The pet shop campaign being conducted by ESAF and the Giza Vet Department is well underway. On October 8 and 15, 2012, they visited three pet shops in Omrania and two pet shops in 6th of October City.
ESAF vets Dr. Moh Gomaily and Dr. Moh A. A. Hay, and Giza vet Dr. Hisham inspected the pet shops, talking with pet shop managers and owners and offering tips on ways to improve ventilation and let in more fresh air, keep everything clean and tidy, and keep a good eye on the health of the animals.
They handed out fliers and posters that highlighted animal care and safety, encouraged rabies vaccinations, and warned against wild animal trafficking.
Just in case some of the animals might be in urgent need of care, they had brought along an emergency medical bag, but fortunately, it was not needed.
ESAF and officials are working to set up a system for the government to more closely monitor pet shops; it would require licensing and regular inspections.
Dr.Mohammed Abd-Elhay writes that the Egyptian Society of Animal Friends (ESAF) has launched a Pet Shop Campaign with the goal of reaching every pet shop in Giza, the city that lies next to Cairo.
They will do an assessment of the pet shop conditions, which generally need a lot of improvement, and while they are there, they will show the pet shop managers and staff how to improve their care of the animals. In educating the staff, they’ll need to be as diplomatic as possible, making friends along the way, so that the animals will benefit from kinder, more knowledgeable treatment.
During the pet shop visits, they’ll also be offering free treatment for any sick animals.
While certainly there need to be strong laws against animal cruelty, and effective law enforcement, there’s more than one tool in a toolbox, and legislation is not the only way to bring about better care for pet shop animals.
And yes, we know that it would be far better if animals were adopted, rather than sold, but to be effective as animal advocates, we must start with the circumstances as we find them, not as we wish them to be, and circumstances vary from one country and culture to another, so being adaptable, seeing what works well, and what is a good starting point is a practical strategy.
In a great many cases, where mistreatment may be caused by simple ignorance, a few straightforward instructions, guidelines, and setting a good example of kindness and caring, can go along way towards improving the care of animals.
Congratulations to ESAF for this tremendously positive approach – which introduces pet shop staff and management to the concept that animals deserve excellent care.
As the ESAF team visits every pet shop in Giza, they will be putting together a database, to serve as a basis for future plans and long-term efforts to improve the lot of pets in Giza.
Photo: Courtesy of ESAF / This, of course, is not a pet, but a working horse. One of the ESAF vets is feeding carrots to a horse that is part of the ESAF Pyramids Project.