(work in progress)
(work in progress)
The Bahrain Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (BSPCA) was established in 1979 by a small group of committed and passionate animal lovers. The Society was officially registered by the Bahrain Ministry of Labor as a humane, charitable, non-profit organisation dedicated to the welfare of animals.
The Society is run by a dedicated group of volunteers and receives no official funding whatsoever. The Society depends on the generosity of the public for its funds as well as monies generated by the Thrift Shop.
Operating as a charity, it is regulated by the Ministry of Social Development under the auspices of the Non-Government Organisations department. It does not receive funding from the government.
The Executive Committee of the Society is elected at the General Meeting which is held every two years.
We accept all animals into our care 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and will make the appropriate decision as to its welfare and homeability. Call number on front gate and someone will assist you.
The shelter timings are Sundays to Thursdays 9am to 5pm, Fridays & Saturdays 9am to 1pm, HOLIDAYS 9am to 1pm
In 1979, six people from very different walks of life – a veterinary surgeon, a nurse, a gynaecologist, the owner of a stable, a travel agent and the wife of a Radio Bahrain DJ – came together for a common purpose. The goal? To create an organisation in Bahrain to promote animal welfare and prevent acts of cruelty. In December of that year the organisation was officially registered by the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs as a voluntary, non-profit charitable organisation. The BSPCA was born, but this was only the beginning.
In January 1982 the first Executive Committee was elected. There were no funds and no meeting place. Sub-committees were established for fund raising, publicity and education and other endeavours. Rescuing injured and sick animals and taking them for treatment to the local vet was carried out by a very small number of volunteers – “the Flying Squad” – using their own vehicles and resources.
The BSPCA became an affiliated member of the RSPCA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) and also a member of WSPA (the World Society for the Protection of Animals).
Temporary arrangements were made in the spring of 1982 to house the rescued dogs and cats at the stables of a Committee member. Local companies and businesses came to the rescue to provide funds for the cost of feeding and caring for these animals and small fundraising events were held throughout the year to help with the costs.
During early 1983 there was a major outbreak of enteritis (parvo virus) and the animals had to be moved to prevent its further spread. The need for a permanent facility to house the animals was becoming critical.
On 13th July 1983 an area of land in Shakoora was leased from the Government and the animals were moved to the premises as soon as it was ready for use. The opening of the new Shelter was a monumental effort achieved by a handful of dedicated people.
But there was still no electricity or water …..
A water tower was painstakingly built and everyone waited for the arrival of the water tanker. But as the tanker was filling the tank, the tower collapsed and the water cascaded onto the assembled volunteers! Back to the drawing board! Later in the year the premises were wired up for electricity and a generator was purchased. At this time there were 30 kennels for dogs and puppies and later on a small cattery was laid out in a donated portacabin.
In February 1984, with funding and the help of the Rotary Club of Bahrain, the land was levelled and the perimeter fence erected, creating much needed space. The Shelter was at last on its way to becoming the place that we all know today.
In 2003 His Highness Prince Khalifa bin Salman, the Prime Minister, donated an area of land at Askar for the Society’s use. From then on the impetus was to focus on holding as many fundraising events as possible to gather enough money together for the construction of a new purpose-built Shelter. The lease for the Shakoora land would not last forever as the area was no longer classified as agricultural and was now designated as a residential area.
During 2007 and 2008 many improvements almost changed the place beyond recognition. A new cat house was constructed, courtesy of a generous Bahraini donor, housing 40 cats. The dog pens were extended and the area which was formerly the Manager’s office refurbished as a small clinic. In addition, the kitchen facilities were upgraded and a small portacabin installed at the other end of the premises to house the administration office and serve as a reception area. A small courtyard area, complete with plants, tables and chairs, was laid out where visitors and volunteers could sit and view the puppies.
In 2008 plans for the new Animal Welfare Centre were drawn up and the land at Askar levelled off. It was not all plain sailing as obtaining the necessary permissions to even begin took two years but eventually in 2010 the boundary wall was erected and work began in March 2011 on the main buildings. Many commercial companies have rallied round and provided their support, expertise and materials free of charge for which the Society cannot thank them enough.
The Centre was finally finished in September 2012 and arrangements went underway immediately to transfer the animals and offices to Askar. Along with all the extra space for the animals including play areas, a duck pond and an aviary the Animal Welfare Centre now has a purpose built clinic, Administration offices and a classroom for school visits.
Two of the original founders of the BSPCA, Dr Khalil Rajab and his wife Betty, are still involved with the BSPCA and follow its progress with interest. They have seen many people come and go throughout its existence but both continue to provide the Executive Committee with valuable background information as well as guidance on constitutional matters to each Executive Committee when carrying out their two year tenure.
And so a new era starts … a far cry from its very humble beginnings 36 years ago and a very proud moment for all the dedicated volunteers who have worked towards this on the Society’s behalf.
To our sponsors,
We would like to take this opportunity to thank all our sponsors for their support in providing financial donations, materials and services to the BSPCA over the years.
Your generosity is felt everyday by all the animals at the Animal Welfare Centre (AWC) in Askar by allowing them to have shelter, food and medical care.
By helping us in this way it allows the Society to maximise its funds and help the compound cats and stray dogs throughout the Kingdom of Bahrain by offering our free Catch, Neuter, Vaccinate and Return (CNVR) programme to the public.
On behalf of the fund raising team, our staff and Executive Committee members, thank you once again for helping us to help them. We couldn’t do it without you!
What else could we ask for to ensure the wellbeing of animals on the island? Continue to support our cause!