Animal Welfare in Cyprus – Good and Bad!

We often receive emails from desperate volunteers and animal lovers. They don’t have a clue what to do. Dealing with animal welfare in here has always been difficult, but since the financial crisis the situation in Cyprus has become unbearable for volunteers and animal lovers.


It´s made even more difficult because we get almost no help from the government or authorities and they rarely respond to calls and requests for help with animals, even when severe cruelty is involved! Also people often encounter hostility from the residents or neighbours who would prefer to see all the dogs vanish into thin air. Sadly, some of them even find fun in choking, poisoning, burning or running over the stray or abandoned dogs with their car.


No one has to like animals. But no one has a reason to harm or to hurt an animal! No one! 

tortured dogs


Just recently we have received a desperate email from a volunteer who found a stray dog in front of their property. She called the local municipality to ask if they would collect this dog and place it in a municipality pound. But she is still waiting, they just haven’t done anything to help.


She didn’t want to starve the dog, so she fed the dog and gave him water. The neighbour, a boy (and, reputedly, a great-nephew of the mayor) trod heavily on the dog on his way to school. This shows how little this country is cares about animal welfare. Young people only learn good behaviour and care by watching older people. And this shows how important education is for us all. We have to keep working for as long as it takes until finally everyone understands that dogs are living creatures with feelings, fears and pain!


This same volunteer is constantly reported by her neighbour when she receives stray dogs. These dogs living with her do not have licenses. Therefore, it isn’t possible for her to take all the street dogs, because each time she is reported she must pay a fine and she just can’t afford to do it. The neighbours don’t want any stray dogs around them and, as we have already said, they would prefer the dogs to just disappear.


A lot of people don’t seem to understand that Cyprus could actually solve the problem itself by not taking on dogs they are not going to love and care for life, and, of course, by neutering every animal so that they don’t continue to multiply, exacerbating the problem. The people are the real problem, not the dogs, but we have to continue working hard to educate them.


Each stray dog outside the volunteer’s house also means that her own dogs bark and this also means trouble with the neighbours. The neighbours don’t want to hear barking dogs, so she will be reported again. What is not mentioned is that the people or the children annoy the dogs often by running in front of the gates up and down or with bikes again and again so the dogs keep barking.


Stray dogs everywhere on the island.

stray dogs


If the communities of Cyprus would take care of all stray or abandoned dogs just as it should be, volunteers wouldn’t be in the position of trying to rescue and help every dog, thereby causing less distress and trouble for her and her neighbours alike!


One might think perhaps the stray dogs have a freer life on the road, a better life than in the small pens of the pounds. But what happens to these wild dogs? Often, they are tortured, run over or poisoned. And if they survive the cruelty they would probably starve or die of thirst. For this reason, we try to rescue stray dogs and hope they can be homed here in Cyprus or abroad.


Please, don´t look if you don´t have strong nerves. Don´t look in the presence of children!


If there were no caring volunteers in Cyprus, many of these dogs would perish miserably, tortured, poisoned or run over. But who pays for all this work, for all the vet bills, for the cost of food, for sleeping places, for the castrations and for micro chipping? Quite often here in Cyprus, the volunteers pay out of their own pocket or, if a space can be found, the dogs come into a shelter,  however all the shelters are dependent on donations to survive.


The financial crisis has hit volunteers and animal shelters very hard. The situation only gets worse and worse. More and more dogs are abandoned. The little help we have received disappears almost entirely and very quickly. And also sponsors, as the financial situation bites ever harder, find they are not in a position to help in the same way.


The small advances that we have made to protect the dogs in the last few years are fizzling away to nothing! We see more and more abandoned dogs on the streets and highways, where they usually die agonizing deaths. We know there are many more difficult years ahead. We desperately need your help, the help of all people in Cyprus, to make a better life for all the dogs.


What we want to see are many happy dogs and many happy endings like these:

happy dogs


Please help us, and therefore all the stray and abandoned dogs, so that we will able to continue our work. We want to continue to help these poor animals, but we need your help because of the high vet bills, travel costs etc. We would also like to help out the volunteers and foster carers with food and medical care for the dogs they look after.


If you want to help us and our Cyprus dogs, then please make a donation.

Have a look on our page for Donations.