Expat-run pet rescue shelters on Cyprus desperate for funds

Published:  30 Mar at 6 PM
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Expat-owned animal rescue shelters on Cyprus are being hit hard by the pandemic.

It’s not just expats and locals who’re being affected by Cyprus’s increasingly tough anti-pandemic measures – it’s also animal rescue centres on the island. Cyprus’s lockdown began last week, at the same time as the Cypriot government announced a €50,000 emergency fund grant available to animal welfare organisations. However, the shelters themselves are now explaining the amount is far under what’s needed to keep them going indefinitely.

One dog rescue and rehoming shelter’s founder explained the situation to local reporters, saying that her Stray Haven charity shops are now closed for an indefinite period and her 150 rescued dogs get though 100 kilos of biscuits every day. The shelter, she added, also received leftovers from hotels and restaurants, all of which are now closed and will remain so until at least the end of April. Worse still, there’s no money for vets’ bills and other essentials, and the shelter is begging for donations via Paypal in order to buy food.

Although special permission will hopefully be granted to allow the shelter’s volunteers to come and go, adoptions have plummeted due to the inability to check out potentially suitable homes for the dogs unless video chat is available. Another local shelter, Animal Rescue Cyprus, has also confirmed adoptions are at an all time low, adding that increasing numbers of dogs and cats are now being abandoned. The spokesperson asked that the article could also make it crystal clear that, according to updated information, the coronavirus cannot be passed from pets to humans, nor from humans to pets.

Paws Dog Shelter in Achelia is another haven badly affected by the island’s lockdown. Home to 149 rescued dogs, its operation costs including food totals of around €22,000 monthly, with recently cancelled events and the closure of its charity shop now resulting in the hemorrhaging of existing funds. The owner is begging for donations of pet food, with the Paphos and Kato Paphos supermarkets now equipped with donation cages, and Paypal donations can be made via the shelters’ websites.
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