Aiding animals in need


By Hannan Andrea Kamati 

UNIVERSITY CITY, SHARJAH – American University of Sharjah Library Specialist Amar Zahra Shah is a well-known friend to student scholars and faculty researchers. She is also a beacon of hope for the 65 cats and four rescue dogs she has in a boarding facility awaiting adoption offers.

Additionally, she helps care daily for perhaps 100 other stray animals off campus. She has rescued many animals and works continually to help them find homes, in some cases internationally. 

Shah said her efforts to help vulnerable animals began when she was younger, when her pet kitten T-Rex was diagnosed with pneumonia. Vets wanted to euthanize it. But despite the grim prognosis, Shah nursed him back to health. T-Rex lived happily for another 13 years. 

“It was very fulfilling to save his life,” she said, adding that the experience made her want to do more to further the well-being of animals in need. 

Shah wakes up every morning at 3 a.m. to feed and hydrate 100 stray animals in the Sharjah Industrial area.  She provides one proper meal daily to emaciated stray dogs and cats, as well as guard dogs in scrap yards.

For the past nine years, she said, she has helped send rescued animals abroad to be fostered in places such as Canada, Belgium, and France. On Feb. 19, Shah sent six cats to a cat café in the United Kingdom, to be followed by another nine scheduled to fly on March 21.