Sunday, November 23, 2014

K'S PATH: The First and Only Official Animal Shelter in Kuwait. Congratulations!

K'S PATH given official recognition
November 20, 2014

Kuwaiti authorities have granted legal status to the Kuwait Society for the Protection of Animals and Their Habitat, affirming the approach towards protecting all living creatures of various species. 
Aisha Al-Humaidhi, the society chairperson, affirmed the necessity of protecting animals, their habitat and guiding human beings to be kind to these living creatures. She was speaking during a ceremony, held late on Wednesday, marking the society's official proclamation. The society "has reaped the fruits of its success that has been made since nine years ago and it was posible through diligent work," she said, mentioning the Association's diverse activities, namely holding workshops aimed at educating the public about theresponsibility of hosting an animal as well as providing refuge for any animals in need for care.

Citizens who have animals or pets regularly seek the Society's advice and guidance. It has given refuge for various animals including horses, runs a center for wildlife rehabilitation, animals' reserves, deals with stray animals, environmental cleanliness and relevant education.

For her part, the society deputy chairperson, Sheikha Fatma Mubarak Al-Sabah, expressed gratitude to all people who have backed the national association, affirming the resolve to exert further efforts "to serve our dear Kuwait which deserves to be a minaret for humanity and progress." The society organizes campaigns to clean the Kuwaiti beaches, preserves various species on land and at the sea.
Elaborating, Sheikha Fatma said the society also deals with smuggled animals to ensure that the relevant law is applied in this regard, monitors cruel treatment of the animals and seeks to improve the habitat for settled and migrating animals, namely birds.

Moreover, it is seeking to secure refuge for farm animals that have been discarded or subjected to cruel treatment, in addition to launching the first women program to deal with stray animals, educate adults about farm animals, food resources, marine environmental protection, migrating birds and horses' stables. 


This has been a long time in the making and a huge accomplishment for all involved.  I can't even tell you how many animals I've rescued and taken to K'S PATH.  They are my go-to emergency source for strays and abused animals and have never turned down a call for help - at all hours of the day and night.  This has included John rushing out to dart and rescue feral puppies living in an on-ramp of a busy highway, and advice from Ayesha on how my friend may be able to re-home (you can't actually) an aggressive baboon (don't buy wild animals!).  

Way-back-when, when K'S PATH was a fledgling organization under the name of "Animal Friends", I met Ayesha and her husband, John.  In those early days, I went to Ayesha's home to drop off a stray kitten.  I was welcomed by approximately 5 very friendly and well-fed dogs (and that was only in their front hall!)  At one point, they even fostered a baby hyena in their home.  No creature was left behind.

K'S PATH was started by a desire to do something for the animals of Kuwait by Ayesha and John (the "dynamic duo" of the Kuwait animal world).  They had the vision and everything else has fallen into place (God has a plan for everything).  The land for K'S PATH was donated by Ayesha's father.  The shelter has never had to move or been forced out; throughout the years they have been stable and have only increased their mission towards helping animals.   The creatures under their care are well fed and well cared for by a small army of trained volunteers. They have become a community educator on animal care and rights, and regularly speak out on the environment.

Although petite in stature, Ayesha has more strength than most of the men I've ever come across (and I include many of the toughest military people I have ever worked with).  The only time I have ever seen her look "small" was after the shelter fire.  I think I actually hugged her (and I'm not a huggy person) because she looked so frail and distraught.  Animal lives were lost that day, but strength of character and strength of the community was set in a determined line to get them where they are today.

It was actually hard for me to recognize any of the people in this photo because I have never seen any of them in formal attire; they are usually working with animals; or making a brief appearance before going out to work with animals; or going home to take care of animals.  They have all been on call 24/7 regardless of their personal sacrifice (and quite frankly, I don't believe any of them has ever seen it as a "sacrifice").

Unfortunately, something as seemingly-simple as opening a business in Kuwait can take years. Trying to open a legally-licensed animal shelter is a long, frustrating and tedious undertaking.  Unless you own land and are backed by people of influence who can orchestrate actual change in the country, there is little chance that you will ever be able to obtain legal status.  K'S PATH has been blessed by the generosity of others - in terms of dedication, generosity of spirit, land and material items, hard work and outright fortitude of character of all those involved.  

It has taken almost a decade for K'S PATH to obtain legal status in Kuwait.  It is now the ONLY legally-recognized animal shelter in Kuwait - and the first to be officially recognized as an animal shelter in Kuwait.  

I have referred to Ayesha and John because I have met them/know them along their journey.  I only met Sheikha Fatma once briefly and admired her as she was so down-to-Earth.  Wearing a K'S PATH tee shirt and with her hair up in a pony tail, she just introduced herself as, "Fatma".  I've heard that she has been a huge help to the shelter over the years.    She's one of those people who puts hands-on work behind a cause she believes in.  There are many volunteers, friends, and people who work for and with K'S PATH that I'll probably never meet, but I am so glad that they are out there. Congratulations to you all.  I really look forward to seeing where you are in another 10 years!


AmericanGirl said...

I'm so happy for KsPath and this is fabulous news. I've met John and he seemed like a really wonderful, caring, genuine person.

Sadly, the one time I actually reached out for assistance from a shelter KsPath was a complete let down and PAWS was only marginally better (2012). Hopefully things have improved. I know... volunteers, little funding, etc. But we offered to cover all Vet bills, boarding, AND give a hefty donation (stray kitten) and were turned away.

Desert Girl said...

AG - I think it is hit or miss with most of the rescue organizations. Sometimes you get a volunteer that doesn't want to assist answering the phone or whatever and it is really off-putting. Or maybe the shelter was full to capacity (I still think there are options and they should take the animal.)

Crazy in Kuwait said...

Good news for them. I still want to know who was driving a white K's Path truck with yellow lights on it at 5 am on their way to Arifjan who got ticked off and decided to slam on their brakes, turn on all of their flashy lights and proceed to try to run me off the road. It was a white guy with a baseball cap.

Other than they I'm sure they do a good job. Also, I volunteer with Operation Hope and they have a cat catcher cage thingy that we want to donate but I don't know who would come and get it.

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