Animal lovers in Egypt understand how dire the situation for stray cats and dogs has become. The stray animal population continues to grow exponentially despite individual and collective animal welfare efforts, such as animal shelters and Trap-Neuter/Spay-Return (TNR) programs. As of 2020, the stray dog population in Egypt is said to have reached 15 million.
For that reason, animal rescuers always encourage others to spay/neuter their pets and adopt rather than shop to help these voiceless souls who often end up abandoned, tortured, or run over by cars – especially in overcrowded cities like Cairo and Alexandria.
The problem is that the adoption process has always been done on an informal basis through social media posts published by individual accounts or through animal shelter or pet adoption Facebook pages due to a lack of formalized platforms dedicated to this purpose.
Noticing this gap, Leaf Animals, Egypt’s first animal adoption website, has been launched to help formalize and organize this process. It was founded by animal lovers Amina El Shazly and Tanya El Kashef.
“We had been involved in animal welfare and rescue for some time as individuals, but we wanted to do more. That’s when we decided to create a platform to facilitate adoption and generate awareness on a larger, more organized scale,” El Shazly explains.
Leaf Animals aspires to ease the burden on animal rescuers and shelters and lessen the number of animals looking for homes, in addition to raising awareness on the importance of adopting, fostering (caring for an animal until it finds its ‘forever home’), and sponsoring animals in need.
“We also hope to change the way people view and treat animals, street animals in particular. We believe a change in mentality will result in happier communities. There are humane solutions to the stray population that benefit the community as much as the animals. A different mindset can lead to many positive results that include more peaceful streets, less pressure on rescue centres and overall more harmonious communities,” El Shazly adds.
Both founders have a lot of experience caring for animals, and El Shazly completed her thesis on the historical ecology of Egyptian baladi dogs in 2019 during her Master’s degree in global environmental history.
Through Leaf Animals, individuals can create profiles for animals looking for homes. Interested applicants then fill out a form and are screened to ensure that they can provide the animal with a safe and loving environment.
“The adoption process begins with a very thorough application that has questions about the person’s lifestyle, home and family. We filter through applications and choose ones that are promising. At this point, we either have follow up questions or the application is forwarded to the person that uploaded the animal for final approval,” El Shazly explains.
The website also serves animal lovers who may not be able to adopt or foster a pet by allowing them to sponsor animals by paying for their expenses.
Leaf Animals has cooperated with several partners to achieve its mission, including well-known vet clinics and pet supply shops.
To adopt, foster, or sponsor a pet, visit Leaf Animals by clicking here.
To access more animal rescue organizations with similar missions, visit the Leaf Animal Friends page by clicking here.