What is your biggest concern at the moment?
A massive cause for concern for all animal welfare organisations at present must be the large number of people leaving Cyprus because of the financial crisis. No money no job!
Every day I get phone calls asking for help to re home unwanted animals that they are leaving behind.
Although PARC volunteers work hard to help sick and injured homeless animals we are not a shelter and we cannot accommodate all the dogs, cats, puppies and kittens that are being abandoned every day.
We are not unsympathetic but a trickle has now become a flood. An animal needs a passport to fly and if travelling to the UK it takes 7 months to process. Our information leaflet given to new pet owners’ offers advice about passport issues. Unfortunately, the majority of people that come to live here are adamant they will not return to the UK.
Sadly, they do! – The stories are horrific. Some examples are:
1. We are leaving next week no one will take the dog off us? If you won’t take him we will just throw him out of the car on the way to the airport.
2. I have just come to clean an apartment. The tenant has left a dog here with no food or water. Can you help?
3. I have found this dog tied to a tree. He is in good condition and understands English commands. What can I do with him?
The list is endless. We found homes for two beautiful kittens three months ago. The new owners were middle aged, respectable people. They contacted us recently asking for boarding for a week as they were going back to UK. We advised they would need to use a Cattery. They did this; the cattery owner has been in touch to say they have not come back. The dear kittens just 4 months old now need another home. Boarding kennels and catteries are becoming very wary.
So what is the answer? What advice can you offer people who are struggling with no money and no work and animals no one will take?
We work hard to save animals from suffering and where possible from death. We never thought we would ever tell people to put their healthy pets to sleep. But is this preferable to leaving them in an empty apartment or tied to a tree? Firstly, the animals suffer terrible separation anxiety. Secondly, whoever finds these distressed animals has the problem of what to do. So by deserting them they are in effect offloading the problem.
DO I DUMP HIM OR KILL HIM? This is the question that arises when people do not plan ahead and pets are unable to leave Cyprus and travel with their owners.
Does PARC help feral cats?
One of the most important things PARC does is provide Veterinary treatment for any sick or injured homeless animals. Obviously, the feral cats come high on the list as they have no one to help with the cost. We get many referrals from people asking us to help where a cat that cannot be caught easily has a broken limb or serious illness. We use humane traps and special cages to secure them with minimum distress. Once treatment has been given by our Veterinary the animal is released in his own area. We also carry out a trap neuter and release programme. 280 cats have been neutered by PARC in the last 9 months and we have now neutered more than a thousand since we registered. We make no charge for neutering or treating feral cats although a donation is appreciated.
In the past 2 weeks we have had two friendly feral kittens brought to us with broken limbs. Treatment was provided by Dr. Maria our wonderful Veterinary. They will return to their area when they are fit again.
This is a picture of a little kitten brought to us after a road traffic accident. Dr. Maria kept her in her clinic for five days during which time she really doubted whether she would live. She has now got a wonderful forever home.
Here is a report passed on to one of our supporters:
We stopped at Polis for petrol. I saw a poor black and white hound that could barely walk. He was skin and bone and terrified! He was also lame as though his side was damaged. He looked so pathetic struggling along looking for anything to eat in gutters. He went to a drain pipe looking for water, but it was dry. A car almost hit him when he tried to cross the road. I couldn’t stop thinking about him all night. It is terrible the way animals are left to fend for themselves.
Does PARC re home animals?
Yes, but we are not a shelter. We are totally dependent on people providing care for the dogs or cats until a forever home becomes available. We do have a small number of people prepared to foster for us but we generally only use these for sick and injured animals. So if someone wants our help to re home a pet they will need to take responsibility for him/her until a forever home is found. Sometimes it takes a month or two, so again, it is important to plan ahead. In the past year we have successfully found homes for 75 dogs and 120 cats.
Sadly it is sometimes necessary to re home a pet on more than one occasion.
Felix (not his real name) came to PARC following the death of his owner. Felix loved his owner and he grieved for a long time. He was very unhappy in his foster home as there were many animals living there. We found him a good one to one home and he was happy again. Unfortunately, his new owner had to return to the UK and poor Felix came back to PARC. Within a short time we found him yet another perfect home where he was loved. Again the people left him. We took him back but he hated it. I found him sitting on the doorstep of his last home crying. A kind neighbour took him in and we hope he will now have a forever home. We need more people prepared to take on older cats.
Do you find homes for cats and dogs abroad?
Yes, PARC are pleased to work with CYDRA (Cyprus Dogs Rehoming Association) and other organisations in Cyprus and abroad. Working together means we can save many more animals. We and CYDRA have been involved in exporting a large number of dogs and cats to other European Countries in the past year and some, like Henri, pictured above went to the UK. All prospective homes are checked prior to travel and we get good feed back on our animals. It is much easier to export to other parts of Europe than to the UK because an animal only requires a Rabies vaccine and does not need to be blood tested. This means a pet can travel after one month. It would improve matters greatly if the UK fell into line with the rest of Europe. As Cyprus is Rabies free the British Government could make changes to their import Laws.
Foster carers play a big part in our export programme. Without their help we can’t save these unfortunate creatures. Henri required foster care for 7 months. We were very grateful to Mike and Tricia who did a wonderful job providing him with special care. Short term care is all that is required to help an animal find a loving home.
If someone is prepared to offer a home to a dog or cat for 3 or 4 weeks it can save a life.
What about tethered and/or caged dogs?
If you find a dog caged or tied up without food or water or in a state of neglect you should contact the Government Veterinary. In Paphos the number is 26306269. The Law is very strict now. Any caged animal must have a suitable living area:
Must be spacious, safe and allow the easy movements of the animal
To have a suitable living area, protected from sun
To have the northern & western exposures protected from draughts
The floor to be of a hardened material for easy washing and cleaning
The floor must have a declination so that drainage of water is easily effected into the sewer
A suitable sleeping “corner” must be arranged
The Government Veterinary has a duty to investigate a complaint as soon as possible and in my experience they have always responded quickly and respected confidentiality.
Barking dogs can be reported to the Police.
Clearly PARC does a lot of work with homeless animals. How do you fund this?
We are dependent on the goodwill and generosity of people who care. We also do numerous fund raising events which are successful but also very time consuming and we find it difficult to cope with all the work involved. There are other organisations raising funds in the Peyia/Coral Bay area now and it is important for people to know that any event advertised by us will always have the PARC logo on.
We need more volunteers with all aspects of our work. For more information about PARC and the work we do visit our website at www.parc-cyprus.org or telephone 99961157.
ANY HELP WOULD BE APPRECIATED.
View original post: Peyia Animal Rescue Club
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