We find out about Dubai's new animal sanctuary and petting farm designed to help bring us back to nature
Tell us about the animal sanctuary. It’s on a beautiful farm. It’s all green, people can come for the day, they can picnic, you can even camp in the desert behind us. We’d like to organise camping trips where kids can come to the farm in the morning and feed the animals. Kids will love it. It’s like a friendly family farm.
A green farm in Dubai? Yeah, they sell grass down the road, ha ha. We keep buying it by the metre. It’s really lush.
What inspired you to set this up? I used to work for K9 Friends and Feline Friends. But there’s so much cruelty towards other animals – people find tortoises and rabbits roaming around the streets – so we’re filling the gap.
There aren’t many animal shelters around here, are there? There’s a Sharjah wildlife centre, and there’s a place in Abu Dhabi, but that’s about the only two places. There’s nothing hands-on where children can actually get in with the animals and chase a duck around a field or, you know, stroke a goat and cuddle them and wash them. We had a few children here the other day, washing the goats and the horses.
What animals have you got at the farm now? We’ve got two retired horses, two goats, ducks, rabbits, guinea pigs. We’ve also got a parrot that needed a home, and we’ve got a baby baboon on its way.
A baby baboon? It’s about five or six months old. It was rescued from a family that bought it from a souq, which seemed to be the fad last year. They got it home in the cage as a little baby, I think it was about one or two months old, and they didn’t know what to do with it. A very kind South African family took it off their hands and they’ve been rearing it. It walks around in a nappy and wears reins. So we’ve got that waiting to come in, but we need to build a cage for it, we need funding! We’re desperate for donations so we can get the baby baboon here.
Why do you think it’s important for kids to visit the farm? It’s hands-on, it’s ‘Hey, this is a creature, it does have feelings, it does need caring for.’ We’re going to get the message across to parents and children that, most of the time, pets are more of a responsibility than they realise. It’s not something you just buy at the pet shop, look at and hold for a few days.
So when are you open for visitors? We’re open from 10am until 5pm every day. We’re still in the setting up stages, though, so a lot of things aren’t done yet, purely because we’ve not had the time or the volunteers.
And how much does it cost? We’re just asking for donations. You decide. There’s a recycled water bottle sitting on an old tree stump, so that’s where you pay!
The Animal Sanctuary and Petting Farm is looking for all kinds of donations, from pet food to wheelbarrows. Here’s a (non-exhaustive) list: • Riding hats • Wheelbarrows • Pet leads • Feeding equipment • Brushing equipment • Outdoor furniture • Volunteers to help clean • Volunteers to help hold jumble sales • Funds • Various pet foods
The Animal Sanctuary and Petting Farm is at the end of Dubai Bypass Road on the Ajman/Sharjah border, 25 minutes from Dragon Mart heading out of Dubai or 35 minutes from the airport. Call 050 273 0973 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. www.poshpaws.com.
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Celina May 02, 2012 12:40 pm
Its so nice to hear of your farm. We have a rabbit whom we are very fond of, apparently he has no company of his own, so i was wondering if we can bring him along too - when we come to see your farm, so that we will get a chance to mix with other rabbits.
Please let me know if its ok with you.
Annal Liza Casareno Mar 11, 2012 08:19 am
Hi im so amazed when i found out your website im so inlove to rabbit and my future husband love parrots, we're planning to buy this animal but since i found your wonderful website my heart touched by your concern and a deep love about animals.
Im so excited to adopt rabbit and parrots and love to donate also, even to volunteer but im working as a PA in one of the bank so only my day off is the possible time for me to do voluntering at your lovely farm, hope i can be one of your volunteer, by the way me and my future husband having a couple squirrel we bought it from Al Ain Mall just last Sundy only (Mar. 4, 2012).
But im still interested to have rabbit and parrots.
Please email me about all of this.
im excited to arrange the house of my new lovely animals.
God Bless you.
year 1 teacher Jan 22, 2012 10:56 am
we had a visit from the animal santuary at our school. such a good cause. other schools should get involved soon and make donations.
Saba Nov 27, 2011 03:38 pm
This place is really amazing. They animals are well taken care of and the guys give you a great tour of the facility and give you food so you can feed the animals. The funny thing is that they work only on donations. It is such a good cause and great place to take children.
arvind Aug 22, 2011 10:01 am
please advise your location mmap and contact telephone. I would like to visit the farm and give some donation.