I got a pet a year ago, and while I was always criticizing those who abandon their pets after a while, now I feel that maybe I wasn’t fair to them. I think animal care in Kuwait is difficult in a diverse society with double standards towards animal care and rights. This article is from my real-life experience dealing with a pet in Kuwait for about a year now.
I believe getting a pet in the house means you are ready to add a new member to your family, as it has sentiments and needs like humans and possibly more. You will be on your own without insurance or a hospital that offers your pet free medications or even consultancy. It is your full solo responsibility.
My tip for anyone thinking to have a pet is to ask themselves if they can afford it or not. I do not mean space, but financially. Can you allocate enough of a budget for pet food, waste disposal, vaccination and possibly medical care in case your pet gets sick at any time and for any reason? You will probably end up with a KD 100 bill to pay for consultation, vaccinations and medicine – sometimes more. I don’t intend to discourage people from having a pet, but I am trying to convey the message that taking care of an animal in Kuwait is not easy and you will need full family support to keep your pet happy and healthy.
Secondly, I am really surprised that while we have an animal rights law in Kuwait which stresses the rights of animals and owners’ duties, animal hospitals don’t receive financial support from the government. For example, emergency consultations and vaccinations for pets should be free with no charges or minimal fees. The hospitals will not be in loss as the government will be their guarantor. I know some may think such an idea is crazy, but I really believe it can be possible if we have sincere will.
It is really heartbreaking to see some people put up their pets for adoption because they can’t afford taking care of the pet financially, and not as it’s usually said that they don’t have time, or as someone told me, their mum doesn’t like to have a pet around. I sometimes think there is cultural issue too as some people don’t like to see a pet in the house.
Can you imagine how hard is it to leave your pet on the street alone and hungry in this hot weather? It will die instantly due to the heat, if not by a speeding car. I believe we need to support those who make such decisions because they can’t keep their sick pets under their roofs.
Finally, I think it is time to have a community for animal lovers who are ready to submit a petition to the government to support animal hospitals in Kuwait. I believe we have an ethical duty towards animals and thus we should support those who love to keep a pet but may let go of their beloved animals forcibly after experiencing difficulties.
By Muna Al-Fuzai