Muscat – With the blazing sun beating down on the city, animals find themselves in desperate need of shelter and sustenance. Empathetic and compassionate residents of Muscat are stepping forward to lend a hand to feathered friends, cats, dogs, and even plants.
With temperatures hovering over 40C, it’s not uncommon to come across lifeless birds in and around wadis, while cries of hungry puppies and kittens can be heard at night. Much needed help is provided by the kind hearted in the form of water and relocating animals to cooler environments.
Sameera Masoud, an animal lover who works in the hospitality industry, is pained to see the challenges faced by birds, cats and dogs during the summer months. “My friends and I often venture into wadis after work, searching for distressed souls and offering them shelter and water for rejuvenation.”
Dr Emily Shotter, a communications professional and an animal lover, said, “This weather may feel hot to us, but to animals without food, water and shelter, it’s incredibly tough.”
She keeps bowls of food and water in her car which she leaves for cats she encounters while driving. “I also leave dishes of water outside my house for thirsty birds and animals. My car port serves as a shaded respite from the scorching sun for animals.”
She urged the city’s residents to consider the well-being of animals throughout the year, not just during extreme summers. Caring for stray animals is a year-round necessity, Emily emphasised.
“Perhaps this heat and this article will make people stop and think, and encourage some positive behaviour when it comes to caring for animals.”
Plants suffer a similar fate in the summer heat, for which Muscat Municipality increases watering.
A Muscat Municipality worker, while watering the grass and hedge in Ruwi roundabout, said, “The intensity of heat has taken its toll on the plants exposed to the direct sun. I have witnessed plants withering away in a matter of days. To ensure their survival, our office has issued instructions to increase the frequency of watering the grass, plants and shrubs during the summer months.”
Piya Pawani, a model and an animal lover, expressed her anguish of witnessing thirsty animals on the streets. Alongside like-minded friends, she tirelessly works to ensure the welfare of birds. “Summer poses critical challenges for avian species as they navigate migration, nesting and raising their young. Dogs and cats face dehydration, heatstroke and paw pad injuries.”
In the evenings, Piya often rescue animals and provides them water. She appealed to all in the city to be kind and “if possible, adopt abandoned or stray animals”.