I have three feral cats at my father's house, and a black little cute kitten at my apartment, and I love all of them, and I love dogs too and so much.

So I want to start helping dogs and cats in my city, but I don't know how can I do it.

Can someone provide me with tips of how can I help, please.

Things that might be important about me - I have a humble paying job - I live in Iraq

Thank you in Advance.

  • 1
    There are probably already organizations for helping animals where you live. Contact them and ask how you can help. – Kai Nov 8 at 13:51
  • @Kai you seem sure that there are organizations that help animals where I live. Can you please direct me to one. Because I can't seem to find any. Especially in Duhok. – RonnieDroid Nov 8 at 13:53
  • Could you provide some general information about how these animals are treated in Iraq? As far as I know people there consider feral animals as undesirable creatures or even pests (in contrast to many western societies where these animals are humanized and sometimes substitute for children). Are there organizations like shelters that take care of feral animals in any way? – Elmy Nov 8 at 13:54
  • @Elmy they are treated like annoying animals, beaten and many times killed. Not a lot of feral dogs in Duhok, but a lot of Feral cats. There are no organizations that I know of. If I could get help, I'd start one myself. – RonnieDroid Nov 8 at 13:57
  • this is related pets.stackexchange.com/questions/19907/… – trond hansen Nov 9 at 5:24
up vote 4 down vote accepted

If you cannot find a professional organization that helps feral animals, there is really not much you can do, but much you can do wrong!

Things you can do

  • You can offer a container with clean water
  • You can offer old towels or bedclothes to make a soft bed to sleep on. Keep in mind to not attract too many animals to your house (see below).
  • Talk about them in a positive way. If you say "these cats are suffering, we should help them." some people might think that killing them is the easiest way to end their suffering. If you say "These cats live with us in harmony and keep rats away from our homes. We should help them" it sounds more positive and might convince people to help. Maybe "they are the creation of Allah" works well in your case?
  • You can buy anti tick collars for animals. These are not very expensive but keep parasites like ticks and sometimes even fleas away from the animal. Be aware that you must never put a tick collar for dogs on a cat! The chemicals in the collar for dogs are toxic to cats. A collar for a cat should be a little bit elastic so the cat doesn't get cought on the collar.
  • Support local animal aid organizations. The best solution for feral animals is to neuter them so they cannot produce offspring. As a single person you don't have the money to neuter a lot of animals, but these organizations do and know the best veterinarians for the job.

Things you should NOT do

You should not offer food in large quantities to feral animals.

  • Attracting a whole pack of feral dogs can become a physical danger to you and your neighbors.
  • Animals that are fed regularily produce more offspring. You think you help them, but in the end there are just more and more feral animals.
  • You make animals dependant on you. If you cannot feed them anymore or you move to another city, these animals will suffer even more because they relied on you for food.

You should not invite feral animals into your home. The same reasons as above apply. But additionally, a feral animal is not used to going into a house. If you invite it into your home, it learns that there is food and shelter in houses. If the same animal later walks into another house, it will be beaten or killed.

Be extremely carefull if you want to help an injured animal. Get yourself vaccinated against rabies and similar diseases. Wear thick protective gloves when you try to touch an injured animal or hold it down to be treated. If the animal bites or scratches you, clean the wound with alcohol or iodine.

Never buy an animal out of pity! In many countries young cats and dogs are bred to make money. It's the same problem as with feeding animals: you think you help them, but the more you buy, the more they are bred (intentionally). You don't help anyone, there are just more and more feral animals.

Don't take baby dogs or kittens home! The mother needs to find food for herself and this can take hours, but she will return to her offspring.

In many countries like Greece, Italy and even USA animals are killed in shelters because there are too many of them. I don't know if there are animal shelters in Iraq, but giving them money might not help a single animal. If you want to give money, give it to animal aid organizations.


Don't forget to wash your hands after touching feral animals. They often have fungi or parasites and some of those can infect humans as well.

  • Oh wow, I haven't thought of all of those things. I'll try my best and hope I can find more people who can help :-) – RonnieDroid Nov 8 at 17:53

I googled around and only found a couple of organizations in Iraq.

I did find Nowzad Dogs & Nowzad Dogs(American Dog Rescue) that is focused on Afghan and Iraqi animals.

Reaching out to them would be a good start.

  • Thank you so much, I'll try to contact them. – RonnieDroid Nov 8 at 17:52

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