KUWAIT CITY, Kuwait (KRON) — An update on a “Flying Tails” story we brought you last May that involves dozens of cats on an international rescue to the Bay Area.
It was a crowded rescue flight, and while the story has some heartbreak — there is a happy ending.
Kuwait City — 7,700 miles from the Bay Area.
“They dump their cats there thinking it’s safe for them, but it’s not.”
A Kuwaiti woman is making the rounds at a place known where former pets are dumped.
“And if the cats are sick or skinny, they either still sell them of throw them in the garbage to die,” she said.
She said young men often show up to pick up these cast-off pets.
“To either use them for dog fighting or to sell them at the Friday markets where they put them inside very, very small cages,” she said.
The situation is no better for dogs.
Animal activists in Kuwait are trying to change the cultural attitude toward pets.
“There’s not really any kind of a culture of adopting,” Nicole Jacque, with the Nine Lives Foundation, said.
They feed the animals, take them in for care and try to get them new homes.
That’s where Redwood City Cat Rescue volunteer Nicole Jacque comes in.
“There are no animal shelters,” Jacque said. “There are no real kind of formal rescues. Just grass roots efforts.”
Jacque and her Kuwaiti rescuers took 51 cats to the Kuwait airport for the long flight to America.
After landing at LAX, volunteers took the cats to Santa Monica airport. That’s where KRON4’s Ken Wayne met them and started to load up.
Jacque said slowly but surely, attitudes in Kuwait are changing.
“It will be an uphill battle, but I think the great hope here is that there is this sort of youth movement of people that are concerned about animals,” she said.
On the ground at San Carlos airport, the cats were readied for the last leg of their international odyssey, the short drive to the Nine Lives Foundation in Redwood City.
“Over time, it is at least gradually getting better,” Jacque said. “There is at least some hope.”
One of the cats now has its own Instagram page. It’s called “kugafromkuwait24”.
Another cat named Casper has made a lot of noise, and has found a new home.
A cat who had bleach put in its eyes in Kuwait unfortunately had to have its eyes removed, but is still alive. It’s blind but healthy and available for adoption!
Out of the 51 cats that were flown to the Bay Area from Kuwait, just seven are left awaiting adoption.
To learn more about the Nine Lives Foundation in Redwood City, click here.