Times of Oman
OmanPride: Tiger by the Tails urges people to adopt pets
July 16, 2017 | 7:14 PM
by Shruthi Nair
Tiger by the Tails, a voluntary animal welfare group, has been rescuing animals for the last 22 years.
 
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Jaison Mathai, the founder of Tiger by the Tails, a voluntary animal welfare group, is an Indian expat, who has been rescuing, nurturing, and sheltering animals for the last 22 years. “I came to Oman 22 years back and we as expats have a responsibility towards the country,” said Mathai. Tiger by the Tails was founded on January 1, 2016 as Mathai and other members in his team started noticing that an increasing number of animals were being abandoned and needed to be cared for and homed.

“We have rescued and homed 60 cats and six dogs,” said Mathai, noting that with the limited facilities that they currently have, it is more practical for them to cater to the needs of smaller animals, such as cats.

Mathai and his team consist of an experienced veterinary doctor, and three other hardworking women, who not only rescue animals, but also conduct TNR procedures. “TNR stands for Trap, Neutralise, and Release. We have done that for 125 cats. After TNR, we are also feeding 50 cats,” he explained. Some of these animals are also trained in the group members’ own houses. “Two of our members have a facility in their house where they train the cats.”

In order to function as a true animal welfare team, their core rule is to not refuse to tend to an injured animal. “We don’t refuse to take in any injured animal. If we receive a message of a cat or dog being injured, the first thing we do is rescue it. We also get a lot of calls from five-star hotels. Tourists from European countries are extremely sensitive towards such issues. So if they see an injured animal, they Google about animal welfare groups in Oman and contact us.”

Tiger by the Tails also has a Facebook page that has 1,200 followers. “We have a Facebook page with 1,200 supporters who contribute. We make posters for various animals we’ve rescued and promote it on social media. We also put up photos of the stray animals on our Facebook page and people who want to adopt them can contact us,” he said, stating that Facebook and Instagram are his main platforms for spreading awareness and garnering support from other animal lovers in Oman. Giving an example of one his countless successful stories, he said, “We had found a cat that had injured its head and spine and was rotting without food or water for a long time. Today, the cat lives in a home where it has got its own bedroom.”

“We have also treated and released pigeons. Today, I have three pigeons in my bathroom that I’ve converted into a shelter where I nurse them and feed them medicines, which is a very difficult task,” he said. One of the main challenges that the team faces is limited funds. “We spend money from our pockets. Monetarily, we are always in the negative. Sometimes, we have to borrow money,” he said. This, however, has never stopped Mathai or his team members from selflessly helping the animals in need.

“Unfortunately, we don’t have any shelter homes for animals. Animals are out in extreme temperatures. They also need water as they feel the heat and want food.”

Being an animal lover, Mathai has a few urgent and important suggestions for the people in Oman.

“Firstly, don’t shop for a pet. Try to adopt one. Secondly, if you have a pet, treat it like a family member. Never abandon it. And finally, killing is not the solution. It is TNR.”

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