Hi, I'm Catalina! I've been in the states for a few months now after being rescued from Arman Zoo in Bahrain and am loving it! I'm very sweet with people, kids, doggies and love giving hugs and kisses. I'm about a year and a half old and I weigh about 34 pounds. I'm vet checked, spayed, and fully vaccinated. I can't wait to have a human of my own to cuddle with!
Colleen Hegarty started the initiative “Zoo Dogs of Bahrain,” which aims to rescue, rehabilitate, and rehome cats and dogs from Arman Zoo in Bahrain, a small country off the coast of Saudi Arabia, where she was on a 10 month long government sponsored Fulbright Grant to compliment her degree in Middle East Studies and Arabic. It was there that she stumbled upon "Arman Zoo," where dogs and cats are kept alongside animals such as alligators and baboons to provide entertainment for the public. The zoo has previously made international headlines for abusing a monkey. Here is her account of her experience at the zoo:
"I was initially shocked upon entering the zoo- animal abuse had been completely normalized and visitors not only enjoyed, but made animals' conditions worse by banging on cages, throwing rubbish at animals, provoking animals, and poking animals with sticks through the cages. What was most surprising to me was that cats and dogs were in cages alongside baboons and alligators. Cats, ribs visible and missing large patches of fur, were starving and clinging on to the sides of the cages begging for a morsel of food, while in the background sat the zoo's 20+ antique premium cars. Large breed dogs hid in the backs of their cages hoping to not attract attention while visitors paid the equivalent of $3 to “walk” smaller breeds around. The skin on their paws were burnt and their tongues hung out without any access to water during the hot midday sun (with temperatures regularly over 100 degrees) and children continued to drag and kick them as they whimpered and tried to stop walking. Originally, I convinced the zoo manager to let me put ten dogs (now twenty) and all mixed breed cats (but I ended up taking the Himalayans as well, totaling to 24 cats) up for adoption- animals he said he has "no use for". The dogs I took either couldn’t be bred or sold because they were “mixed” breeds or were too sick to be walked by children or bred. I created a successful gofundme to treat and neuter the dogs and cats and prepare them for adoption. The dogs taken out of the zoo had tick fever and were covered in ticks and matted; some dogs were malnourished, had colitis from severe cases of worms, had to have oral surgery for 10+ rotten teeth, had broken knee caps, broken tails, broken jaws, and severe anxiety and food aggression disorders. Cats were so skinny that you could feel every bone in their spine and ribs. Cats were starving and developed mouth ulcers as a result. They were malnourished and covered in fleas and anemic from the fleas and in addition suffered from other conditions like ringworm and eye infections. One cat passed away from severe health issues he suffered as a result of conditions at the zoo. The last cat removed from the zoo was pregnant and had a broken, bleeding nose from being beaten by a zoo worker, which was witnessed by two visitors."
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