Muscat: For Mariyam Al Balushi, animals are like her own children. She is a dedicated core member of a welfare group for unfortunate animals in Muscat.
She and her group, Tiger by the Tail, work to sterilise stray animals, rescue those that are sick, injured or abandoned and find new homes for those they have rescued.
Al Balushi currently has around 56 cats and four dogs. She started helping stray animals in the year 2010 and is now spending more than OMR2,000 per month.
The welfare group Tiger by the Tail was founded by Jaison Mathai, an Indian expat to help stray animals in Muscat and to create awareness among the public about the welfare of animals.
“By joining this (Tiger by the Tail) group, I am getting more help from the people, who love animals like me and now I can share my expenses with them,” Al Balushi told the Times of Oman.
The group has eight core members. Other members of the group are Julie Valters, Manjula Reddy, Nasra Ali, Nivya Crasto, Pushpa Negi, Sarojini P, and Siami Zohra. Among them are two doctors from the Capital Veterinary clinic.
According to the members, their group is an inspirational one for many that does so much for animals in Oman.
Jaison Mathai, the founder of Tiger by the Tail, stated, “It’s a group that brings together people that want to help stray cats and dogs in Muscat. We work on with a trap-neuter-release (TNR) policy for cats and dogs.”
“This group is also active in rescuing animals in distress, whether they are sick, injured, trapped or abandoned. We then spay/neuter them and we try to find them homes,” Mathai added.
According to him, finding a perfect home for these animals is a major issue.
“Many people enjoy owning pets, but do not know about the responsibilities that come with owning pets,” he added.
“Many of them don’t know what certain breeds need so they end up unhappy with their pets and give them away,” he added.
Members of the group also said that in order to help stray animals on the street, they needed support from the authorities.
“We desperately need more support or intervention from the authorities, and we hope that what we do makes a small difference to these precious lives,” a group member said.
According to Al Balushi, there should be a government policy or law to make people aware against cruelty towards to animals.
Animal lovers said that there should also be education about the issue in schools, which focuses not only on respecting and valuing animals, but also teaching young people to not harm or make animals suffer.