Paws dog shelter in Paphos urgently needs more volunteers and is holding an open morning on Sunday to encourage people to offer whatever time they can on a weekly basis.
Shelter manager, Matthew Harris told the Cyprus Mail on Friday, that the facility is desperately short of volunteers and although they have around fifty to sixty people offering their time, a minimum of ten a day is needed.
“Whatever time people can give is great, if they want to come for a couple of hours a week and walk the dogs, or if they want to wash them, or clean out their pens, it’s up to them,” he said.
The open morning will take place on Sunday at the shelter from 9am- 12 noon and all would-be volunteers are invited to turn up, he said.
The shelter in Acheleia in Paphos is currently home to around 150 dogs and puppies and Harris said that number of dogs and puppies being dumped has not slowed. The worst areas are Coral Bay and the Sea Caves in Peyia.
“I don’t know the reason for this, perhaps it’s hunters letting them lose in the Akamas, or people letting their dogs out on the street with no collar or microchip and people mistakenly thinking they are strays, I don’t know,” he said.
Harris receives at least five calls a day from this area and said that obviously they can’t take every dog.
“People can keep the dog until we have space, try another shelter or take it to a vet and get it vaccinated, checked over and chipped and this enable us to take them in more quickly,” he said.
Due to an outbreak of the parvovirus earlier this year, which can be deadly for young or unvaccinated dogs, many of the shelter’s puppies are currently in foster care until they are old enough to get their vaccinations, he said.
Founded in January 1985, Paws dog shelter aims to rehome as many shelter dogs as possible and offer them a better quality of life. It will cost around 200 thousand euros to operate the shelter this year.
Harris said that although all of the shelter’s residents are looking for caring homes, two of the longest residents in particular, are desperate for loving homes.
Chester, a Labrador cross, has been living at the shelter since he was a puppy and is now six years old. Harris said that the fun-loving dog likes people and loves the water but is in real need of a human companion.
“He would really benefit from a forever home and he’s calmed down a lot since he’s got older. He likes to play fetch and plays well with the other dogs, and he loves walking on a lead.”
Harris said that whilst many of the dog companions have been rehomed through the years, Chester always seem to get overlooked.
“Perhaps it’s because he’s quite a big dog and it puts people off, but he’s a gentle giant,” he said.
Another of the shelter’s long term residents, Larry, a five-year-old chocolate brown Labrador cross has also been overlooked.
He was found tied to the shelter gates in 2013 when he was just a puppy and has lived at the facility ever since. He is fully vaccinated and neutered and is a quiet affectionate dog who loves to go on walks, said Harris.
“Larry is quite shy but gets on well with the other dogs. It would be really lovely if someone would come forward and give him a forever home with a loving family.”
If you are interested in giving a dog a home or volunteering at Paws, please contact PAWS via message on their Facebook page, or telephone: 99 683775.