The man who spend four sleepless nights locked in a cage with 30 dogs said he was sad to leave the shelter on Friday morning.
Green Party leader Giorgos Perdikis visited Aradippou dog shelter early on Friday to watch dog trainer David Reid coming out after spending five days with the abandoned animals.
The first thing Reid did after leaving the shelter was eat a proper lunch following days of being fed pre-packaged military meals.
“I am a little tired but otherwise I am good,” the 60-year-old dog trainer told Cyprus Mail.
The activist’s aim was to work with the dogs’ fears and raise awareness.
However, during his mission, he was unable to get enough rest.
“You think you are going to sleep and then something happens,” he said. “With so many dogs barking, you don’t get a full hour of sleep.”
Reid mentioned how hard it was for him to walk away knowing he would leave the dogs in their ‘prison’.
“I will go back to work more on the dogs who still fear humans” he said but “those dogs need to be rehomed quickly.”
While he was there, Reid was also able to attend to a young female German shepherd who had just undergone operations after she was hit by a car. “She was curling up against me the whole night” he said.
The German shepherd was brought into the shelter injured a couple of months ago and her owners are untraceable. Her treatment so far cost the shelter €800, Aradippou dog shelter’s founder Christos Karoullas told the Cyprus Mail.
There was an increased interest in the dogs following Reid’s project, with two dogs are already being set aside for adoption Karoullas said.
He also pleaded with people to stop throwing away their pets in the trash or in the fields because “they don’t end up in a luxury hotel.”
“We didn’t do it to expose Cyprus, these things happen everywhere” he said.
Elafi Animal Welfare awards Anna Georghallides also noted the universality of the project.
“This project showed how animals experience the same feelings as humans; boredom, excitement, fear… being in a shelter is like being in prison,” she said.
The footage of the project will be given to a producer who will prepare a short film about ten minutes long which will be broadcasted on Elafi’s website and in an official screening.
Reid’s adventure will not see the end yet, as he is already being trained with a cat rescuer in preparation to spend a night in a cat colony and raise awareness about stray cats.
Lots of new programmes are also underway according to Georghallides, along with a “take a dog for a day” project in collaboration with many local dog shelters and businesses.