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€31,200 Fine because he put his dog in a sack and abandoned him!

On the 27th June 2013 a man was seen throwing his dog from the car, tied in a sack in the area of Stavroxori Kilkis, Central Macedonia,Greece.  The witnesses took down his number plates and informed the local animal welfare association.
Volunteers arrived at the place, opened the sack and photographed the dog that was, of course very frightened and took him to the vet for treatment.  With the statement of the witnesses, the owner was found and is a resident of Kalamarias.
The perpetrator was fined €31,200  ( €300 for no microchip, €300 for failing to maintain the welfare of the dog, €300 for no possession of health book, €300 for abandonment and €30,000 for cruelty) and criminal charges were brought against him as well.

Below in Greek.


Όπως ενημερωθήκαμε από τον Φιλοζωικό Σύλλογο Κιλκίς, ένας άνδρας στις 27 Ιουνίου, πέταξε τον σκύλο του από το αμάξι του δεμένο μέσα σε ένα σακί, στην περιοχή Σταυροχώρι Κιλκίς.
Αυτόπτες μάρτυρες κράτησαν τις πινακίδες του και ενημέρωσαν άμεσα τον Σύλλογο.
Εθελοντές έφτασαν στο σημείο, άνοιξαν το τσουβάλι, βρήκαν τον σκύλο των φωτογραφιών - τρομαγμένο όπως είναι φυσικό - και τον πήραν μαζί τους για περίθαλψη.
Με την μαρτυρία των ανθρώπων που είδαν το περιστατικό, κατέθεσαν καταγγελία εναντίον του δράστη, ο οποίος εντοπίστηκε και είναι κάτοικος Καλαμαριάς.
Στον δράστη επιβλήθηκε Διοικητικό πρόστιμο 31.200€ (300€ για microchip,300€ για μη τήρηση ευζωίας του ζώου, 300€ γιατί δεν είχε βιβλιάριο, 300€ για εγκατάλειψη και 30.000€ για κακοποίηση) ενώ ασκήθηκε και ποινική δίωξη.

Finally the news we have all been waiting for THUNDER IS REHOMED!!

Today has been one of the happiest days for all of us at Argos and more so for Thunder, who, as a 5-month old puppy was brutally abused, left with physical scars has finally been rehomed. Olivia and Alexis used to foster dogs until they were ready to be united with their new families and after seeing how appreciative these once homeless dogs were, they decided that they wanted to give such a dog a home. 

The decision to adopt Thunder was mutual as they felt that because of what Thunder went through in his initial years needed a home that could offer him the space, love, patience and time to become whole again.  They visited Thunder many times whilst he was at the shelter getting to know him and allowing Thunder to win their trust.  

Today Thunder clearly showed his happiness at seeing Olivia and Alexis and started doing made runs up and down the compound, away from us and then up to us, wagging his tail and with a wide grin across his face.  He was a little apprehensive about getting into the car because the only time he did get into one was to go to the vets so not surprisingly, he associated the car with those visits.  There are the first pictures of Thunder leaving the home he has known so far and the first photos taken this evening in his new home. Way to go Thunder boy, you deserve all the best in life and hope that what you derive from this home will make up for all the bad things that have happened to you in the past.
Lovingly as always, your guardian…Stella xx

Thunder leaving the shelter with his new owners.

Hill's Sponsorship.

This month a new sponsor has stepped in to help some of our cats. We would like to thank
Hill's Pet Nutrition, Cyprus for their support and also the Cyprus Weekly for announcing the news.

Nicos’ birthday celebrations at Argos sanctuary.

‘Celebrating my birthday at Argos shelter was the best impulsive idea I had so far! The appreciation from friends and Argos supporters was obvious since more than 1000 kilos of dog and cat food were collected that day for our animals and €732 in cash donations - that was my birthday gift.  But then another gift came from abroad when a German friend decided to adopt one of our dogs, the Husky 'Sabre'.  Sending a dog of that size abroad is costly so another friend stepped in to cover the rest of the travelling expenses of 'Sabre' again as my birthday gift! I really think at the age of 45, this were the best birthdays so far!’

In Memory of Ray Middleton.

It was with much sadness that we received news early in July that our friend and co worker Ray Middleton had passed away. Ray had fought a long battle with cancer and had returned to the UK earlier this year. His many friends at the sanctuary will remember him as a quiet and gentle man with a remarkable bond with the dogs with whom he worked . Our thoughts and sympathies are with his family and those close to him at this time. A tree will be planted in his memory.

A last farewell to Ralph a long-time resident at Argos.

For a few months now we had noticed that his body was coming up with wounds which we thought were scars from various scuffles with other dogs.   To treat these small numerous wounds, we isolated him for a while to keep them clean.  The vet had checked his skin several times, gave antibiotic injections but did not seem to improve and as he exhibited no other signs, he was let out in the open compound where he was happiest in the company of his favorite friend Daisy.  
Two days ago though, he clearly wanted to come in to holding and as soon as he was let in, he lay on the floor.  We picked him up and bathed him and placed him in a kennel to relax.  He clearly looked unwell, tired and listless and we thought that the heat had been too much for him.
Today, 31/8/13, we called the vet to check him over as he was in a worse condition – he was lying on the floor of his kennel, unable to move.  On hearing our voices he slowly wagged his tail in recognition, whilst his eyes remained closed and a huge lump could be seen under his chin.   The vet diagnosed a tumor in the throat and Ralphy is now at peace, bounding like a young puppy over the rainbow to meet other friends there.  Goodbye Ralphy and I hope that your stay at the shelter has been a pleasant one, as it has been for us to have you here.

Στερνό αντίο στον Ράλφ………ένοικος μακράς διάρκειας στο καταφύγιο Άργος.

Τους τελευταίους μήνες προσέξαμε πληγές να εμφανίζονται στο σώμα του που φαίνονταν σαν να ήταν από μικρό- τσακωμούς.  Τον απομονώσαμε λίγες μέρες να περιποιηθούμε τις πληγές του και ο γιατρός του χορήγησε σειρά προληπτικές αντιβιοτικές ενέσεις για μόλυνση.  Δεν είχε εκδηλώσει άλλα συμπτώματα και τον αφήσαμε να βγει στον χώρο του, ελεύθερος στο καταφύγιο μαζί με την αγαπημένη του Daisy.

Πριν δυο μέρες μας έδειξε καθαρά ότι ήθελε να μπει μέσα και μόλις μπήκε, ξάπλωσε στο έδαφος αποχαυνωμένος και νομίσαμε ότι τον πείραξε η υπερβολική ζέστη που βιώνει όλος ο κόσμος αυτές τις μέρες.  Τον λούσαμε και τον περιποιηθήκαμε και τον βάλαμε σε ξεχωριστώ χώρο μόνο του να μπορέσει να συνέλθει.     

Σήμερα όμως αναγκαστήκαμε να φωνάξουμε τον γιατρό διότι είχε χειροτερέψει – ήταν ξαπλωμένος στο έδαφος και δεν μπορούσε να κινηθεί παρά μόνο να κουνήσει την ουρά του αφού άκουγε τη φωνή μας .  Τα μάτια του ήταν κλειστά και καθώς ήταν ξαπλωμένος, φάνηκε ένας  όγκος στον λαιμό του κάτω από το πιγούνι.   Φωνάξαμε τον  κτηνίατρο ο οποίος διαπίστωσε τον όγκο και τώρα ο Ράλφ αναπαύεται εν ειρήνη και αναπηδά πάνω από το ουράνιο τόξο  μαζί με άλλους αγαπημένους του φίλους.  Αντίο Ράλφη και εύχομαι ότι η διαμονή σου στο καταφύγιο Άργος να ήταν ευχάριστη όπως και για μας που σε είχαμε κοντά μας.


Thunder's global friends.

Thunder’s terrible ordeal as a 5-month old puppy has travelled the world and touched many hearts. Throughout his recovery, many concerned people wanted to be kept informed of his progress and followed his updates both on our facebook and website pages.  People were heartened on seeing photos of his gradual recovery and eventual physical healing and now that he is as good as he will ever be, his friends still want to be informed and whenever the possibility of a visit to the shelter lends itself, they will come to meet him and show their love to a puppy that passed from the jaws of death and made it in one piece, save for a limp as a result of a broken leg he had sustained during his attack.

Last week we welcomed to the shelter Ian and Anna Morrison, visiting from the UK, who followed Thunders story and made a point of coming to the shelter to meet him in person.  In Ian’s own words, “He is an absolute delight and we had such and great time helping out and meeting all of your wonderful dogs and both came away grateful of the short time we had with them all.  We are desperate to help and will be trying to find ways of fund raising very soon. We can’t wait to come back to Cyprus and would love to spend more time on our next visit at your shelter helping out if possible.”

Thank you Anna and Ian for your encouraging words and we are happy that our list of global friends of the shelter is growing.  Without all of you and your support, the shelter and its rescued animals would still be just an idea.

Thank you….Stella

Ian meeting Thunder.

Anna and Ian meeting our rescued dogs and pups.

A big thank you to the Maskell family.

Ali Maskell and her daughter Yazmin in UK have adopted 3 dogs from ARGOS (Rex in 2010, Patch in 2011 and Dougal in 2012)  Sadly Rex died in 2011 but he had a wonderful life with them and great times with much love..
Ali and Yazmin regularly send boxes of goodies for the dogs and cats. They collect these donations from friends, at car boot sales and even spend their birthday money buying things for our ARGOS animals.
The latest box of goodies arrived yesterday with a lovely card to everyone. The goodies ranged from frontline, worming pills, toys, bowls, bedding, collars, leads, treats, cat toys and scratching post.
We would just like to say what a fantastic kind thing they do for ARGOS on a regular basis and cannot thank them enough for their support.

Chips with everything.

There seems to be a lot of confusion over the recent changes to the microchipping laws . Here we hope to clarify things and stress the importance of this essential and quick process that could literally be a matter of life or death for your dog
Microchipping actually came into force in 2004 but the Local Authorities whose responsibility it is to enforce the law rarely did anything about this . Nowthe Governement vet services have written up regulations which state that all animals re homed from any animal facility must not leave the centre without a microchip. At Argos therefore  we have made arrangements with the 4 vets we cooperate with ( Situated in Larnaca, Ormidhia and Paralimni) to charge a reduced fee of 20 euros to microchip our re homed dogs.  The new owners will now prepay this amount to us and we will issue a voucher which they can then present to the vet. 

It is the responsibility of the vets who do the implantation to enter thedetails on the central register to which they have access.  Before the electronic access to the central microchip register, the vets filled out a receipt in triplicate.  They had to give one copy to the owner, one copy they kept themselves and the third copy they had to send to the Govt. vet to be entered on the register.  Many vets simply did not bother and this is why at Argos although we get many dogs found with a microchip the fact that they have not been registered makes it impossible to track the owners.

Argos supporter Martin Best has first hand experience of just how important a micrchip can be when he lost his beloved pointer Cleo last year.

Martin takes up his story

"I freely confess that when I found Cleo 6 years ago I attached no importance whatsoever to having her microchipped as it was never something I'd had done before with dogs in the past. But I was hassled by someone from the Municipality several times to get a dog licence, the first step of which was to get Cleo microchipped, so eventually I gave in to the pressure and took her to the vet.
The vet inserted the chip in her neck and spent ages typing away on her computer. I mistakenly assumed that she'd done everything necessary and that Cleo was now traceable if she got lost. This wasn't the case. I now know that vets didn't always register microchips. That's something you had to do yourself.
When Cleo went missing I suddenly realised that the chip now had the wrong address (I'd moved). That's when I discovered it had never been registered so I went to the Veterinary Services office immediately and got it all done.
So when the Cleo was found and taken to the vet in Oroklini, he simply scanned her, found the microchip and got my details from Veterinary Services. A happy ending, and an extremely lucky one!
I was ignorant of the system, and I was complacent. It was never explained to me properly or maybe it was but I just didn't bother taking it in because I didn't attach any importance to it.Basically, I was an ignorant fool! If it wasn't for that microchip I'd never have seen Cleo again and I'd have spent the rest of my life wondering what happened to her, wracked with guilt.”

Martins is a story with a happy ending. And since then he notes that the the vets can now register the information directly onto a central database and therefore cut out the middle man. This new electronic register makes it far easier for vets to register the chip without the lengthy paperwork but do always double check that your chip is registered. The next step is to take the registration certificate and health book to the Local council or municipality to obtain a dog licence. There have been many reports lately of municipality workers stopping dog owners and requesting evidence of a current dog licence and fines being handed out 

It is a chilling thought though that if an un chipped dog finds it way into a pound it may have as little as 15 days before being euthanised. The simple addition of a collar with your number on it will also make re uniting dogs with their owners far simpler.

Microchipping saved Cleo's life.

Confiscating an animal.

We are often called on by the public to investigate animals living in poor conditions. These can be difficult and complicated cases and the results depend very much on cooperation of the owners who despite seeming to show no care for their pets will still often fight to keep them.

When we receive a call such as in the case of recent Argos resident Storm we will initially assess the situation and take photos as evidence . If we consider the conditions unsuitable we will if necessary report the animal to the local police or veterinary services.

Stella here explains the process and how the “official “line can sometimes lead to yet more complications.

“ The animal confiscation procedure is not as simple as many people think. Initially, upon investigation, we have to complete a form, take photos, speak to the owners and give them advice on what remedial measuresmust be done.  We have to give them at least 15 days.  After the time period is up, we visit again and if the corrective measures have not been implemented, we have to then write a report to the district govt. vet Services and to the police ( these are the competent Authority under theanimal welfare law) and together, we confiscate the animal.
The majority of the cases, I do not involve the police or the govt. vet.Inspectors as they can botch things up and afterwards I cannot do anything for the animal. Such was the case of the St Bernard dog last year.  I go alone, waive my authorisation ID card as a member of theDistrict Animal Welfare Committee and they get scared and let me do what I want”

The Government Veterinary Inspectors or the Police, can investigate a cruelty or neglect case and give the necessary instructions to the citizen breaking the law (how to improve the living conditions of an animal). However, if this person does not comply with the instructions within a reasonable time limit, and if the animals’ life is at risk, they have the right to confiscate the animal. 

In case the animals’ life is in immediate danger, they have the right to confiscate it at once. 
Unfortunately this is seldom done as both competent authorities have no premises to accommodate confiscated animals.
It is not possible for Argos to work outside the law and simply take an animal , however in some cases at the stage and owner will then give up the pet rather than become involved with the police If a citizen reports a cruelty case to the Police and the Police is not aware of how the living conditions of an animal should be, then the Police must call the District Government Veterinary Office for assistance. Both competent authorities must cooperate between them.

On the 30th May last year Argos received an email informing us of two dogs living in appalling conditions . Stella went to the place described, saw the dogs, took photographs and went straight to the district veterinary services who then also visited the place. They told Stella to take the dogs and they left. Stella also called the police and waited for them to get to the spot so they could see for themselves. The dogs ( Bones and Fonzy) were taken to the shelter and a few days later, the owner called to say that he wanted his dogs back. He was told clearly that he would never get back the dogs . In this case the involvement of the authorities helped to get a fast release for these dogs, however we are still awaiting a court date for his prosecution.

A few months later we were drawn to the attention of a St Bernard also living in unsuitable conditions and we followed the same procedure . In this case though the vet. services gave the owner a warning and instructions on how he must improve conditions. 

The owner proceeded with the changes which the vet services then ( much against our will ) approved. Despite several e mails of protest being sent the vet. services refused to back down and admit that the improvements they had requested were unsuitable and therefore Argos at this point was left with no option but to stay within the law.

International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW)

Vists Argos animal shelter 30 April 2013.

The recent unprecedented economic disaster which plunged Cyprus into economic chaos, had placed even more of a strain on the island’s animal shelters and drove them closer  to the brink of closure.  Amidst the chaos of human suffering, the plight of animals is ignored.  IFAW responded immediately to the crisis by sending emergency cash to their Cyprus partner, Cyprus Voice for Animals, to purchase food for the island’s suffering shelters.  As IFAW EU Regional Director Sonja Van Tichelen stated, “In the past IFAW has provided this kind of emergency aid in conflict zones like the Tripoli Zoo, Baghdad or Cairo during the Arab spring – it seems inconceivable that an EU member state would be in a position of need similar to those countries but that is the reality on the ground there,”

Argos would like to thank IFAW for 12 x 20kg sacks of cat food, 55 x 20kg sacks of dog food and 4 x 20kg sacks of puppy food.  Following the donation of food, the IFAW team decided to pay a visit to Cyprus, see the shelters that benefited from the food and see in what other ways they could help.

On the 30th April we were delighted to welcome to the Argos shelter the 2 members of the IFAW team, Shanon Walajtis ( IFAW USA) and James Pirnay (IFAW Belgium), escorted by CVA President Mary Anastasi.  Here are some photos of Shanon and James visit to Argos shelter, where they took many photos and gathered a lot of  information for their report to their main office.

From Princess of shy to shining Princess.

Sadly for Maisie she ticked all the wrong boxes when it came to re homing her. She was shy and unsociable, she was very large and she was black in colour . These three characteristics unfortunately seem to be top of the leader board when it comes to "harder to home " dogs. We were therefore over the moon when our German re homing coordinator Sandy announced that Maisie had been chosen by a German family as their new dog .

We were further delighted this week when we received a letter from new owners Roswitha and Herman in Germany singing her praises and wanting to share with the world all the reasons that the feel everyone should consider adopting a "Maisie".

I would like to tell you, fellow animal-lovers who may be a little bit afraid of tall, black and traumatized dogs, about our Maisie. I would also like to highlight all the positive reactions we constantly receive from people whether dog owner or not.

Now that the children have grown up, and moved on, our family consists of my husband and myself as well as our one year old Irish Setter Shadow, and now 3 ½ year old Maisie. We had never had two dogs before, and we didn't know how it would feel with two dogs in the family. We were unsure if we could handle having two dogs...particularly with a dog like Maisie, a dog with an oppressed soul, who had almost already given up on herself. Emaciated, extremely afraid, timid, and totally withdrawn – that was Maisie's condition when she first came into the hands of Viv and Martin on Cyprus for tender loving care.

They both have done an amazing job, along with all the other helpers both on Cyprus and from “Hundeliebe”.

In total, Maisie was with Viv and Martin for five months, before she was able to make the trip to Germany and and into our family.

When we arrived at the airport in Dusseldorf, we met a dog with her head down, tail between her legs, and who jumped in fear at every sudden movement; a dog without any self confidence at all. But thanks to Viv and Martin she was in a much better condition than her initial state – she was well fed, happy to be petted, and able to go on the leash without any problems. Maisie had an appetite for home-cooked food, although she would only go to her food bowl when she felt like no one was watching her.

We knew it would not be easy, and we were aware of the fact that it would take possibly months for Maisie to trust us, and gain her confidence back...

However, even after two weeks, she was happy to eat while we were around, happy to run around and play with Shadow on our walks, and step by step she also discovered the house.

In the following weeks and months Maisie increasingly came out of her shell. She now moves without fear in the whole house (except in the basement, since she does not go downstairs), no longer sleeps curled up like a ball, but loosened and stretched out on any of the couches around the house. She comes when you call, she's incredibly cuddly and focussed on her new parents. If she's afraid of something, she seeks protection from us and no longer tries to run away. She is also becoming more and more boisterous - wonderful for us to watch that!

Maisie found a companion in Shadow, as they understood each other well, which has helped her to get along with other dogs, even encourage them to play with her. Indeed, it is so nice and pleasant to have two dogs that we have come to ask why we only ever had one before :-)

Against all expectations, the addition of Maisie to our family must be fate, as it is not only beautiful and absolutely rewarding, but it has also been surprisingly easy.

Maybe it’s just our imagination, but we really feel that this tall, black, traumatized dog is grateful and happy to now be able to lead a quiet and secure life.

All the people we meet are impressed by her. Whether its neighbors (all without dogs) or the many dog owners that we encounter on our long walks - all feel immediately attracted to her, because she has such a gentle nature, to this soulful look, this beautiful, deep black glossy coat.. Maisie stirs sympathy in all. A woman once told me, “Yes SHE is the one I would have taken too!”

And that is exactly the sentence I would like to pass on- so that you dare to “take these dogs!” Dogs that are slightly larger, dogs that have been traumatized, dogs that are black.

They are just as playful, cuddly and in need of support as all the other wonderful puppies in the world ... only to have it so much harder to find a new home. They too deserve a good home, especially with what they have been through.

Please don't get me wrong: We love all dogs. We've also had a smaller dog and it was just great. We would like to encourage you … just in case you would really like to have a larger dog, but are afraid to dare, because you may fear that it is difficult to get along with them, or because you are concerned that other people may react to large black dogs with hostility.

Our Maisie is a soulful dog. And every day we are eternally grateful that we found her.

By the way, our Shadow, who we acquired as 10-week old puppy from a breeder has been a great dog! However, the time and effort put into raising a puppy is quite tiring, and was possibly even more exhausting than the experience with our Maisie!

Last but not least:

Our special thanks go to all who have secured Maisie's survival: The Friends of “Hundeliebe” in Germany, Viv and Martin in Cyprus, the Animal Friends of the ARGOS Shelter, Sandy Exley, who put in the effort to bring Maisie and the foster parents Viv and Martin together on Cyprus. the flight godmother Sabine Drajewski and Karin Then-Vennmann that her students took over the sponsorship for Maisie.

(Hopefully we have not forgotten anyone!)

Warm regards Roswitha and Hermann Goff.

Treat time.

There was much excitement in the cat area this week when an enormous delivery of over 200 bags of Whiskas cat food was delivered to our lucky cats. Stan was the first one to count in the delivery with Argos President Stella and once inside the cattery our excited cats couldn't wait to check out the flavours. From all of us at Argos, (especially the cats !) a huge thank you to Argosy Trading Company Ltd for their support.

Thank you Steve and Andria.

Steve Marr, one of our regular fund raisers, once again opened his home to friends for a supper night.  Steve and Andria cooked up a delicious supper and also provided entertainment in the form of a sing along.  Guitar playing  by Dave Day accompanied by Accordion player Ann McCluskey  getting people singing and enjoying the evening. This is the third supper evening that Steve has hosted and raised money for ARGOS .  The wonderful sum of 190 euro was raised on this occasion.  Thanks must go to not only Steve for his generosity but also Andria , June, Trish, all the ladies helping with the cooking and all Steves friends for supporting the evening.



Vielen dank!

A huge thank you to our friends at Hundeleibe-grenzenlos who last week delivered this mountain of food to Argos. Little Tango seen here inspecting the hundreds of cans of dog meat feels on top of the world!!!