News Summer 2011

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As temperatures soar to their usual summer highs, Argos animals are finding their own ways of keeping cool.

Labrador cross Bart decided that a spare water bucket would make a very good plunge pool. 

Despite the heat, for the staff and volunteers the work must go on as Argos continues to burst at the seams with hundreds of animals looking for a new home and a better life. This summer though we see a small light at the end of the tunnel as Animal welfare groups push for changes.

Here in a letter to our supporters Stella outlines the current situation.

Dear friends and supporters,

Many of our readers and supporters see Argos as a shelter for destitute dogs and cats and as a stepping stone to their forever homes.  There is another aspect of animal welfare that Argos strives for; the promotion of animal rights, representing their interests and are proud in being the voice of the voiceless.

For the uninitiated, Cyprus Voice for Animals (CVA) is a coalition of the majority of the islands’ animal welfare organisations.  CVA acts as a pressure group on government bodies and involves high level meetings/conferences where it advocates for legislation reform and for the implementation of the existing animal welfare laws.

As secretary to the union, I am in a privileged position to know first hand of new developments and progress, since we, the committee, propound the petitions.  In a recent high level meeting, CVA was asked to prepare a proposal for consideration on the possible cooperation of animal welfare organisations with local authority in the implementation of the Dog Law, a legal responsibility of local authority to provide dog pounds.  The local authority is aware of their shortcomings in this respect and the burden to provide shelters so far, has fallen on the shoulders of animal welfare organisations.

If we can find a common ground to cooperate then this will mean that, rightly, animal welfare organisations will continue providing this service with government financial support.   

Another milestone for animal welfare is the recent relaxation of the pet import regulations of Sweden and UK from the agonising preparation periods of 4 and 8 months respectively, to just 21 days.  This is wonderful news for pets and their prospective future families to reunite quicker, with less hassle and military families can now travel with their pets when transferred unexpectedly.  We thank Sweden and the United Kingdom for taking into consideration their people’s needs and to lessening the suffering of our animal companions.

Stella Stylianou

"New life for Nicos & Lippy"

This is the story of two little kittens that touched the hearts of two seperate families on vacation in Cyprus earlier this summer.  The Prinz and Kautzner families were both staying at hotels on the island and like many tourists had begun to feed kittens on the grounds of the hotel in which they were staying.

kautznerfamilyAs the end of the holidays drew closer both families realised that they could not simply walk away from the motherless kittens they had been caring for and decided that leaving them behind was not an option.

After some internet research looking for an animal shelter in Famagusta area, Walfried Prinz found Argos. The Kautzner family also turned to Argos for help and before long preparations were being made for both kittens to travel to Austria.  The two kittens as the pictures show are now happy and healthy in the homes of their new adoptive families.

prinzfamily

On returning to Vienna both families decided that they wanted to do something to improve the future situation regarding "hotel" cats and so wrote letters showing concern to their hotels to try and ensure a better future policy on this situation.

So impressed too were the Prinz family with Argos and so keen to act on the situation that they invited Argos founders Stella and Ritsa to visit them in their Austrian home to discuss a program of improvement for the lives of the many "hotel" cats in the area.  Our hope for the future is that the hotels will take note of the feelings of their guests and work with Argos to improve the situation facing these cats.

Pearl gets her wheels.

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Back in April volunteers arrived at the sanctuary to find a small dog dumped at the gates. With matted fur and covered in ticks and fleas she was a sorry state but closer inspection revealed even worse, the little poodle was in fact totally paralyzed in the back end. After a thorough clean up and health check from the vet it could be seen that the little dog which we had named Pearl had a bullet lodged in her side, the bullet however was not the cause of the paralysis and the vet predicted that on being shot Pearl had run terrified into a busy road and been hit by a car.

Over the next few months Pearls condition improved somewhat but it was clear that she would never walk again. A happy and brave little dog though she dragged herself around the boarding area enjoying the company of the staff and the love and attention she was receiving. On hearing the story of Pearl our web master Efi who works right across the Atlantic in New York was so touched that she did some research and sent us some information that she had seen on a stateside show on how to build a small dog chariot that would enable Pearl to get about more easily. All we needed now was someone with the skills to engineer such a vehicle. It is at this point that Argos supporter Colin decided to make it his mission to get Pearl mobile and takes up the story.

“After some research I contacted Bob Griffiths, he and his wife Angela run "The Dogmobile Company in the UK I explained her problem and was sent a form and was asked to measure and weigh Pearl, according to size the dog carriages start off for a medium sized dog at £250".

When I sent Pearls details to him, he said he would make it for free, I could not believe my eyes. This genuine and loving couple now keeps in touch with me all the time”

We can’t thank Angela and Bob enough for their kindness and know they will be as delighted as we are with the progress Pearl is making with her new wheels. Pearls new “dogmobile” works by supporting her back end, raising it off the ground with a set of wheels. She can then use her front legs and the chest strap to pull herself along without any of her body dragging and suffering sores and burns. Colin and volunteer Amanda now devote time every day to helping Pearl get used to her new freedom and Amanda has noticed how much happier she seems and says that she has been a quick learner.

www.dogmobile-online.com

Bulding progress

The fourteen new holding pens that were started with the help of a grant from The Body Shop foundation have now been completed. Thanks to the continued hard work of skilled builders Jim and Phil and with help from Nick and Andrea, the impressive new structure now provides safe and comfortable accommodation to several dogs.  This area is used for dogs awaiting export, for new comers to the sanctuary and for dogs recovering from any operations. Each run has a small open area and to the back a closed warm area for sleeping and being fully tiled means that they are easier to clean.

The original plans for just 5 runs were expanded to 14 when extra financial help came from Nicos and Angelos and building materials were donated by a large building company. Under the supervision of project managers Leda and Nicos the project developed into what is now a hugely impressive structure with a central run and complete shade where the dogs are free to exercise and play.

holdingpen         newholdingpens

To take a video tour of our new holding pens , follow this link

A Royal life for Rex

Our award for luckiest ever dog has to go to Cyprus poodle Rex.

rex

Rex came to us from Limassol after his previous owner died. Rex and his doggy friend Mavrika were living on their own in an old car in the garden of the house and being fed by a relative

Mavrika was 3 and Rex was 6 years old and had a limp in his back leg as a result of a car accident.

Their old mistress loved them so much that she made her son promise that when she died he was to take them to the UK and live with him.

But family circumstances meant that the son could not keep his promise and so instead he looked for a shelter that would not euthanize the dogs but try to rehome them and so both dogs found themselves in the care of Argos.

rex1

It was about a year later that Rex was chosen by the Maskell  family from the UK.

His owners wishes finally came true yet in her wildest dreams she could not have wished for a better home.

This week Rex turned 8 and as usual was showered with gifts and love from his adoring family. The pictures speak for themselves.

Rex will shortly be joined by fellow Argos dog Patch (seen with his foster family on our video page) Patch you lucky dog!

A dog named Bear!

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We get dogs of all shapes and sizes through the gates of the Argos sanctuary, but few are quite the size of Bear. At over a metre tall this was one dog that would need a very special and roomy home!
You would think that being a pedigree Great Dane and costing over 400 euros might have made Bears future a little more secure than most dogs, and yet at 18 months old he found himself estranged from his family who had returned to the UK.

Bear arrived underweight and became depressed at the shelter.  We were concerned about his well being because it is common for these breeds to pine for their previous owners.  A Facebook plea generated an amazing 4,000 hits and before long his story was being talked about by caring animal lovers not just in Cyprus but in other countries too.

bear

Christine from Limassol, who works with a few others alongside a UK animal rescue saw him and sent details to Great Dane rescue in the UK.

Very soon a new owner knowledgable in the needs of this breed was found and Bear is now waiting for his flight in the capable hands of foster mum Christine. 

We look forward to hearing news of Bear when he reaches his new home in January - watch this space......

Bear felt sad and confused at the sanctuary, now happy and smiling he looks forward to a bright future.

 

So many ways to help.

Batchelor

Argos supporters Mr and Mrs Batchelor found an unusual way to help Argos when they decided to re locate back to the UK.

 Rather than ship back some of their belongings they decided to donate them to Argos, the items included their Jeep and raised a much needed 2,000 euros for the sanctuary.

We would like to thank them and all those who have helped us out with donations over the past few months.

Mr & Mrs Batchelor donate their Jeep.

harriet

Also now lending a much needed hand to Argos are foster parents Claire and Martin Pawlak from Agios Nikolaos base.

Following the lead of experienced Argos foster mums Sue, Jan and Maria, Claire and Martin are helping to care for some of our younger puppies and dogs needing special attention.

This care not only helps to socialise young dogs and get them used to home life but is also a wonderful way to building confidence in nervous dogs scarred by a bad start in life. If you would like to know more about fostering please get in touch via e mail.

The 2012 Argos Calender will be on sale from World Animal Day 4th October.

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Full of stunning pictures of our animals it will make the perfect christmas present and all funds raised will go towards the Argos Sanctuary. Each calendar is just 5 euros. To order your copy or several simply drop us an e mail to argos@cytanet.com.cy telling us how many you would like and your address and we will calculate your total amount including postage and packing and mail it back to you. You can then make your payment via the website using the Paypal button using the reference "Calendar".

Feeding Time!

This wonderful photo by Sandy shows just some of our 160 cats waiting patiently for their breakfast.

cats

Made for each other.

Many vistors to the sanctuary come with pre conceived ideas about what would be their perfect pet. Many come just to look around with no intention of adopting an animal at all. For some though in a moment that can only be described as "love at first sight" a special bond is formed between animal and human. It is often said that your pets choose you and not the other way round and at Argos we have we have many wonderful stories of our animals being drawn to their owners making perfect pairings.

Just last year the Kadi family from Nicosia came to choose a puppy as a birthday present for their son. There was no other choice but little terrier cross Blossom and as the pictures show the two are now inseparable. 


Beatrix from Germany who visited the sancuatry whilst on her summer holidays could not stop thinking about one particular cat that won her heart during her visit. The cat "Ninja" flies to Germany in November where his new Mum is waiting eagerly to be reunited.


And just this month visitor Genevieve was won over by tiny little Annie, instantly wanting to offer her a home. Sadly for Genevieve though Annie already has a loving home to go to and so Genevieve continued her search for another dog that would captivate her in the same way. She found small cross breed Polly and early next year will take her back to the UK to join the very spoilt Spaniel she already has.


Pullitzer prize winning author Edith Wharton once wrote the following "my little dog - a heartbeat at my feet" At Argos we truly believe that for every animal lover out there the perfect pet is just waiting to fill your heart you just have to let them find you.