About Us

1Who are we?
Animals and Us is a privately owned and operated animal shelter. The founder, Michelle Francis, has rescued thousands of animals over the last almost 20 years. She privately rents the land on which the shelter sits and has over the years built the shelter up to what is today. She is a full-time school teacher and runs the shelter around her full time job. We are currently home to nearly 400 animals, most of which have been rescued from the streets, often after suffering horrific suffering and abuse. We aim to rescue, rehabilitate and rehome as many animals as possible. We are 100% funded by public support.
2Where are you located?
Our animal shelter is based in Fujairah, United Arab Emirates – the majority of the animals we rescue are from the streets of Fujairah, UAE. We do not publicly disclose the exact location of our shelter for the safety of our animals.
3Can I visit the shelter?
For the safety of our animals, we do not publicly disclose the location of our shelter or have specific opening times. We are a working animal shelter run by a very small number of workers which means time is precious and we have to maintain a consistent routine with our animals. Once approved to foster or adopt, pre-booked visits to the shelter can be arranged through the member of the team you are liaising with. We do sometimes host shelter open days which will be advertised on our social media channels.
4Who are the Animals and Us Team?
The shelter was founded and is run by Michelle Francis. Michelle is a full time school teacher and runs the shelter around her full time job. She carries out all rescue on her own.
Within the shelter we have a few paid workers who care for the animals on a day to day basis. They do amazing work and are the reason the shelter is able to keep going. Our animals adore them.
A small team of around 8 volunteers run all the administrative work for the shelter including adoption screening, social media, adoption days, events, vet co-ordination, our website, transport etc. All of our volunteers work full time and carry out shelter work around their full-time jobs.
Want to become part of the team? If you can commit to around 10 hours weekly, please email us at [email protected] We’d love to have you on board.
5I’ve found an animal, can you help rescue them?
Unfortunately there are thousands of stray animals on the streets of the UAE. As one organisation, fully reliant on public support, we are only able to do so much. We often have enormous outstanding bills and rarely have space available in the shelter – this limits our rescue abilities. If you come across an injured animal, please take responsibility and take them to a vet – you could be their difference between life and death.
6Do you only rescue dogs?
No! Whilst the majority of our residents are dogs, we have a large cattery that is home to many kittens and cats. Our cats are also available for foster and adoption. We also feed a number of donkeys in the areas surrounding the shelter in addition to the hundreds of dogs and cats on the streets.
7Do you help animals on the street?
Whilst we wish that we could take in every animal suffering on the street, the sad reality is that we cannot. We currently feed and provide water to hundreds of animals on the streets. We do what we can, with the means we have, to help them until we are in a position to rescue them.
8How do I contact Animals and Us?
The best way to contact us is via email at [email protected] or via direct message on our social media channels at @animalsandusfuj. We do not have a telephone or Whatsapp number due to the fact our shelter is run by a small team of working volunteers only.

Support

1How can I help to provide food to the animals?
Food is a huge monthly expense – feeding hundreds of animals every day is extremely expensive! We choose to feed our animals nutritous, quality food – this means healthier animals and less vet bills in the future. There are a few main ways you can help to provide food for our animals:

2Do you require any items that I might be able to help provide?
We are always in need of items such as old sheets, towels, bedding, blankets etc. Items such as unopened food, leashes and harnesses are also always welcome. We have a drop off locations in Dubai – please email us at [email protected] or via direct message on our socials for details.
3How can I help Animals and Us?
There are many ways in which you can support our shelter!

  • By fostering or adopting, you make space for us to rescue another animal from the streets
  • By becoming a monthly sponsor, you help to provide basic needs for a dog for a month
  • By buying food vouchers, you help to feed hundreds of animals in the shelter and on the street
  • By sponsoring towards the things we critically need, like vet bills and shelter kennels, you help to keep our shelter doors open
4I can’t adopt or foster, can I sponsor a dog or cat?
Yes! Our monthly sponsorships are hugely important and help us to keep our doors open. They help to provide things like food and medical care as well as keep our shelter open. Monthly sponsorship is AED 200 and you can sign up here.
5Do you need volunteers?
Our shelter is run by a very small team of volunteers, most of which volunteer around full time jobs. We are always in need of an extra pair of hands. Whether you can help with things like transport, want to volunteer at our adoption days or can commit 5-10 hours a week to help with admin work, we’d love to have you on board. Please email [email protected] or message us on our socials at @animalsandusfuj.
6Can my company get involved with Animals and Us?
Yes! We welcome corporate sponsors and are open to hosting corporate responsibility events. Please email [email protected] or message us on our socials at @animalsandusfuj.

Adopting & Fostering

1Why is it important to adopt and not shop?
You are supporting reputable organisations wanting to make a difference in animal welfare. By adopting, you are giving a home to a happy, healthy dog that is currently homeless and deserves to be loved.
By buying a pet, you are often funding animal cruelty, with many puppies in pet shops coming from horrific conditions in puppy mills. Sometimes these animals are sick.
2I am interested in adopting a dog or cat, what is the process?
Our process starts by filling out the application to adopt which can be found here.
You can find our full process here.
3I am interested in fostering a dog or cat, what is the process?
Our process starts by filling out the application to foster which can be found here.
You can find our full process here.
4What is fostering? Why is it important?
When you sign up to foster, you take a pet into your home and provide them with love, care and attention as if they were your own dog. This can either be for a fixed, agreed period of time or until the pet is adopted. It is so important for many reasons but by fostering you are not only getting a dog ready for their forever home by socialising them, helping us to understand what their perfect home looks like and providing ongoing training but you are also freeing up space in the shelter so that we can continue rescuing. It’s hugely rewarding!
5What are the responsibilities of a foster?
Your main responsibilities are to provide love, care, time and patience as you would with a pet of your own. The pet remains under the responsibility of Animals and Us meaning we take care of all vet and medical bills. Usually our fosters provide things like food and toys but this can be arranged if not possible. During your foster period, you are required to send the team lots of photos and videos so that we can search for their forever home. You may also be asked to bring the pet to adoption days on the weekend.
6Does being a foster cost me anything?
All vet and medical bills and covered by Animals and Us. Usually our fosters provide things like food and toys but this can be arranged if not possible.
7How long can I foster for?
We usually ask for a minimum foster commitment of 4 weeks. There is no maximum time you can foster a dog for, many foster until the dog finds their forever home.
8What if I become attached to my fostered pet and want to adopt them?
We love a ‘foster fail’! If you fall in love with your fostered pet then you can let us know and we will begin our adoption process.
9What are your adoption fees?
Our standard adoption fees 1,500 dhs inclusive of vaccinations, microchip and neutering. Second dogs are 1,000 dhs and there is no fee if you adopt a special needs or third doggy.
10What do your adoption fees include?
Our adoption fees include vaccinations, microchip and neutering. If your pet is too young to be neutered, the adoption fee covers their future surgery, when they are old enough.
11Why do I have to pay an adoption fee? Isn’t that the same as buying a pet?
Shelter adoption fees cover the cost of food, medicine, spay/neuter surgery, vaccinations, microchipping, and other important things that your new pet needs. Whilst some pets in our care cost lesser amounts, many cost much much more and sadly many are never adopted and require lifelong care. The nominal adoption fee goes directly towards keeping the shelter open and running. In other words, your money is going to help animals. When you give your money to pet stores or breeders, they use it to breed and often abuse more animals. Why would you not want to instead give a home to a healthy, happy pet already in this world?
12What should I do to prepare for welcoming a pet?
  • We often recommend making sure that you have ample free time during the first few weeks of taking home a new pet. You need to have the time and patience to get your new pet into a routine and to bond with the pet so that they feel safe.
  • Nutritious, quality food, especially home cooked food like chicken, vegetables and rice is not only good for the pet but also helps to create trust and a bond.
  • A comfy bed, leash, collar and harness and a few chew toys are also a good place to start.
  • Ensure that all outside space is completely secured.
  • Do your research, particularly on positive reinforcement training techniques. So much of a pets behavior is driven by our actions.
13What can I expect when I foster or adopt a pet?
The most important thing is…. please don’t expect everything to be perfect from the start! If you don’t have patience, please do not take home a new pet. You must remember that you are bringing a pet into the home who doesn’t know you, doesn’t know the environment, doesn’t know the rules and doesn’t know if they are safe. They need time. We tend to work by the 3-3-3 rule:

  • In the first 3 days…
    • Your new pet will likely be overwhelmed. Don’t be alarmed if they don’t want to eat for the first couple of days or even if they have trouble going to the toilet (or the opposite!) - these are signs of stress. Your pet may shut down and want to curl up in a safe space like under the table and will likely be scared and unsure of what is going on. Give them space and let them come to you. They may be defensive with the pets in your home as they figure out if they are a threat - interactions should be supervised and gradual. Or they may be the opposite and test you to see what he can get away with.
  • In the first 3 weeks…
    • Your pet is starting to settle in and feeling a bit more comfortable. They are likely to have begun trusting you and the other pets in your home. Your pet has probably figured out his environment and you should be starting to get into a routine although there may still be accidents as they continue to figure out the rules of the home. You may even see some real personality! Behaviour issues may start showing, so be sure to demonstrate consistent training via positive reinforcement techniques.
  • In the first 3 months…
    • Your dog is now almost completely comfortable in your home. You will have built trust and a true bond with your pet which gives them a sense of security with you. They should be set in a routine and will come to expect his dinner and walkies at their usual time!
It can be a slow and time consuming process but it is 100% worth it!
14I live in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Ras Al Khaimah or Al Ain, can I adopt or foster a pet?
Yes! Most of our animals are in homes across Dubai, Abu Dhabi and the Northern Emirates.
15Do you require permission from my landlord to keep a pet?
In order to adopt a pet from us, you will need to provide us with an NOC or letter from your landlord. This is not required to foster although you should have permission.
16I don’t live in the UAE, do you do overseas adoptions?
Sometimes! Some of our dogs have been adopted out to countries such as Canada, UK and Germany. However, we do usually require a recommendation or referral from our network for the protection of our animals.
17I’m a first time pet owner, can I foster or adopt a pet?
Yes! All of our dogs are thoroughly assessed before moving into a foster or adoptive home. We have a thorough screening process to make sure we can match you with a dog best suited to your family and lifestyle. Everyone is a first time pet owner at some point! We do often recommend fostering first to first time pet owners as it’s a great way for you to understand whether you’re prepared for the commitment. We aim to offer you as much support as possible via our dedicated Whatsapp groups. As long as you have the time, patience, willingness to learn and lots of love to give, you can adopt or foster!
18I live in an apartment, can I foster or adopt a pet?
Yes! All of our dogs are thoroughly assessed before moving into a foster or adoptive home. We have a thorough screening process to make sure we can match you with a dog best suited to your family and lifestyle. As long as your pet receives sufficient exercise and stimulation, most pets will adapt to living in an apartment. Pets ultimately want to be where their humans are, no matter how big or small the space!
19I work full time, can I foster or adopt a pet?
Yes! All of our dogs are thoroughly assessed before moving into a foster or adoptive home. We have a thorough screening process to make sure we can match you with a dog best suited to your family and lifestyle. However, if everyone in your home works full time, you will need to make suitable arrangements for your pet. We don’t recommend leaving your pet alone for more than 6 hours a day at a maximum. Puppies cannot be left alone for more than an hour or two, especially at first. If you need to be out of the home for longer periods, particularly consistently, then you will need to consider a licensed daycare or pet sitter.
20I already have a pet, can I foster or adopt a pet?
Yes! All of our dogs are thoroughly assessed before moving into a foster or adoptive home. We have a thorough screening process to make sure we can match you with a dog best suited to your family and lifestyle. Proper introductions, usually on neutral ground are best and you shouldn’t expect everyone to be best friends immediately - interactions should be closely monitored and supervised at first and there may be some growling or snapping. But with time, many pets grow to be inseparable and at worse, indifferent to each other!
21I have children, is it safe for me to adopt a pet, especially if I don’t know their background?
Yes! All of our dogs are thoroughly assessed before moving into a foster or adoptive home. We have a thorough screening process to make sure we can match you with a dog best suited to your family and lifestyle. Many of our dogs are currently in foster with children and many of our dogs have been adopted by families with children and they are now best friends! As much as the dog needs to be trained to behave around children, it is a two way street and you also need to ensure that children are taught how to properly and politely interact with your pet too!
22What support do you provide if I foster or adopt a pet?
We have dedicated Whatsapp groups with some of our team set up with every single one of our fosters and adopters. These Whatsapp groups are here for you to ask any question, raise any concerns and share updates. If you need anything, please just ask - we will always try to help.
23What happens if there are any issues once I take my pet home?
Firstly, we will always take a pet back under our care - you should never attempt to rehome your pet without first contacting us. However, in the first instance, we will try to give you advice and help you to work through the problems. Remember, a dog is not fully decompressed until 3+ months and the first weeks are the toughest. Things will get better and most issues are solvable with time, patience and proper training.
24Why do we insist on neutering / spaying pets?
We do not believe in breeding dogs especially when there are so many dogs without homes on the streets. We want to be part of the solution and not part of the problem - we do not allow any of our animals to be bred and we will not risk any ‘accidents’. It also has a huge number of health and behavioural benefits.
25What kinds of dogs and cats do you have?
The majority of our dogs and cats are rescued from the streets. We often don’t know their breed or exact age. They are all beautiful and so grateful to be saved and have a chance to be loved.
26Do you have any small dogs or specific breeds?
No. All of our dogs are beautiful mixed breeds. We always say ‘desert mix’ but we don’t know which mixes. All we know is that rescue is our favourite breed! The majority of our dogs are medium in size, usually ranging from around 15kgs to 25kgs.
27Do you have adoption days? When are they?
We host regular adoption days, mostly on a weekend and these are predominantly held in Dubai. Our adoption days will always be advertised on our social channels at @animalsandusfuj.