Atlantis, JW Marriot Marquis are among those donating
More than 800 dogs at the Stray Dogs Center in Umm Al Quwain get the five-star meals, thanks to an initiative that sees Atlantis, the Palm donate food to feed them.
“Not only does the food provide our dogs with a delicious weekly meal, but it also saves us approximately Dh3,000 per month in food costs,” said Amirah William, founding manager of the Stray Dogs Centre, Umm Al Quwain (SDC-UAQ). “We started the ‘Reduce Waste, Fill a Dog Bowl’ campaign in 2019. Currently, our two largest contributors are JW Marriott Marquis and Atlantis, the Palm.”
Earlier this month, the shelter had posted about its gratitude in a post on its social media channels:
“Atlantis, The Palm not only feeds 862 puppies 5 ⭐ quality food but they also entertain us when we pick up the food 😍😍😍. Blessed to have your great support ❤️❤️❤️,” the post reads.
In the released footage, Atlantis employees Chuah Wai Teong, Dyaz Alief Pratama, Tej Bahadur show a dance move after loading the special van with food supplies for the week.
“They were clowning around and did some dance moves,” Amirah William chuckled. “It provided a bit of entertainment on the sad day of the children who went to collect the food.”
“We started food donations in September 2021, following the launch of the Atlantis Atlas Project,” said Kelly Timmins, Director of Conservation, CSR and Education at Atlantis, the Palm. “We work closely with the dog shelter to arrange transportation in a van once a week to pick up food from Atlantis. Food is collected and stored in a separate freezer and then delivered to the collection team.”
As of July 2022, Atlantis has donated more than 1,300 kg of food to the shelter. “They send beef, beef bacon, hot dogs, boneless chicken and stuff,” Amirah said. “It’s a real party for the dogs. We’ve given them a list of what kind of food the dogs can eat, and they ship according to that.”
In addition, the iconic resort hotel also supplies large amounts of discarded bedding on a monthly basis, providing the shelter with much-needed high-use items.
“The bedding donation began in February 2022,” said Kelly Timmins. “This includes bedding (duvets, sheets, pillowcases, mattress protectors), bathroom linen (bath towels, bathrobes, bath mats) and pool towels. All linens are washed and ironed thoroughly before being packaged and delivered to the stray dog center. Currently, we have donated more than 23,000 pieces of linen to the UAQ Stray Dog Center.”
“Bedding helps us a lot,” said Amirah William. “We use them for mothers with puppies and we line the boxes to bathe them. As you can imagine, bathing 852 dogs takes a long time. We do not have the manpower or the means to bathe them frequently. So discarded bedding really helps us a lot and saves us time and money.”
The Atlantis Atlas project was launched by the resort in June 2021 to build on existing industry-leading work on environmental and social responsibility, as well as solidify its long-term vision to pioneer educational tourism that cares about people. and the planet. As part of the project, Atlantis also supports the local community, donating $1 from each marine animal experience to projects that have a measured impact on conservation, education, and society.
In addition to food, the COSUDE-UAQ has several other expenses. “Our biggest challenge by far is operating the shelter,” said Amirah William. “Our monthly operating costs are approximately Dh90,000. The center is powered by generators sponsored by Byrne Equipment Rental. Diesel costs are Dh750 per day. Our shelter is semi-electric, and only single breed dogs, moms and puppies can enjoy the air conditioning.”
“Most of our dogs are housed in non-air-conditioned units with built-in plunge pools and are hosed down constantly throughout the day. We have been campaigning to raise funds for a solar solution located in the middle of the desert or to connect to the grid. Both options are very expensive.
“Food is always a constant concern. The contributions from the hotels save us the expense of feeding the dogs that day. Other than that, we spend approximately Dh24,000 each month to feed the dogs we house and care for. Our veterinary bills every two months are between 140,000 and 170,000 dirhams”.
The shelter which opened in 2014 is the largest MOCCAE and local government licensed private non-profit private dog shelter, housing and caring for 852 dogs rescued from the streets or delivered. Since its opening, SDC-UAQ has rescued and relocated more than 7,000 dogs and relies solely on public support, fundraising and paid activities to operate.