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Frequently Asked Question

  1. What is the NO KILL POLICY?"No Kill Policy" simply implies NO Healthy Animals are killed for population control or other reasons. We use the following "Life Saving Matrix" created by the No Kill Advocacy Center to guide our decisions. 







  • Healthy: "Healthy" shall include any animal who is not sick or injured; or who is not a vicious dog.
  • Conditions such as fleas, ear mites, or pregnancy do not change the animal’s status from being healthy since they are resolved through professionally standard routine shelter care......The animal may be blind, deaf, old, or missing a limb, but as long as the animal is healthy, she meets the definition.
  • Treatable: "Treatable" shall include any animal that is sick or injured whose prognosis for rehabilitation of that illness and/or injury is excellent, good, fair, or guarded. An animal does not have to be "cured" for treatable.
  • Non-savable: "Non-savable" shall include:
  • Irremediably Suffering: Any animal with a medical condition who has a poor or grave prognosis for being able to live without severe, unremitting pain.
  • Vicious Dog: A dog who has a propensity to or history of causing grievous bodily harm to people even when the dog is not hungry, in pain, or frightened, and whose prognosis for rehabilitation of that aggression is poor or grave.
  1. When are Feral/Stray Dogs and Cats Euthanized?
    Feral/Stray Dogs and Cats are Euthanized when they are Non-Savable , as per the above Matrix.
  2. What Is a Feral Cat/Dog?
    A cat/dog born and raised in the wild, or who has been abandoned or lost and reverted to wild ways in order to survive, is considered a free roaming or feral cat/dog. While some feral cats and dogs tolerate a bit of human contact, most are too fearful and wild to be handled. Feral cats often live in groups, called colonies, and take refuge wherever they can find food-rodents and other small animals and garbage. They will also try to seek out abandoned buildings, deserted cars, even dig holes in the ground to keep warm in cold months and cool during the summer heat.
  3. What's Life Like for a Feral Cat and Dog?
    Simply put, it's not easy. Feral cats and dogs must endure extreme heat for most months of the year. They also face starvation, infection and attacks by other animals. Unfortunately, almost half of the kittens and puppies born outdoors die from disease, exposure or parasites before their first year. etc…
  4. How can I help Feral/Stray Cats and Dogs?
    Simply contact the Center for Waste Management - Abu Dhabi- on the Toll Free number 800555 to Trap, Neuter and Return the Cats (Dogs will be kept at the Shelter). Also, always keep some fresh water bowls in populated areas, especially during the summer times.
  5. Is There a Difference Between a Stray Cat/Dog and a Feral Cat/Dog ?
    A feral cat/dog is primarily wild-raised or has adapted to feral life, while we define a stray cat/dog as someone's pet who has become lost or has been abandoned. Stray cats are usually tame and comfortable around people. Cats will frequently rub against legs and exhibit behaviors such as purring and meowing. In contrast, feral cats are notably quiet and keep their distance. Stray cats will also often try to make a home near humans-in car garages, front porches or backyards. Most are completely reliant on humans as a food source and are not yet able to cope with life on the streets. Same applies to Stray Dogs.
  6. What Is Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR)?
    TNR is the method of humanely trapping feral cats, having them spayed or neutered, vaccinated and then returning them to their colony to live out their lives. TNR in advanced countries also involves a colony caretaker who provides food, adequate shelter and monitors the cats' health. TNR has been shown to be the least costly as well as the most efficient and humane way of stabilizing feral cat populations.
  7. How Does TNR Help Feral Cats?
    Through TNR, feral cats can live out their lives without adding to the homeless cat population. "It is very important to have all feral cats spayed/neutered, because it is the only 100-percent effective way to prevent unwanted kittens.

    Furthermore, by stabilizing the population, cats will naturally have more space, shelter and food, and fewer risks of disease. After being spayed or neutered, cats living in colonies tend to gain weight and live healthier lives. Spayed cats are less likely to develop breast cancer and will not be at risk for ovarian or uterine cancer, while neutered males will not get testicular cancer. Spaying also means female cats do not go into heat and therefore they attract less tom cats to the area and reduce fighting. If cats are sterilized and live in a colony that has a caretaker, their life span may reach more than ten years.By neutering male cats, you also reduce the risk of injury and infection, since intact males have a natural instinct to fight with other cats. 
  8. How Does TNR Benefit the Community?
    TNR helps the community by stabilizing the population of the feral colony and, over time, reducing it. At the same time, nuisance behaviors such as spraying, loud noise and fighting are largely eliminated and no more kittens are born. Yet, the benefit of natural rodent control is continued. TNR also helps the community's animal welfare resources by reducing the number of kittens that would end up in the veterinary clinics and the shelters, in the future-TNR creates more space for the cats and kittens who come to them from other avenues."

    Failed Alternatives
    Perhaps the most significant argument in favor of trap-neuter-return is that not only does it succeed in controlling feral populations when properly implemented - it's the only known method that ever has! The traditional approach has been "trap-and-kill," whereby feral cats are trapped, and then invariably euthanized. The typically out-of-control feral cat numbers in most regions should be testimony enough to the failure of this method. The reasons why it almost always fails in the long term are clear. 
  9. What is Ear-Tipping and Why Is it Important?
    Ear-tipping is a widely accepted means of marking a feral cat who has been spayed or neutered. It also often identifies them as being part of a cared colony. Ear-tipping is the humane surgical removal of 1/4 tip of the left ear. The procedure is performed by a licensed veterinarian, typically during the spay/neuter surgery. Ear-tipping is completely safe and rarely requires special aftercare. Ear-tipping is especially important as it prevents an already spayed or neutered cat the stress of re-trapping and more importantly, an unnecessary surgery.
  10. Does Eradication Work?
    Eradication, the deliberate and systematic destruction of a feral cat colony, by whatever method, almost always leads to the "vacuum effect"-either new cats flock to the vacated area to exploit whatever food source attracted the original inhabitants, or survivors breed and their descendants are more cautious around threats. Simply put, eradication is only a temporary fix that sacrifices animals' lives unnecessarily, yet yields no positive or beneficial return.
  11. What Is Relocation and Why Doesn't it Work?
    Many communities have rounded up colonies of feral cats for either euthanasia or to relocate them to another area. This never works. Feral cats are very connected with their territory. They are familiar with the food sources, where to find shelter, resident wildlife, other cats in the area and potential threats to their safety-all things that help them survive. "Relocation of feral cat colonies is difficult to orchestrate and not 100-percent successful even if done correctly. It is also usually impossible to catch all of the cats, and it only takes one male and one female to begin reproducing the colony. Even when rounding up is diligently performed and all ferals are removed, new cats will soon move in and set up camp.
  12. Is Relocation Ever an Option?
    Relocation is something to consider only if keeping the cats where they are becomes a threat to their lives and all other options have been explored and have failed. Moving cats to another area is a great risk to their safety unless they are being moved to a protected area. Relocation is an extremely difficult process. People should choose relocation only if the cats' territory is going to be demolished, there is no adjacent space to shift them to, and if the cats' lives would be at extreme risk to remain where they are.
  13. How Do I Deal With Difficult Neighbors?
    For dogs, kindly keep them confined to your premises in a safe and healthy environment. To help your cats be better neighbors to your neighbors, keep in mind that kindness and patience are key. Find out what about the cats is bothering your neighbors and work with them on those specific issues. For example, deterrents such as motion-activated sprinklers, garden rocks and citrus smells will help keep cats away from the people who do not want them digging in their gardens or roaming their property. "It is also important to nicely explain to them that TNR is the most humane and effective way of managing feral cat overpopulation issues. TNR offers a solution that helps both the cats and the human residents, providing first and foremost permanent population control since the cats will no longer be able to reproduce. Let them know that it also drastically changes the cats' behavior-there will be less odor since they will no longer spray, less roaming, less visibility, and no more yowling or fighting.
  14. Do Feral Cats Kill Birds?
    While feral cats do kill some birds, they prefer to kill rodents. Other issues, such as the decline of natural habitat and use of pesticides, have a greater negative impact on bird populations.
  15. Who should I contact if I want to sterilize Feral/Stray Cats/Dogs in my neighborhood?
    You can call the Center for Waste Management- Abu Dhabi on the toll free number 800555
  16. Who should I contact if I come across an Injured/Sick Dog or Cat? 
    You can call the Center for Waste Management- Abu Dhabi on the toll free number 800555 
  17. What happens to Feral/Stray Dogs that are trapped?
    They will be sent to the Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital for medical care and sterilization. Cats will be returned back to the same location while adoptable dogs will remain in Abu Dhabi Animal Shelter managed by Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital for adoption. 
  18. Are All Trapped Feral/Stray Cats Returned to the Same Location as their Original Habitat?
  19. Who should I contact in case of witnessing of Animal Cruelty, Abuse or Neglect?
    You can call the Center for Waste Management- Abu Dhabi on the toll free number 800555
  20. Who should I contact in case of witnessing of Inhumane Trapping ( by pest control companies and individuals)and Returning of Feral/Stray Cats?
    You can call the Center for Waste Management- Abu Dhabi on the toll free number 800555
  21. What Do I Do If I Find a Stray Cat?
    Stray cats will usually try to make contact with you, even if they are a bit fearful at first. If you find a stray cat, please take the following actions:
    • Check with your neighbors to see if their cat is missing.
    • Bring the cat to the ADFH Pet Care Center of Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital to be scanned for a microchip. They will check with the other veterinary clinics if this cat has been registered in order to identify the owner.
    • Lost cats will be published at the website of the Abu Dhabi Animal Shelter in the "Lost and found" section. If they are still unclaimed after a holding period of two weeks, they will be put for adoption by the shelter.
    • Consider fostering the cat. 


  1. What Do I Do If I Find a Stray Dog?
    Please be careful when handling strange Dogs, it is recommended you contact The Center for Waste Management - Abu Dhabi. Stray Dogs will usually try to make contact with you, even if they are a bit fearful at first. If you find a stray dog, please take the following actions:
    • Check with your neighbors to see if their dog is missing.
    • Bring the dog to the ADFH Pet Care Center of Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital to be scanned for a microchip. They will check with the other veterinary clinics if this cat has been registered in order to identify the owner.
    • Lost dogs will be published at the website of the Abu Dhabi Animal Shelter in the "Lost and found" section. If they are still unclaimed after a holding period of two weeks, they will be put for adoption by the shelter.


  1. Is it safe to adopt a Stray/Feral Cat or Dog?
    Certainly, subject to the cat/dog getting checked up, vaccinated and sterilized and its suitability for homing. All cats/dogs that we have in our shelter are healthy and suitable for rehoming.
  2. Do cats really cause infertility in women?
    Certainly not. This is a great misconception/myth that has no medical grounds. Nonetheless, pregnant women should not handle cat litter/cat feces during pregnancy to avoid risk of infection from cats infected with Toxoplasmosis.
  3. What is Toxoplasmosis?
    Toxoplasmosis is a disease caused by a single-celled parasite called Toxoplasma gondii (T. gondii). Our feline companions are its preferred home and only there can it mature and reproduce. So like most parasites, T.gondii has a complex life cycle designed to get it into its final host.

    If it finds itself in another animal, it travels to the brain and changes the host's behaviour to maximize its chances of ending up in a cat. For rodents, this means being eaten and infected individuals are less fearful of cats and more active, making them easier prey.

    Humans can also contract the parasite, through contact with soil contaminated by the feces of carriers or through eating infected meat. But since cats are very unlikely to eat humans, in our bodies, T.gondii reaches a cul-de-sac. Still, there is nothing to stop the parasite, evolutionarily speaking, from trying out the strategies that work so well in other hosts.
  4. How will toxoplasmosis affect my cat?
    Most cats infected with T. gondii will not show any symptoms. Occasionally, however, clinical disease-toxoplasmosis-occurs. When disease does occur, it may develop when the cat's immune response is not adequate to stop the spread of tachyzoite forms. The disease is more likely to occur in cats with suppressed immune systems, including young kittens and cats with feline leukemia virus (FELV) or feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV).

    The most common symptoms of toxoplasmosis include fever, loss of appetite, and lethargy. Other symptoms may occur depending on whether the infection is acute or chronic, and where the parasite is found in the body. In the lungs, T. gondii infection can lead to pneumonia, which will cause respiratory distress of gradually increasing severity. Toxoplasmosis can also affect the eyes and central nervous system, producing inflammation of the retina or anterior ocular chamber, abnormal pupil size and responsiveness to light, blindness, incoordination, heightened sensitivity to touch, personality changes, circling, head pressing, twitching of the ears, difficulty in chewing and swallowing food, seizures, and loss of control over urination and defecation. 
  5. How is toxoplasmosis diagnosed in cats?
    Toxoplasmosis is usually diagnosed based on the history, signs of illness, and the results of supportive laboratory tests. Measurement of IgG and IgM antibodies to Toxoplasma gondii in the blood can help diagnose toxoplasmosis. The presence of significant IgG antibodies to T. gondii in a healthy cat suggests that the cat has been previously infected and now is most likely immune and not excreting oocysts. The presence of significant IgM antibodies to T. gondii, however, suggests an active infection of the cat. The absence of T. gondii antibodies of both types in a healthy cat suggests that the cat is susceptible to infection and thus would shed oocysts for one to two weeks following infection.

    Sometimes the oocysts can be found in the feces, but this is not a reliable method of diagnosis because they look similar to some other parasites. Also, cats shed the oocysts for only a short period of time and often are not shedding the oocysts when they are showing signs of disease. A definitive diagnosis requires microscopic examination of tissues or tissue impression smears for distinctive pathologic changes and the presence of tachyzoites. 
  6. Can toxoplasmosis be treated?
    Most cats that have toxoplasmosis can recover with treatment. Treatment usually involves a course of an antibiotic called Clindamycin. Other drugs that are used include pyrimethamine and sulfadiazine, which act together to inhibit T. gondii reproduction. Treatment must be started as soon as possible after diagnosis and continued for several days after signs have disappeared. In acute illness, treatment is sometimes started on the basis of a high antibody titer in the first test. If clinical improvement is not seen within two to three days, the diagnosis of toxoplasmosis should be questioned.

    No vaccine is as yet available to prevent either T. gondii infection or toxoplasmosis in cats, humans, or other species. 
  7. Can I "catch" toxoplasmosis from my cat?
    Because cats only shed the organism for a few days in their entire life, the chance of human exposure is small. Owning a cat does not mean you will be infected with the disease. It is unlikely that you would be exposed to the parasite by touching an infected cat, because cats usually do not carry the parasite on their fur. It is also unlikely that you can become infected through cat bites or scratches. In addition, cats kept indoors that do not hunt prey or are not fed raw meat are not likely to be infected with T. gondii.

    In the United States, people are much more likely to become infected through eating raw meat and unwashed fruits and vegetables than from handling cat feces. 
  8. How are people infected with Toxoplasma gondii?
    Contact with oocyst-contaminated soil is probably the major means by which many different species-rodents, ground-feeding birds, sheep, goats, pigs, and cattle, as well as humans living in developing countries-are exposed to Toxoplasma gondii. In the industrialized nations, most transmission to humans is probably due to eating undercooked infected meat, particularly lamb and pork. People also become infected by eating unwashed fruits and vegetables. The organism can sometimes be present in some unpasteurized dairy products, such as goat's milk. Toxoplasma gondii can also be transmitted directly from pregnant woman to unborn child when the mother becomes infected during pregnancy.

    There are two populations at high risk for infection with Toxoplasma gondii; pregnant women and immunodeficient individuals. Congenital infection is of greatest concern in humans. About one-third to one-half of human infants born to mothers who have acquired Toxoplasma during that pregnancy are infected. The vast majority of women infected during pregnancy have no symptoms of the infection themselves. The majority of infected infants will show no symptoms of toxoplasmosis at birth, but many are likely to develop signs of infection later in life. Loss of vision, mental retardation, loss of hearing, and death in severe cases, are the symptoms of toxoplasmosis in congenitally infected children.

    In immunodeficient people-those undergoing immunosuppressive therapy (e.g., for cancer or organ transplantation) or those with an immunosuppressive disease such as AIDS-enlargement of the lymph nodes, ocular and central nervous-system disturbances, respiratory disease, and heart disease are among the more characteristic symptoms. In these patients-especially those with AIDS-relapses of the disease are common, and the mortality rate is high. In the past, immunodeficient people and pregnant women were advised to avoid cats. However, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) now advises that this is not necessary. 
  9. What can I do to prevent toxoplasmosis?
    There are several general sanitation and food safety steps you can take to reduce your chances of becoming infected with Toxoplasma:
    • Do not eat raw or undercooked meat. Meat should be cooked to a temperature of at least 160°F for 20 minutes.
    • Do not drink unpasteurized milk.
    • Do not eat unwashed fruits and vegetables.
    • Wash hands and food preparation surfaces with warm soapy water after handling raw meat.
    • Wear gloves when gardening. Wash hands after gardening.
    • Wash hands before eating (especially for children).
    • Keep children's sandboxes covered.
    • Do not drink water from the environment unless it is boiled.
    • Do not feed raw meat or undercooked meat to cats. Also, do not give them unpasteurized milk.
    • Do not allow cats to hunt or roam.
    • Do not allow cats to use a garden or children's play area as their litter box
    • Remove feces from the litter box daily and clean with boiling or scalding water.
    • Pregnant women, and persons with suppressed immune systems, should not clean the litter box.
    • Control rodent populations and other potential intermediate hosts.
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