Animal adoption has become a huge challenge in Qatar. Westerners who treat their pets better than many humans will be shocked at the fact that other cultures, including those in the Middle East, do not view cats and dogs as friends, but as animals. Dogs in particular are often used the way our ancestors did centuries ago: as work assistants. And there is nothing wrong with that.

But as countries become wealthier, the dynamic between cats, dogs, and humans changes. Adorable puppies and kittens become spontaneous gifts. But that gift turns into boredom for the owner and tragedy for the animal. Like all animals, they grow up--and training a dog in particular takes time and patience. Tales of abandoned kittens and puppies, as well as adult animals, who are dropped off at night on the Doha Corniche or by the airport are tales of sad tails and animal cruelty too often repeated.

Thankfully more residents in Qatar are taking matters into their own hands. One organization is the Qatar Animal Welfare Society, or QAWS, that helps give shelter to abandoned animals until they find a home. The organization also boasts a very active Facebook page.

Having personally benefitted from pet adoption, it is comforting to see animal welfare emerge in Doha. One pet who owes her life to kindness is Poppy, a golden retriever mix who accompanied her loving owner, UK expat Amy Bambridge, and me to the Qatar desert last month. The photo says it all. She’s a natural. More angels are needed to provide others like her a home. Social media, thankfully, is helping. Part of our In One Picture Series.

animal adoption, pet adoption, Amy Bambridge, dogs, cats, Doha Corniche, Doha, Qatar, Middle East, Qatar Animal Welfare Society, QAWS, abandoned animals, Facebook, social media

Poppy, thriving thanks to her adoptive parents

About The Author

Leon Kaye

Leon Kaye is the founder and editor of Based in California, he specializes in social media consulting and strategic communications. A journalist and writer since 2009, his work has appeared on Triple Pundit , The Guardian's Sustainable Business site and has appeared on Inhabitat and Earth911. His focus is making the business case for sustainability and corporate social responsibility. Areas of interest include the <a Middle East, sustainable development in The Balkans, Brazil and Korea. He was a new media journalism fellow at the International Reporting Project, for which he covered child survival in India during February 2013. Contact him at You can also reach out via Twitter (Leon Kaye) and Instagram (GreenGoPost). Since 2013, he has spent much of his time in Abu Dhabi, UAE, working with Masdar, the emirate's renewable energy company. He lives in Fresno, California.