Stella's Corner : the Latest Animal Welfare News


Our regular updates start here...

On this page Argos founder Stella will regularly bring you up to date news on a wide range of subjects concerning the shelters activities and any other information that concerns animal welfare in general. Whatever the news and however it affects the shelter and its mission, our supporters have a right to know.

Dear supporters here are November 2017 monthly updates.

dog statistics for November 2017

Total No. of dogs end of October  = 69

Rescued Dogs        
Kenny, Florie                                                                                                             
Total Rehomed

Siegi, Balto

Total No. of dogs at the end of November =  67

Cat statistics for November 2017

Total No. of cats end September = 111

Peaches, Ruby, Stella                                                                     
Total Rehomed

Tycheros, Daisy, Rita, Snowy, Snowball
Tiny (Liver failure)

Total No. of Cats at the end of November  = 107


NGO Initiative Group – New Associations Law reform presentation held at the Classic Hotel, Nicosia – 01/11/17

The new Associations Law has been under discussion since 2007 and in June this year it was approved by the House of Representatives and ratified on the 14/07/17.   All registered societies, NGO’s and Institutions were invited to the presentation for an analyses of the provisions of this new Law and explained in detail the legal requirements that affect the organizations.

The NGO Initiative Group had deliberated with the government in making suggestions for the reforms to be in accordance with the International Associations Laws and had pressured govt. to change some of the provisions e.g. the removal of the stipulation to submit the membership register annually.   One stipulation which they did not manage to change was the minimum number of persons required to register an organization which is 20.  They argued that International Associations Law allows for a minimum of 2 persons but the government did not agree to the change.

The reason that this new law has come into effect is that many people had complained of being duped by so-called bona-fide organizations into giving money for causes that didn’t exist.  As the legal requirements for this new bill are quite stringent, many small and inactive societies will fold.  The organisations remaining will be entered onto the government’s register of approved organizations and people who want to donate will be able to access this register and see the approved names.

Govt. Veterinary Services meeting – 13/11/17

Meeting of the District Animal Welfare Committees convened to discuss the government’s €75,000 grant for the cat Trap/Neuter/Release programme for 2017.  Although the grant was approved in August, the government’s slow moving rhythm has taken so long to get the programme started.  Today each of the animal welfare committee members were given a book of vouchers and assigned areas to coordinate the trap/neuter/release programme.  
I am responsible for the area of Oroklini, Pyla and the tourist area of Larnaca/Dhekelia road.  I alerted the volunteers I know in the area and they started on Wednesday 15th November trapping cats.  Unfortunately we only have until the 8th December this year to complete the programme and if we haven’t managed to use up all of the grant money, then the government takes it back.    The system the govt. has proposed in the implementation of this programme clearly shows that whoever suggested it has no idea of the difficulties in trapping large numbers of cats within the frame time we were given.

Pedigree & Whiskas food donations to shelters.

Within the framework of World Animal Day 2017, Pedigree & Whiskas ran an islandwide campaign to feed the shelter animals and managed to concentrate 15,000 meals and  distributed the food based on the number of animals at each shelter.
Pedigree & Whiskas has donated on an annual basis for a few years now, coordinating the fundraising events known as ‘Petfest’ with Cyprus Voice for Animals and the allocation and distribution of the food via CVA. They also sponsored all adoptions carried out by shelters within specified dates but since the recession, Pedigree & Whiskas have had to make major cutbacks and although the petfest events stopped, they have implemented other methods to donate food for the shelters.   Food was collected by shelters at the end of November.

Carrefour hypermarkets rebranded to Sklavenitis.

On the 21/11/17 we received a call from the Sklavenitis management to remove our pet food donation containers which we have had in place in Larnaca and Paralimni for many years when Carrefour was trading.  The reason of course is that this is the policy of the chain and the visiting chairman didn’t want to see them in the store.  This, of course did not affect only Argos, but all of the island’s animal welfare organizations who had their own pet food containers in the Carrefour stores islandwide and were asked to remove them.

It is of course their prerogative not to support animal welfare but in adopting this policy, they have taken away their customers’ easy way of supporting animals in shelters and of course, their own loss of income in pet food sales.  This method of supporting animal shelters has been in place in major supermarkets throughout Europe for many years but it seems that in Cyprus, instead of progressing, we are regressing.

Cyprus Voice for Animals (of which I am Secretary and one of the initial founders) spent many years lobbying Cyprus supermarkets as to the efficacy of this method of donating and in allowing pet food donation containers in their stores but Sklavenitis wants nothing to do with pet food containers as they claim that they clutter their store.  Not so of course as organizations have spent a lot of money having these containers made and they look neat, tidy and their message is clear – a message that Sklavenitis management doesn’t care about!

Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year 2018.

Stella and the Argos Team.

dog statistics for October 2017

Total No. of dogs end of September  = 73

Rescued Dogs          
Lucy, Queenie, Princess, Chase, Alex, Juno, Jenny, Julie, Honey, Siege, Bruce, Rubin
Total Rehomed

Molly, Cassie
Mickey, Mike, Poppy
Timmy, Benny, Bentley, Charlie, Cilla, Destiny, Dixie, Ice, Judy, Cindy, Winston                          

Total No. of dogs at the end of October =  69

Cat statistics for October 2017

Total No. of cats end September = 112

New     4  
Charity, Freedom, Kopelitsa, Tycheros                                        
Total Rehomed 

Lemon, Kalia
Brando, Fudge

Total No. of Cats at the end of October = 112


Dogs Trust 2-day workshop in Ormidhia - 30th September & 1st October.

This year, Dogs Trust selected Cyprus as the country to hold their International Companion Animal Welfare Conference and Argos as host organization.  Before the main event, Dogs Trust offered a 2-day workshop free of charge, for animal welfare organizations to benefit from the seminar and dog demonstration, highlighting training and understanding dog body language. The 2-day seminar was held in Ormidhia ( home town of the Argos sanctuary) and luncheon and refreshments were all covered by Dogs Trust.  We had 30 participants which included representatives from animal organizations and also from Nicosia municipalities.

Far Left : Steve Goward the Dogs Trust behaviorist during a demonstration session with Shakira.

Right : Luncheon and refreshments morning and  afternoon over the 2-day workshop was held at the Square Café in Ormidhia.

Ministry of Justice – 02.10.2017

Animal welfare organizations and representatives of the relevant government departments were invited to a conference at the Ministry of Justice for the minister to announce the government’s plans on the creation of an animal welfare police unit.  
The new draft bill does not define their powers nor assignation of any special tasks which stem from its character as "animal police", nor any additional power of direct intervention. 

  • (1) For example,  the rescue of  an animal in danger where no suspects are involved  nor does it clarify whether the animal police will have the authority to decide to seize an animal that is abused or living in miserable conditions. This decision and authority still remains with the Veterinary Services or the Municipal and Community Councils (as the case may be) and the police alone helps to implement the decision.

The draft bill provides for training the officers in matters of animal welfare which has been ongoing for some years now anyway so nothing new here either.  What is actually needed is practical knowledge in the management of the various incidents:

  • (1) For instance, how will animal police handle a case of a dog that is locked in a car in the hot climatic conditions in Cyprus?    If the vehicle owner cannot be located immediately and the police hang about not knowing what to do, the dog won’t survive after half an hour.  Based on studies, after the first 9 minutes, brain damage begins to occur, at 20 to 25 minutes the animal suffers heat stroke and after half an hour its condition is irreversible.

Based on our experience, this organizational pattern presented in the bill, whether it is called Animal Police or something else,  is inadequate and cannot cope with the ever-increasing incidents of poisoning, abuse, neglect and abandonment of animals.

Dogs Trust delegates visit to Argos shelter – 03.10.17

We had the pleasure of welcoming to the shelter, three coach loads of delegates from over 40 countries and participants of the Dogs Trust International Animal Welfare Conference.  We gave them a tour of the shelter and we had wonderful comments on the cleanliness, the socialization of our animals and our large open kennel space and as one delegate put it, “ it’s wonderful to see that the animals have the opportunity to have access to the outside at all times and enjoy the companionship of other dogs.’  Another practice of ours which surprised them was the communal feeding troughs in the dog runs which we implemented a few years ago and they wanted to know whether fights break out for the food.  Quite the contrary, we explained, this practice has taken away food aggression because the dogs have access to food all day long and the troughs are covered only at night time.  We also gave them a demonstration of our daily releasing of dogs in the wild area – a large expanse of area which is part of the shelter, completely fenced but it is full of trees, slopes with caves and they run until they are exhausted and when they are tired, they all come back to the gate ready to be let back into their kennels.  Steve Goward, the Dogs Trust behaviorist who gave the 2-day seminar asked to video this so he could use it in his future workshops.

Official opening of  ICAWC – 04.10.17

In the photo our team - from left to right, Stella, Sue, Adrian Burder CEO of Dogs Trust, Mary and Dinos.

Dogs Trust International Animal Welfare Conference included many highlights during the four days of the conference.  Delegates arrived from over 40 countries and apart from the opening day of the conference which introduced many speakers covering a variety of subjects ranging from antibiotic use, to projects supported by Dogs Trust worldwide, we also heard of the difficulties, the dangers and the threats against the lives encountered by other organizations in the protection of animals within their community.   The delegates also had the opportunity to take part in the scheduled sightseeing tours within Nicosia city.  In fact we met a couple who never miss a conference and make this their annual holiday as well.
The conference was a wonderful opportunity to meet people from all over the world, even as far as Nepal, to discuss and exchange information on their projects, fundraising and discussing future cooperation.   One such organization was Wild at Heart Foundation in the UK who had never heard of Argos prior to the conference and following their visit to the shelter, we have agreed to cooperate in the promotion of dogs and cats for adoption in the UK. 
Having experienced the Dogs Trust conference and the wealth of knowledge and experience imparted by other participants of their life’s mission, we have said that we will not miss another conference again, if we can help it.  The 2018 ICAW Conference then will take place in Krakow Poland.

Protest outside Presidential Palace – 07.10.17

In the petition letter to the President, Cyprus Voice for Animals highlighted the reasons for the protest stating that the united movement of animal welfare and environmental organizations, parties, volunteers and citizens has gathered today on the occasion of the International Animal Day, to express their dissatisfaction at the State’s lack of an animal welfare and protection policy. 
Although some measures which have been proclaimed are welcome, these are not enough and have come too late but we look forward to seeing when and how they will materialize.  We're tired of picking up poisoned animals, collecting kittens and puppies in nylon bags and cartons from garbages and fields. These phenomena that take place in a ‘European state’ are shameful and it is time the government ceases to burden its legal responsibilities on the shoulders of animal welfare groups and individuals.   We are petitioning for the following:

1. Subsidization or even free Microchipping programmes
2. Free sterilization programs, with significant amounts of at least 100,000 a year over a 5-year period.
3. Immediately promote the frozen parliamentary bills on animal welfare and increase penalties for animal crimes.
4. The immediate abolition of inhumane dog-holding cages and tethering, a practice which demeans our European image.
5. Animal Police, adequately staffed, trained and sensitized.
6. The establishment of an independent Animal Health and Control Service, organized on a district level to include shelters, veterinary clinics and training programmes that can effectively implement such a service……….our suggestion to the government since 2014!

CVA meeting with Limassol Mayor re Dogs park - 24.10.17

The meeting was requested by CVA to discuss whether Limassol town had any plans on the creation of a dog park.  CVA had been approached by supporter, Svetlana Petrachkova, an architect who has drawn up the plans for such a project and has also managed to find sponsors to construct it.   Upon seeing the proposal, the mayor was very interested to proceed and affirmed that he would begin looking for a suitable site.   We hope it won’t take years as there are sponsors to put up the money. 


dog statistics for june 2017

Total No. of dogs end of May = 83
Rescued Dogs   
Stevie, Jane, Frank, Edward, Lady, Sadie, Abbey, Benny, Lucy, Lenny
Total Rehomed

Olive, Skip, Pebbles, Colt, Rosco, Amos, Leo
Nancy, Ellen, Stevie, Star, Toto

Total No. of dogs at the end of May =  83

Cat statistics for june 2017

Total No. of cats end May = 95
Pipe, Dusty, Skippy, Leo, Patch, Scooter, Roxy, Sandy, Ava
Total Rehomed

Napa (corona virus), Skippy (too young without mother)

Total No. of Cats at the end of June =101


Sotira School visit – 13/06/17.

One of the most important roles of an animal shelter is the education programmes both in schools and the shelter visits.  Here our lecturer, Nicos Kountouris talks to the children about responsible ownership, love, care and respect for all God’s creatures and the importance of animals in our lives.  Nicos is holding in his hands a few days old puppy saved when the new-to-the shelter mother was taken in for spaying and had no indications that she was pregnant.  Haydi is still being fostered by Sue Hannis and is a strong and healthy puppy.

Meeting with Dherynia police – 19/06/17

As a member of the District Animal Welfare Committee it is essential that we have the cooperation of the police when it comes to investigating animal complaints and especially when a confiscation of an animal is planned.  The role of the police under the law is to be present and offer assistance to the government veterinary services and to us. 
The object of the above meeting  was to introduce myself as a member of the committee, explain the role of the animal committee’s under the animal welfare law and to ask for cooperation.

Meeting with IFAW representative – 27/06/17

In 2013 during the haircut when the bank’s were closed for almost a week and many organizations on the island had no access to money, we sent out a plea for help.
IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare USA) responded and sent out their reps to assess the situation.  They responded by sending €20,000 through Cyprus Voice for Animals which is the union of  the majority of the animal welfare organizations in Cyprus,  to buy food and distribute it to the shelters.  This year, Meg from IFAW visited the island and CVA reps Mary Anastasi and Stella Stylianou toured Meg to the shelters to see how they were coping and report back to their supporters who had donated to help in 2013. 
In the photo we are at CAPCA dog shelter in Paphos.  We also visited Malcolm’s cats in Limassol. This was also an opportunity for CVA to catch up on our members and any problems they may be experiencing.

Cyprus Voice for Aanimals activities – June 2017

CVA representatives Mary Anastasi and Dinos Agiomamitis met with the Mayor’s of Agios Dometios, Engomis and Lakatamia, Nicosia to discuss the implementation of a programme to address the problems of stray cat control, with the possibility of funding a cat sterilisation scheme and the obligatory microchipping of dogs for the control of dog abandonment and also methods of capturing packs of dogs. 
Because this problem is now out of control, the local authorities want to try and address it as people are complaining of neighbourhoods overrun with cats and the threat to human and animal life by packs of dogs roaming and have proven difficult to capture.