A few days ago I had the chance to discuss with Saima Javed, one of the faces behind the animal shelter, House of Paws. She shared with us her motivation behind her activist work and her views on animal adoption in Pakistan, where she is from. We also got to chat a bit about Ella, a cat snatched out of the jaws of death from the streets of Rawalpindi.
Who is Behind House of Paws
Saima embarked on her mission to rescue animals from the streets of her hometown, Rawalpindi, 12 years ago when she made a breakthrough into activism by officially opening the shelter House of Paws. Since then, she has dedicated most of her time to saving cats and dogs. Unfortunately, her efforts remain unrecognised by the local authorities. When asked about her relationship with the municipality, Saima pointed out that they never showed any kind of support. On the whole, it seems that people are indifferent to stray animals.
Pakistan and Animal Abuse
‘Adoption is almost zero because no one likes to adopt stray cats.’
These are the exact words used by Saima regarding the attitude towards adoption in Pakistan. According to her, people are not only repulsed by the idea of adopting stray cats but also, people opt to get rid of them in unorthodox ways. It is common practice to savagely hit stray animals with stones or to simply let them starve. That is the reason why Saima begs people from Rawalpindi to at least feed stray animals if they cannot afford to adopt them.
Starvation got so bad amongst stray cats that Saima often finds them eating shopping bags to curb their hunger. However, it is better than walking around the city to find unconscious cats lying in plain sight, such as Ella.
Ella, A Tough Cat Mom
Ella is a cat mom which was found unconscious in the street by Saima. Due to her innumerable pregnancies and malnutrition, Ella developed a serious calcium deficiency which hindered her ability to walk for weeks. Fortunately, Saima tended to her and now Ella can walk and look after her adoptive son.
During her recovery, Ella befriended an abandoned kitten who was also living at the House of Paws shelter. Now they are inseparable and Ella is taking care of the kitten as if he is her child. The videos Saima gave us are telling: he simply cannot leave his adoptive mother!
‘I pray for him that Ella lives. He is crying madly after her every time she is not around,’ commented Saima.
Although Ella is currently stable, most likely, she will need to go to the vet for the rest of her life. Still, she can make the best of her remaining days if we help Saima sustain her treatment. To support House of Paws, donate money now to their gofundme page. To contact Saima, you can message them on Instagram at @houseofpawsshelter.