Hello, we are June and Michael, and we would like to tell you our story:
We moved to Cyprus from England in June 2002 hoping to begin a peaceful, simple life relaxing in the sun by the sea. Unfortunately it has turned out everything but simple, we don't have the time or the money for relaxation or enjoyment.Cats and Dogs
Many of you who have visited Cyprus will know the poor situation of stray cats and dogs. We transported our five cats with us from England. Within 6 years of being in Cyprus we now have 46 cats and 6 dogs, in our care. Because we love animals we cannot bear to see an animal suffering from illness or injury and so we take them home and nurse them back to health again. We have rescued cats that have been hit by cars and have dislocated jaws or broken pelvis', many have cat flu, diarrhoea and worms and a lot lose their eyesight through infections. We hoped we would be able to find them homes, but because Cyprus is overrun with stray cats and dogs, all the people here who love animals have too many of their own that they have already adopted, and the shelters are completely full. So there is nowhere for the poor cats to go and so they stay with us. We came to Cyprus with a little rainy day money and also money to get married, but have spent all this on vet bills, medication and food for these cats. We can't even afford the cheapest wedding now and struggle every day to get together every cent to care for these poor abandoned, unwanted cats, and ourselves of course. The sad part is that they are all so loving; it is very rare to find a wild cat. Just a little de-fleaing, food and love and they make the perfect pet just like any cat in England.
What about the dogs? Cyprus is also overrun with stray dogs. The shelters are all full and struggling financially. So much so that many healthy dogs are destroyed every day as there is no room for them at the shelters. It is very sad. We found our dog Scooby, a Labrador cross, lying at the side of the road, with both his back legs broken and too weak to even lift his head. He is fully recovered now from his injuries but not from the mental scars of being beaten and abandoned. He is petrified of people. With a lot of love and understanding he now trusts us. We do find some homes for the animals we rescue (especially kittens) but not enough for the amount we rescue. We don't have the money or the space to keep taking them into our home, we only have a very small semi with a small garden. So what do we do? We get telephone calls at least once a week about puppies that have been dumped in a dustbin or box and left to die. People bring tiny kittens to us that are less than a month old. Kittens are often put into bin bags and thrown on the side of the road by cruel people. These poor innocent creatures didnít ask to be born and many suffer and long and painful death if not found and saved.
These three little puppies were dumped in a dustbin and brought to me. Here they have just had a bath. Now awaiting to be rehomed here in Cyprus.
This is Marlie. Her pregnant mother got hit by a car and left to die. A caring lady rushed her to the vets where sadly she died. The vet quickly opened the mum up in the hope to save the 4 kittens lives inside but sadly they were all dead except for Marlie. We were at the vets at the time and took Marlie home and now she is 6 weeks old and getting stronger every day.
Marlie - 10 months old!
If there was a free service to get stray cats and dogs neutered and spayed I am sure it would help the number of strays go down by more than half and so preventing illness among them. Cats breed most of the year and can have up to 10 kittens per litter. Just think if a female cat got pregnant 3 times a year she can produce up to 30 cats all by herself. Every cat and dog we rescue is immediately neutered/spayed which costs a lot of money. If we had the money we would try to neuter/spay all the strays but it is impossible to do this alone. There is CatSnip in Limassol that raise money to sterlise many strays but there is only 3 people in the organisation and they struggle to do it alone. We are trying to set up a project like CatSnip to sterlise as many strays as possible and if you wish to set up a standing order each month to contribute towards this project please email us for further details. No matter how big or small your contribution it will all help. Thank you.What you can do to help animals while visiting or living in Cyprus
There is so much you can do, rather than nothing, to help the animals, even if you feel it is not enough. Something is better than nothing. It gives an animal a chance. Abandoned kitten and sick/injured cat:
A kitten of 2 months or under has no chance on the streets without its mother. A sick cat will die without help. A simple worming tablet or a course of antibiotics could save a cats life. Medications you can simply buy at a pharmacy or vet. Most cats die here of worms, diarrhoea or flu. Symptoms of worms or diarrhea: underweight, eating lots but not gaining weight. Cure: Boiled chicken and worming tablet. For a kitten less than 3 months quarter tablet, under 6 months half a tablet and a whole tablet for an adult cat. Repeat every week for 3 weeks if very underweight and then every 2 months. Many pharmacies will have cat worming tablets if you canít find a vet. (Ask for Cestal or Drontal for cats).
Symptoms of flu: runny nose, sneezing, running or infected eyes. So many cats lose their eyes because they donít get treatment for the infection. 5-14 days of antibiotics and eye drops every day (3 times a day if possible) will save a cats eyes and its life. Even if you can only treat a cat for 3 or 4 days, it will give it a fighting chance of survival. If you canít find a vet then a pharmacy will have antibiotics you can use for a cat. Many human medicines in Cyprus are prescribed for animals. (Antibiotics: Amoxicillin or oxytetracycline Ė same dosage as for a baby/small child depending on strength or even find a vet phone number by asking the hotel to ring directory inquiries and ask him what to buy from the pharmacy and how much to give). Antibiotic eye drop (Tobrex or Fucidine eye ointment).
If you find a kitten without teeth it means it is not eating solids yet. A kitten opens its eyes between 10-14 days and gets its teeth around 3 weeks. Simple buy a tin of evaporated milk (DO NOT GIVE ANY OTHER MILK) and mix half and half milk and water. The kitten will feed better if the milk and water is warm (not hot). Syringe feed the kitten (get syringes from pharmacy) as much as it will take. If it donít take you will have to gently give a few drops every few minutes, sometimes a kitten will not take the milk for the first 24 hours and you have to be careful not to false feed it as the fluid will go into the lungs. Just a tiny bit at a time until it starts to suckle itself and let it drink until it has had enough. The belly should feel round and firm (not hard). This should be done every 4 hours. Wipe the toilet area of the kitten with damp tissue as it will need your help to pass its toilet (the mother would normally stimulate by licking). Also buy a hot water bottle from the pharmacy as the kitten must be kept warm at all times, even in the summer. Make sure you wrap it is in a towel and put your hand on top to feel how much warmth the kitten will get when it is on top of it. It should warm your hand not burn it. Reheat the water in the bottle as soon as it gets too cool. If the kitten keeps moving away from the warmth then let it as it means it is warm enough. At 3 weeks introduce a little liquidised/mashed soft kitten food and also give it paste for worms, this needs to be done every week for at least 3 weeks. At 4-6 weeks it will start to learn to eat alone. At 9 weeks it will need its first vaccine. Then you can look to find it a new home if you do not want to keep it yourself.Abandoned kitten and sick/injured cat:
There is so much you can do, rather than nothing, to help the animals, even if you feel it is not enough. Something is better than nothing. It gives an animal a chance.Abandoned/Injured/Sick Puppies and Dogs:
Many puppies and dogs get abandoned in Cyprus and will starve to death or get hit by a car and killed. If you live in Cyprus then take the dog/pup home and get it healthy before finding it a new home, or ask a friend to foster it until a permanent home is found. Donít just leave it and hope someone else will care of it as it does not always happen that way. No excuses that you donít have room, there is always room, look at us! Use a spare room or shed or the garden with a warm and dry shelter. The poor dog does not deserve to be left to die, they cannot survive alone as well as cats. Small puppies need warmth like a baby so use a hot water bottle wrapped in a towel, keep the water in the bottle warm at all times. Ask your vet for further advice for puppies under a month old. Always worm the dog immediately (puppies at 3 weeks). Also give flea treatment (be careful as some flea treatments are not suitable for puppies). If it wonít eat then it is sick and needs a vet. Probably just needs some antibiotics for an internal infection but if there is an injury this will need immediate vet treatment. If you canít afford the vet bill all at once explain this and arrange to pay weekly or monthly Ė a good vet will understand especially for a stray dog. It will not be too expensive whatever the treatment. Check to see if the animal is micro-chipped while at the vet. If you are only in Cyprus on a short visit then ring around all the animal shelters, get a phone number for a shelter that can then pass you on to another if they cannot help. This is a last resort as all shelters are full and if they take another animal it could mean being destroyed.
It is free to advertise for a new home in the local newspapers (Cyprus Mail/Cyprus Weekly) as long as you donít want money for the animal. Make sure the animal goes to a good home not to just anyone and make sure they are not going to breed it. If possible make them pay to have it sterilised before handing it over so you have peace of mind. There are thousands of dogs in Cyprus that need homes and many are being destroyed every day. If it is a puppy it will need to be vaccinated as soon as possible against Parvovirus. Donít be ignorant and donít expect someone else to help the animal, open your heart and help an animal as you would want to be helped. Do not hesitate to email us for further advice: firstname.lastname@example.orgA Desperate Situation
Within 6 years we have become desperate. We are not only struggling to help these poor defenseless strays but also we are struggling to feed ourselves every day. We are not the only ones in Cyprus in this situation and every day our hearts are being broken by the amount of suffering and dying animals that we can't help by ourselves. All the animal shelters and charities in Cyprus are all struggling financially and also need help. We got involved with helping a dog shelter a year ago because we were contacted and asked if we could help advertises to get funds and find homes for the dogs. The shelter is just a large warehouse managed by a few volunteers. There are around 100 dogs and puppies at the shelter and as quick as homes are found for some of the dogs other are dumped outside. They have a no euthanasia policy (unless an animal is too ill to save) so when a dog is dumped outside the shelter they have no choice but to find room for the dog inside so there are too many dogs in each dog pen. They do not get any regular funding so Michael did a sponsored walk last year from Limassol to Larnaca to raise money for them Ė as desperate as we are ourselves for funds too because we are not a registered charity we are not allowed to do fundraising events and just rely on kind people around the world to click on our donate button.
In January 2007 we sent 13 cats and 1 dog to the UK to new homes through friends of ours in the UK. February 2008 we sent another dog to the UK to a new home. May 2008 we sent 3 cats and 2 dogs to new homes in the UK. In June 2008 we sent 15 cats to the UK and in January 2009 we sent 4 dogs to new homes in the UK. All with the help of our friend Judith Ross who works for the Cat Protection League and also works at Heathrow Airport. She has been fantastic in finding good homes for some of our animals and raising some funds towards the flights to transport them to the UK.
We still need to find many responsible and kind homes for our cats as we just cannot afford to take care of them all. We love every single one of our animals and it breaks our hearts to have to part with them but we have no choice. We need to send them to safe and loving homes to live out the rest of their lives. Please see our 'Adoption Pages' for cats needing homes.Poisoning
The poisoning of pets and strays happens in Cyprus every single day. It is so simple and easy to just go and buy the poison, namely Lanate, over the counter and people then put a bit on some meat and leave it on the streets, beaches, parks for a poor stray cat or dog to eat. But it is not just the strays that pick the meat up it is peopleís own pet cat or when a pet owner has been out walking their dog and it has picked the meat up and died within minutes. It is lethal and if an antidote is not given within the first few minutes the animal will endure terrible suffering before dying. I recently had 2 of my cats poisoned at 2am in the morning. Trying to get a vet at that time of the morning is near enough impossible. Luckily we had the antidote to give them and we managed to find a vet that answered his telephone and rushed them straight to him 20 kilometres from our house. After 48 hours on a drip thankfully our cats survived and are well again but we live in fear every day wondering when it will happen again. The police get reports of poisoning of animals every day but unless someone is caught red handed putting the poison down the police cannot do anything. For years petitions have been signed and sent to the Government begging them to stop the sale of poisons over the counter but still the Government have done nothing.†
ANY HELP WOULD BE TRULY APPRECIATED. PLEASE PASS ON THIS WEBSITE ADDRESS TO ALL YOUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS AND HELP US HELP THE CATS AND DOGS OF CYPRUS