Stella's Corner : the Latest Animal Welfare News

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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 December 2015 monthly updates.





Dog statistics for December 2015 = 73


New              
   4 
Tiger, Jon, Boy, Eve                                                             
Total Rehomed
  11

Died
  0

Breakdown
Cyprus       
   2   
Tilly, Pearl                                                  
Germany                
   8
Maggie, Ernie, Sadie, Jack, Sophia, Tramp, Chalky, Sasha      
U.K.
   1
Maya
Total No. of dogs at the end of Nov 80 + 4 – 11 =  73 Total number of dogs end of December.

cat statistics for December 2015


New                        
   0   
                                                                                               
Total Rehomed
   2

Died
   2
Woody, Beep ( FIV + )                                                                 
Breakdown
Cyprus               
   2 
Shaun, Simba                                                               






Total No. of Cats at the end of Nov  98 - 4   = 94  Total number of cats end of December.


Monthly Activites.


Meeting in Nicosia to discuss sterilization project proposal – 02.12.2015


From the Netherlands comes a proposal for students vets and their tutors to come to Cyprus for a spay/neuter programme. Maja  Tuni who has lived in Cyprus for a short time is aware of the extent of the stray dog population and has sought help to try and help. 
Maja has seen other animal welfare organizations and private vets enquiring as to the possibility of the visiting veterinary students to use their facilities but has not met with any positive reaction.  I shouldn’t think that the private vets would be overjoyed at the prospect of losing money in not doing these operations themselves!  We informed Maja of the medical rooms that Argos is building and nearing completion and that these could be used for this purpose. As they would like to offer this help islandwide, they are still trying to find a solution for the other districts.  At least, Argos can lead the way and may be an example to follow.



Larnaca Marina press conference – 21.12.2015


The Larnaca Marina has a colony of between 30 to 35 cats and owners of the vessels docked at the marina had asked the administrators to kill them because they enter their boats and make a mess.  But as the marina staff is animal friendly, they contacted Mr. Dinos Ayiomamitis, president of Catpaws Association in Nicosia to advise and help them control the colony. Dinos has an islandwide reputation for giving solid advice on cat care and control and is often consulted by local authority.
Dinos met with Mr. Petrides the Marina administrator and a plan was set in motion for the construction of two cat houses, a sterilization programme and the regular feeding and health care of the colony.  In this way, the cats will be contained in the area set out for them and not be a nuisance to the boat owners.  The project was sponsored by food sponsors, Larnaca Marina and volunteers.
Dinos Ayiomamitis is very active in Nicosia and was also instrumental in getting sponsorship for 10 cat houses in the Gramiko park in Strovolos and looks after many other colonies, spaying/neutering and feeding.  Dinos is a lawyer by profession and is also media spokesman for Cyprus Voice for Animals.  He and his wife are a lovely couple whose lives are devoted to the cats.  Every district in Cyprus needs a Dinos.



Introducing our shelter Manager – Andrew Brown


Andrew has been with the shelter since October 2015 and he comes to us with years of experience in the building industry in the UK from being branch manager, operations manager, assistance manager,  company director and owner of his own company. 
But that’s not all because Andrew is also a qualified chef, which will come in handy now that the staff kitchen/dining room has been completed! 
Andrew has a wealth of experience, he is focused, self-motivated, confident and a passion to lead and succeed. 
He loves working with animals and seeing him in action, I truly believe he has found his mission in life.

He is a marathon runner and will be running in the Cyprus Marathon on April 10th 2016 to raise funds for the shelter.   

Andrew has started a YouCaring fundraiser for the marathon.

to help andrew raise as much as he can for argos sanctuary click here to make your donations youcaring.com/argos-animal-sanctuary. Thank you.





November 2015 monthly updates.


Dog statistics for november 2015 = 80


New                       
  14   
Sinclair, Ralph, Troy, Maggie, Greco, Jess, Socks,  6 poodle puppies, Jasper                       
Total Rehomed
  12

Died
   0

Breakdown
Cyprus    
   3 
Troy, Lolita, Casper                                                         
Germany
   8
Flora, Georgi, Delilah, Snoopy, Ringo, Olive, Honey
Switzerland
   1
Jason
Total No. of dogs at the end of Oct  78+ 14 – 12 =  80 Total number of dogs end of November

cat statistics for november 2015 = 98


New         
   4 
Josephina, Beep, Ginger, Furelize                    
Total Rehomed
   2

Died
   4
Bessie, Mary, Jacob, Kurty
Breakdown
Cyprus          
   2
Lulu, Josephina                                      
Total No. of Cats at the end of Oct  100+ 4 - 6  = 98  Total number of cats end of November



Monthly Activites.


Deliberations on the New Law Proposal – 2/11/2015


Following an invitation from the Government Veterinary Services, Stella Stylianou and Mary Anastasi attended the meeting at the authority’s Nicosia premises. 
Panel was chaired by Mr. Yiannakis Yiannaki, Volunteering Commissioner,  Mr. Christodoulos Pipis, acting head of government vets, and Mr. Michalis Chrysanthou from the Ministry of Agriculture.
From the list of invitees, present was Stella Stylianou and Mary Anastasi, representing our CVA members, Mr. Kyriakos Kyriakou on behalf of ARC, Mrs Toulla Poyiadji from CSPCA, Mrs Constantina Costantinou from SCDPS and Stella Petridou from Pets 2 Adopt. 
Everyone in the audience had the chance to express their views on the new law proposal for the formation of a Body for the Protection and Welfare of Animals. All associations invited expressed their concern on the governments haste to start deliberations with very little time given to us to go over the law proposal.
The reason was that they wanted to present it as soon as possible to the council of ministers for approval and the law would be submitted at a later stage as it is still being amended and of course will go through the government  legal department. We now await the new draft of the law. As president Anastasiades has committed to address the animal welfare problems, he is in favor of this law proposal and as we understood, they are keen to go ahead with it.
It goes without saying that all present opposed this law proposal and expressed their concern that it is going to be yet another bureaucratic body, difficult to work and come up with the so many needed solutions to the existing problems, dealing just with paperwork and no results. If you remember, CVA, almost 2 years ago, handed to the presidential palace its proposal for the formation of an Animal Welfare and Control Body, one in each district, which would be responsible to deal with the problems in its area and of course to deal ONLY with animals.

Of course the proposed new law is nowhere near to the proposals we submitted.
Another negative point was that only one person from CVA would be in the council, thus making us a minority! We were told that they would increase it to 2.
Mr. Yiannakis Yiannaki who is keen on this new body, explained that the council would be provided with all necessary tools to force all relevant authorities to carry out their legal responsibilities.  Failure to proceed with the construction of proper dog pounds or whatever else needed, they would punish them by cutting from their annual government funding… Our question is;  who is going to take on the service then when the local authorities will have budget cuts??
In a nutshell, this body would have the power to oversee and check if the animal welfare laws are being enforced and at the same time to have executive power as well.
Main funding would be provided from the annual government budget and have a
permanent staff of 3-4 persons ( a detachment of existing government employees)
CVA will shortly submit a letter with all its comments and will keep you posted.


Larnaca District Animal Welfare Committee Meeting – 08/11/15


I have been a member of the District Animal Welfare Committee in Larnaca for the past 5 years and represent the Argos organization in my capacity as head of the organization. The other members are also heads of their own
organizations / associations and the 9-member committee meets as and when they are required to discuss either unresolved cases or improvements to animal welfare, be they domestic or farm animals.   We can investigate cases of abuse, issue corrective measures, support the relevant authority in the execution of their legal duty with written reports and suggest a course of action. This meeting was to discuss ways of reinforcing the committee’s cash fund and be able to utilize the money in various ways:
  1. helping to sterilize colonies of cats in the tourist area of Larnaca.
  2. food for confiscated farm animals.
  3. Aid to low income families to spay/neuter their pets.



Meeting with Russian Company on animal welfare - 19/11/2015


The chief executive officer is a founder and shareholder of the Wargaming Group Ltd, is an animal lover and wants to help the animal welfare cause and support our efforts. He wanted to know the problems and in what way he could support.
We explained that the biggest problem is the large number of strays, their uncontrolled reproduction and microchipping. We need the financial support to implement a microchipping programme and a spay/neuter programme which could be made available through the medical building that Argos is close to completing.  In this respect, we asked for financial support in the employment of a vet and veterinary nurse for a period of one year to help Argos initially until the clinic is self-supporting.





October 2015 monthly updates.


Dog statistics for october 2015 = 78


New                     
   9   
Sherry, Petal, Ricky, Eleni, Nicky, Jack, Honey, Tramp, Sadie            
Total Rehomed
  16

Died


Breakdown
Cyprus  
  5
Tinker, Chris, Poppy, Petal, Eleni   
Germany             
  9    
Sammy, Pearl, Bond, Winston, Oliver, Kandy, Beau, Harris, Starky  
U.K.
  2
Harrison, Gracie
Total No. of dogs at the end of Sept  85+9 – 16 =  78 Total number of dogs end of October.



cat statistics for october 2015


New
  0  
                                                                                                        
Total Rehomed
  1

Died
  1

Breakdown
Died                  
  1
Ginger (kidney failure)                                                            
Sweden
  1  
Nissi
Total No. of Cats at the end of Sept  101 - 2  = 99  Total number of cats end of October.



Monthly Activites.


World Animal Day Event at the shelter – 04/10/15

We had a wonderful day with great support and with our stalls selling a variety of items we raised €1738,85 - break down as follows:
•  Shop sales (collars, leads, toys etc) 154,60
• Argos stall sales (cards,bags, mugs)   66,00
• Meals  340,00
• General donations  563,25
• Raffle/Tombola   615,00








Meeting at the Ministry of Agriculture – 13/10/15


Cyprus Voice for Animals in its efforts to help animal welfare organizations and groups who rescue and rehome dogs abroad had applied to the Ministry of Agriculture asking for these groups to be exempted from paying the Traces documents for each animal sent abroad at a cost of €34,17 per animal.  The Ministry of Agriculture replied negatively to our request explaining that:
“You cannot apply selective exemption from the provisions of a Law, regardless of the cause/purpose for which it is requested.”
Regardless of this negative reply, CVA will continue to lobby to try and at least reduce the amount.
However, in order for the state to support the work that the animal welfare organizations carry out for the common benefit, CVA’s lobbying has managed to secure an increase in the annual grant to the organizations from €25,000 which was granted in 2014 to an amount of €50,000 which will be granted for 2015.  It is noted that the distribution of the annual grant to the animal welfare organisations and shelters is based on the work they have accomplished during the previous year. The largest shelters get a higher amount than those that do not run shelters – Argos’ share for 2013 was €2,750 and for 2014 €5,500.  Our annual report is submitted March of each year and the grant for that year is received 18 months later! The economic situation of each organization is also taken into account and affects the amount allocated. This means that if you have a high credit in the bank (say over €100,000) then you will receive a reduced grant.  It’s a pity that those in charge of making such decisions appear not to study the audited accounts submitted annually by organizations applying for the grant because if they did they would see that the running costs of a shelter with hundreds of animals is far higher than  €100,000.  
We should not forget that in 2013 with the haircut, the government suspended entirely the measly grant to the organizations and required hard lobbying to get the grant reinstated and now they have supposedly doubled it.


Pascal English Schoold student workshop visit – 20/10/15


On Wednesday 20th October we had a visit from 8 students, accompanied by three teachers on a work shop expedition. The students belong to the school's Welfare Club which organises events with students to help others in need and teach the students that giving and sharing is the best communication.
Following the usual tour and introduction to the shelter's work and mission, we divided the students into groups of different activities. The boys took some dogs for a walk and the girls wanted to bathe some dogs.
The children enjoyed their outing and some asked if they could come on weekends to volunteer. This is what it's all about; encouraging children from a young age to involve themselves in volunteering and community service.




Liopetri ‘A’ Primary School Visit – 22/10/15


On the 22nd October the Liopetri A’ Primary School’s two first classes (39 children) visited the shelter.  At this age, all the children are interested in is seeing the animals and having the opportunity to interact with them.
Imagine all of them wanting to pet the puppies at the same time – I held the 2 puppies and they all converged on me, hands outstretched and shouting, ‘let me touch, let me touch…’ 
Τhe children were excited and enjoyed their tour and our talk to them was centred on loving and caring for their pet and no caging or tethering allowed.  When you give children logical explanations of your statements, they understand, accept and never forget.  Funnily enough when the farmers next door are in the field, they stop and listen to the talk as well so, they are learning also!  Our education programmes need to be compounded with TV spots which would reach out to all ages but we just don’t have the resources to be able to do this at present.





September 2015 monthly updates.


Dog Statistics for september 2015 = 85


New               
   8 
Harrison, Maya, Johnny, Beau, Starky, Harris, Chris, Lolita
Toal Rehomed
  19

Died
   0

Breakdown
Died           
   0
                                      
Cyprus  
   2
Zeus, Lizzi                                                       
Germany               
 11    
Daisy, Sasha, Molly, Hektor, Nova, Othello, Woody, Buddy, Lassie, Duke, Narla                      
U.K
   6
Hero, Thelma, Rosie, Jim, Cassie, Benson
Total No. of dogs at the end of Aug  96+8= 104 – 19 =  85 Total number of dogs end of Sept


cat statistics for september 2015 = 101


New         
   1  
White kitten                                                                                     
Total Rehomed 
   1

Died
   0

Breakdown
Died        
   0 
                 
Germany      
   1 
Lakritz kitten                                                               
Total No. of Cats at the end of Aug  101+ 1 - 1  = 101  Total number of cats end of Sept


Monthly Activities.


Visit from Liz Gaffer U.K.


Liz Gaffer,  a member of the Badger Vaccination Group in Gloucestershire, flew into Larnaca for just one week and visited the Argos shelter on the 1st September.   Liz was introduced to us by WAD director Caroline Ruane as she was very interested in meeting us to discuss our work and to see if there was anything that they could do to help.
We spent the day showing Liz around the shelter and discussed the various ways in which we help the dogs and cats, how difficult it is to raise funds to support the shelter, the lack of fund-raising volunteers and general volunteering and the need to find alternative methods of support.  We pointed out how difficult this is in a country like Cyprus that has still not recovered from the financial constraints and it doesn’t look like it will do so for a few years yet and the question is.......how long will the shelters manage to survive when all resources have dried up?







Setter court case – 24/11/15.


This case has been going on since May 2012 with hearings three times a year and each one adjourned because the court’s have a backlog of cases and the oldest ones are tried first.  The veterinary services and I were finally called to the witness box to give our evidence.  We now wait the next court date on the judge’s decision and penalty.


Our wonderful supporters.


We have a number of wonderful supporters from all over the world whose regular aid contributes to the shelter’s sustainability. Each and every group/ individual support covers different aspects of the shelter’s needs.   This month we would like to introduce one of the teams in Germany for their generous and kind support -  Martina, Rolf, Viola and Benny who send us food and medicines on a regular basis which covers our pet needs for many months.  Viola gives lessons in the preparation and use of natural products and sends us many of her remedies which cover a variety of maladies.  Benny gives Korean cookery lessons in their home and the proceeds go to Argos. 
A mere thank you is never enough.........  



Stella.














August 2015 monthly updates.



Dogs:  total number of dogs at the end of August = 95


New                              
  20    
Annie, Rita, Samy, Benson, Delilah + 6 puppies, Snoopy, Sasha, Rosie, Jim,  Poppy, Ringo, Hero, Leroy, Pearl
Total Rehomed
  18

Died
  1

Breakdown
Died                                 
  1          
Molly                                    
Cyprus


Germany
  17
George, Didi, Whiskey, Duchess, Annie, Princess, Tiny, Errol, Perry, Rocky, Artemis, Troy, Angel, Alfie, Snowy, Jack
UK
  1
Roxy
Total No. of dogs at the end of July  105+10 – 20 =  95 Total number of dogs end of August.


Cats Total number of cats at end of June = 101


New          
  5 
All kittens                                                              
Total Rehomed
  4
Died
  1

Breakdown
Died                
  1 Finn                                                             
UK
  1
Max
Cyprus
  3
Tabby, Tortie, White
Total No. of Cats at the end of July  101+ 5 - 5  = 101  Total number of cats end of August


Monthly Activities.


Argos volunteers and staff get together – 15th August 2015




It was on the spur of the moment that volunteers Sandy and Sue decided to organise an evening get-together to chill out and talk about something else other than rescuing and rehoming.
Unfortunately not all our volunteers could be present as quite a few live abroad and we can never all be present at any one time.  It was a very enjoyable evening with all you can eat for €10 / head at the Klokkos tavern in Xylofagou village.












East Midlands Dog Rescue.



Lynne Simpson runs her own dog rescue centre and takes dogs from various organisations in Cyprus for rehoming in the UK, locally to her area. 
This is Lynne’s second visit to the shelter to select another 5 dogs, mostly the bigger pointers that are difficult to rehome in Cyprus. 
East Midlands Dog Rescue group fundraise to pay for the dog’s preparation and flights out to the UK.  They offer wonderful support in taking dogs that would normally have to spend the rest of their days in the shelter.  In the photo from left to right: Lynne, Argos volunteer Sandy and Lynne’s daughter.












June 2015 monthly updates.


Dogs:  total number of dogs at the end of June = 105


New                 
 16  
Troy, Lance, Whisky, Rocky, Angel, Betty, Wilma, Petaluda, Othello (returned), Prince, Did, Duchess, Princess, Leo, Muffin, Duke (returned), Frieda
Total Rehomed
 18

Breakdown
Died                   
 1    
Rosy (parvo virus)                                                                                                 
Cyprus
 2 
Marlin, Frieda
Germany
 10
Bear, Rhea, Freddy, Kane, Tania, Nala, Donald, Gina, Bianca, Slick
UK
 5
Kokkinis, Snap, Lukas, Ruby, Frank
Total No. of dogs at the end of May  107+16 – 18 =  105 Total number of dogs end of June.  


Cats Total number of cats at end of June = 105


New
 2   
Sunwing, Milo                 
Total rehomed
 1
Milo                                                                                                          
Breakdown
Cyprus
 1
Milo                                                  
Died
 0

Total No. of Cats at the end of May  104+ 2 - 1  = 105  Total number of cats end of June


Monthly Activities.


Environmental Committee Session on the Dog Law Revisions – 24.06.2015

Yesterday we were invited to the Parliament regarding the dog law changes which have had ongoing discussions for many years, with no results.  Everyone invited have their own comments but the ministry of interior seems to have taken no notice of everyone’s suggestions and this led to an impasse. The Environmental Committee therefore has decided to take the matter into their hands, read everyone’s suggestions and will decide what will be in the law and what will not.  They have told us that if they have any questions they will ask those who proposed changes.
CVA has of course, put forward the largest number of changes as we are the ones that are involved on a daily basis with trying to solve the problems and know firsthand what changes need to be made.  Unfortunately, all the others usually are present to protect their interests or their voter’s interests.  Once the Law has been prepared, the Environmental Committee will send it back for our final suggestions and in September it will hopefully be sent for voting.

Some comments:

1. Adamos Adamou – committee president stressed the fact that we have reached bottom regarding animal cruelty and something has to be done.  He was also categorical that this law CANNOT BE ENFORCED WITHOUT REGULATIONS – which we had pointed out so many times!

2. George Perdikis – member of the committee stressed the fact that since the dog law will continue to be in the hands of the local authorities ( who of course do nothing..) things will not change no matter how many changes are added to the law, which is very correct.  He also mentioned our proposal of the Animal Welfare and Control Services........ Banging on deaf ears.

3.  Eugenios Chamboullas member of the committee was adamant, that when the dog law is finished a law for cats will follow as the cats now are a bigger problem than the dogs.  This has been constantly asserted by CVA for many years now but the incompetent authorities do not want to know about the cats. At this point CVA interjected and stated that if they plan to get rid of the cats they will have us to confront with as we will not allow them to abuse these animals and that the only way to deal with the problem is through a spay/neuter programme.   CVA reminded the Committee that the government used to give 50.000 measly euros islandwide for this programme but stopped it because of the recession.  This had a detrimental effect because all the hard work that went into controlling the overpopulation was destroyed as a result of the government’s decision to stop the programme.  He agreed that it was a mistake to have stopped the programme and that the 50,000 euro grant was far too little to cope with the immense problem.


Introducing our volunteers / supporters.


Rolf and Martina Worthmann.

Rolf and Martina live in Diepholz and have been active in animal rescue since 1994.  The international animal welfare is particularly close to their hearts and since being involved in animal rescue, they have brought 800 dogs to Germany from Cyprus in recent years. Together with Viola Jampert they have decided to start their own organization known as “4 Paws want to go Home”

Rolf and Martina have been wonderful supporters of Argos, sending pallet loads of dog and cat food, medicines and now wanting to help us equip the small clinic we have just completed. The creation of their own organisation is a means to giving us more support in fundraising so as to rehome more of our most difficult subjects that would otherwise never be rehomed.





Benny and Viola Jampert.

Benny and Viola live in Germany and have been helping animals for many years, especially the old and the sick so they could live out the remainder of their lives until their time to go over the rainbow.  They live on a farm where their animals include 2 big horses, 2 Shetland ponies living their old age out and their 3 dogs, Milli, Jazzman and Keo which they adopted from the Argos shelter.  They work in natural medicine for animals and animal psychology.  Their hobbies are their animal friends and all their free time they spend with them and enjoy their wonderful life on their farm surrounded by their beloved animals.   Viola is actively involved with Argos in fundraising and promoting the rehoming of our disabled animals and those with slight behavioural problems that are difficult to rehome.  Being an animal psychologist, Viola works with them and turns them around.  This is Viola’s website   www.tierheilpraxis-jampert.de








Stella



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