to achieve a high level of animal welfare in Ras Al Khaimah and the UAE. Their mission is to rescue abandoned and sick animals, provide temporary shelter and care, find secure and loving homes, provide advice, support and guidance for pet owners and increase the public's awareness of their responsibility towards animal welfare.

TNR (trap, neuter and release) is also a huge ongoing programme. They work hard to sterilise the stray animals and release them back into their own territory. TNR is so very important in reducing the number of strays being born to the cruel and harsh streets of the UAE.

RAK AWC - The Ras Al Khaimah Animal Welfare Center

Get involved: adopt, volunteer and foster dogs and cats

The Ras al Khaimah Animal Welfare Centre (RAK AWC) is an animal sanctuary funded by the Government of Ras al Khaimah, with the patronage of His Highness, Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Ruler of Ras al Khaimah.

The shelter was the idea of one concerned individual and has progressed ever since. The shelter was opened in January 2010 and with the help of a few employees and many volunteers it has grown into a centre of excellence where the animals of Ras Al Khaimah receive the necessary care. Their mission is to improve the welfare of all the animals in Ras al Khaimah.

Red Paw Foundation / Middle East Animal Foundation

Get involved: adopt, volunteer and foster dogs and cats

Red Paw Foundation is on a mission to build a bridge betwen public animal welfare and UAE Government agencies that provide legal support by fundraising for other animal welfare groups. Their group is the "voice for the voiceless".

SNIFF - Strays Needing Interim or Furever FriendsSNIFF animam rescue centre

Get involved: adopt, volunteer for events, pet transport foster dogs and cats

SNIFF is an animal rescue voluntary group which aims to rehome the UAE’s stray and abandoned animals. Their rescues are predominantly dogs, cats and the occasional bird and donkey. SNIFF aims to educate people on the importance of adopting rescue pets instead of buying from pet stores.

SNIFF is entirely assisted by the generosity of animal lovers in the UAE and beyond. Their boarding of choice is K9 Central, DIP. SNIFF constantly needs forever homes for their dogs and cats, and / or foster homes, and volunteers to occasionally help with events, transportation and above all just to spread the word about rehoming.

Stray Dogs Center - Umm Al Quwain

Get involved: adopt, volunteer, paticipate in fun fundraising events for dogs

Stray Dogs Center UAQ formerly known as SOS for Emirates Dogs, was formed out of an urgent need to address the stray animal population in the Emirate of Umm Al Quwain. Founded in 2013, Stray Dogs Center UAQ is a non-profit organisation, completely funded by donations and fundraising. Primarily, the main aim of the center is to ensure a safe and healthy community by addressing the stray animal population in a humane way.

Through social media the Center has gained huge momentum. With no funding, public support plays a pivotal role in the success of the Stray Dogs Center, UAQ. This has enabled the Center to operate and save many lives.

Special Offerings

  • Friday and Saturday Doggie Volunteer Weekend where you can walk, run and play with the dogs in UAQ in a social group atmosphere. There are different meeting points in Dubai and everyone drives together to UAQ. Adventure the UAE; do a good deed; and meet like-minded people, it's a win-win!
  • Quiz Nights, Dinners and More... this rescue group knows how to have a good time for a good cause.

Contact Stray Dogs Center


Get involved: adopt and foster dogs and cats

Wags & Purrs is a volunteer based no kill rescue group, located in Abu Dhabi. They are dedicated to caring for homeless pets in our community through adoptions, community awareness, fostering and caring for companion animals until loving homes can be found. They strive to rescue adoptable strays, abandoned, or surrendered animals; to supply needed care and medical attention including being spayed / neutered; to provide them with re-socialization in foster homes; and to place them in permanent adoptive homes where they will be loved and properly cared for. Wags & Purrs believe that with some temporary assistance and education, many animals can remain in their current homes instead of being admitted to animal shelters or abandonned on the streets.

They have established their own TNR program across the Emirate and are committed to feeding the stray colonies that have been established and are regularly fed and cared for. "
Adopt, you will not only be saving a life but you will also be giving yourself the greatest gift of all, a pair of eyes that look at you with all the gratitude in the world and they silently say, thank you."


Get involved: adopt, participte in fundraising events for dogs and cats

In a nut shell 38smiles started two years ago as a way for one person to express their personal quest in saving the stray animals of Dubai. Since then 38smiles has grown into a group of like-minded people determined to help as many stray animal as can to become beloved pets. 38smiles only works with STRAY animals (we don’t rehome people’s pets); 38smiles has no kill policy. No cost is too high for us when it comes to giving an animal a second chance.

38smiles is a non profit animal rescue group cover our costs with donations from the public, they take part in Safa park flea market, they have book sales together with Greenheart Organic Farms, and they charge an adoption fees when animal is rehomed.

Anything you can do to help these groups in turn helps animals in need. Your support would be greatly appreciated! If we have missed a rescue group, please send us an email and we'll happily update the information.

For all pets rescued and rehomed it is a top priority to make them comfortable in their new setting, as well as educate their new parents on proper pet care. The foundation of a dog and a cat's health is what they eat.

Feeding a fresh, balanced, species appropriate diet like Furchild Meals for Dogs and Cats prioritizes the long-term health and the wellbeing of your pet - it's what they were designed to eat!

Written by...

Katherine Cebrowski
Katherine Cebrowski
Co-Founder and Owner - An accomplished event promoter, airline professional, vegetarian, yoga instructor and English Bulldog owner she works each day to bring out the best in people and their pets.
Katherine Cebrowski

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