JEDDAH: Saudi national Noha Abdulwahid returned to the Kingdom with the goal of starting a dog society in Jeddah after spending eight years living in Orange County, California, US.
As a hub for dog owners, the Paws Society is a dog cafe where people can bring their dogs to play as well as meet other owners. The Paws Society offers daycare, supplies like food, sand and accessories, grooming services for both dogs and cats, as well as delicious coffee and treats.
“During my time abroad, I have learned and witnessed how each county has a distinctive community, and the entire society supports each community to have the highest possible quality of life,” Abdulwahid told Arab News.
She added: “For instance, one of the stories that amazed me was when there was a fire in a park near the city and a dog rescue center was close by and realized it was unsafe for dogs to stay there, so the manager of the rescue center posted a message on social media asking for help by fostering the dogs until things calmed down. For two hours, the entire center was abandoned. I was astounded and shocked by the community’s resilience.”
When Abdulwahid came back to the Kingdom during the COVID-19 pandemic, she used to stroll around her neighborhood and noticed many people walking their dogs, sparking the idea of building a special canine center for the community.
It occurred to me to start a society for dogs so we can join and share our enthusiasm, expertise and care for animals.
Noha Abdulwahid, Paws Society founder
“The heat is terrible during the summer for dogs and owners, and there are no gated parks for dogs and most public parks do not allow them. It occurred to me to start a society for dogs so we can join and share our enthusiasm, expertise and care for animals. I really thank my husband, who greatly assisted me in turning it from a concept into a real business,” she said.
Her dream was to create a community, not just another supplies shop, so she designed the location to be pet friendly with a big space in the middle containing toys, a playground and lots of seating space.
Abdulwahid ensures that all her employees are friendly and love dogs, and they check each dog that comes in just to make sure they are healthy before letting them play.
“Our society is a very friendly, welcoming, supportive and caring society. Every employee works with passion and love for what they do. Our society members are also very kind and welcoming towards new visitors. I’m sure you’ll feel love in the air by opening our door.”
To give back to society and due to high demand and interest, the Paws Society holds numerous adoption events for dogs in the shelter.
They also host many fun activities and costume parties for dogs, as well as events for Eid holidays.
Jumana Nabeel, a frequent visitor who brings her poodle twice a week, said: “It’s close to my house and a place where you can meet others who have similar hobbies to mine. Their prices in grooming are higher than other places but the products they use are much better because the smell lasts for a long time.”
She added: “The owner is so devoted to dogs that she was the one who bathed my dog. Their drinks are top-notch, plus they have a patio.
“They offer a grooming service, two halls — one for large dogs and one for tiny dogs — as well as a variety of toys and food items. They pay special attention to the small details when it comes to the room and the furniture placement.”