Imagine yourself at a pet store and you’re about to adopt your first dog; that puppy that you’ve wanted to get since you were a child. What breed would you choose? Maybe you’ll go with a Golden Retriever, a Husky, or a German Shepherd. Now imagine if there was a stray dog in the cage right next to an adorable Black Labrador, would you be as keen to buy it as the Lab? For those who might answer no, don’t you agree that stray dogs should be given the same chance to live in a loving home and get pampered as any other pricey purebred? Especially when we have 22 million loose stray dogs in our country, as indicated in a study from last year, roaming around from place to place with no feeling of being welcome.
Following this mindset, two hardworking organisations, the Animal Rights Association (ARA) and Rotaract Club of Heliopolis El Korba (RHK), combined forces in an approach to raising awareness about this critical issue in an event called Puppies Day. The idea of the partnership started with the suggestion of Hala Majed, a mutual member of both organisations, that soon turned into a successful reality. Both organisations differed in their specialisation of projects but were unified under the goal of helping their community.
After a period of strenuous preparations, the event was advertised on their respective pages a week in advance. It was finally launched yesterday in the gardens at AUC, and lasted from 1-3 pm. In collaboration with Hope, a non-profit organisation that aims to help save and rehabilitate Egyptian stray animals, the ARA borrowed dogs from the shelter so that people could play with them. Nareeman Sharaf, current president of the ARA, said, “The event’s main purpose was about showing compassion and raising awareness for the stray dogs, that’s why we choose annually to get the dogs from shelters.”
The day was basically a condensed period of fun and laughter. As the people fed and played with the dogs, you could feel the affection filling the air. Some of you might view the event as a nice but not sustainable idea because one university event cannot spread awareness to an entire city, let alone an entire nation. However, based on the looks of joy and appreciation on the people’s faces, there is definitely still hope. Also, both entities plan to keep on fighting for the cause and one day, the reach will grow, and more and more people will be impacted, even if it takes 50 years!
To wrap up this article, let’s hear from one of the attendees and RHK’s PR & Digital Communications Leader, Hoda Magdy, “I really enjoyed the day so much and dogs were so friendly. As a person who used to be afraid of dogs, I want to say that they are too cute to be scary, and we just have to have mercy to know how to deal with them. Also, I want to thank ARA for doing this great job in helping shelters.”
To learn more about the upcoming community of projects of the Animal Rights Association and Rotaract Club of Heliopolis El Korba and how you can participate, be sure to follow them on their Facebook pages.