“Totally heartwarming” — foster family surge throws Doha’s abandoned pets a lifeline

 In News

In a rare piece of good news for Qatar’s thousands of stray cats and dogs, a surge in pet foster families has been reported by one of the country’s animal welfare organisations.

Paws Rescue Qatar were profiled in a new article in Doha News by Laura Rainbow.


When COVID-19 sunk its teeth into Qatar in March, many residents were put on unpaid leave or made redundant, some forced to return to their home countries. With that exodus came a spike in abandoned pets.

Explains Alison Caldwell, co-founder of PAWS: “Then suddenly, in late March, we started getting a lot of calls from people — especially teachers — whose spring holiday plans had been cancelled, and who now had time on their hands to foster an animal. They would tell their friends, and it sort of snowballed.

“If you’re locked down, lonely and isolated, a pet is suddenly a huge comfort. It’s something to curl up on the sofa with — something to give you motivation and purpose.”