Floods in the United Arab Emirates: the community of pet lovers comes to the aid of a Filipino expat who runs an animal shelter – News

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Cats and dogs were submerged in water and started to get sick



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Published: Sat 30 Jul 2022, 8:02 PM

Last update: Sat 30 Jul 2022, 20:04

In a heartwarming act of kindness, dozens of animal lovers immediately came to the aid of a Filipino expat rescuing stray animals from the streets of Fujairah. Angelita Villanueva, a former employee of a pharmaceutical company, found herself in dire straits after the ground floor of her villa flooded after unrelenting rains in Fujairah.

Villanueva runs an independent rescue initiative and cares for almost 60 cats and eight dogs on her own. Things were already dire for the Filipina expat as she was fired from her company a month ago. However, Villanueva thought things couldn’t get any worse when the rains hit.

Photo provided

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However, thanks to the immediate action of several animal welfare groups in Dubai and Fujairah, Villanueva was able to save her beloved animals from drowning. “The situation was terrible. The cats and dogs were all submerged in water and started to get sick. I felt very helpless.

“All the rooms on the ground floor were flooded. Cats and dogs had to be placed on ledges and on higher ground,” Villanueva said.

After reaching out to animal lovers, community groups and rescue organizations on social media, dozens of people rushed to Villanueva’s rescue and brought her pets to safety. “The people from Bubbles Pet Rescue and the residents of Reem Mira immediately came with food and other supplies and got my babies to safety,” she said.

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Photo provided

Additionally, popular pet shelter Animals and Us, run by Michelle Francis, took six of Villanueva’s dogs into foster care. “It was a huge relief,” she said. “Pauline Craig from the Mira Community has been really helpful to me as have the members of the UAE Rescue Team. I am very grateful for all the support I have received from everyone. Without them, my babies wouldn’t have survived,” she added.

Villanueva said teams arrived with food and blankets for the animals. She is currently in the process of cleaning her rooms to keep her pets comfortable. “I cleaned the rooms for the cats. I need to clear my room now,” she said with a laugh.

Photo provided

Photo provided

Villanueva started rescuing street animals several years ago. “At one point, I had 80 cats. I currently have 40 cats in my house and two dogs at home. Some of them were transferred to the shelter. I didn’t expect the rains and floods to get this bad. It was horrible for the cats as they love to stay outside. Sometimes cats and dogs together in one house is a big deal. They don’t always get along,” she explained.

The United Arab Emirates experienced two days of adverse weather conditions, including record rainfall. In the northern and eastern emirates of the country, incessant rains ravaged infrastructure, killing seven people and leaving dozens of residents stranded.

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