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Saudi Arabia hosts region’s first Digital Art Forum

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JEDDAH: Crowded pet shops with barely enough room to walk. Kittens are separated from their mothers in bird cages. Litter boxes and food are crammed into small spaces. People can buy the animal they want and walk out, no questions asked.

In Saudi Arabia, pet shop owners do not need a special license to open and run such a business. The conditions in pet shops and the lack of accountability are two of the reasons that animal shelters in Jeddah are urging locals to adopt instead of buying the pets.

Nour Fitiany, 24, is a volunteer for the Jeddah dog shelter Open Paws. She told Arab News: “Pet shops and breeders don’t always treat animals kindly. Their main goal is financial so, for them, it is not an issue to over-breed an animal or to keep them caged for extended periods in poor health.”

Open Paws takes steps to ensure compatibility between the home environment and the pet. It checks that the house is appropriate for the particular dog breed and that each family member accepts having a pet in the house. Once the adoption process is concluded, the shelter follows up to…

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