A dog shelter covering six Nicosia municipalities is set to be upgraded and expanded, they announced on Friday to mark World Stray Animals Day.

The day is recognised around the world on April 4.

The municipalities of Nicosia, Strovolos, Aglandjia, Lakatamia, Ayios Dhometios and Engomi announced they have secured a plot next to the existing temporary dog shelter in Paliometocho.

The mayors of all the municipalities signed an agreement with the interior ministry for the lease of the plot for one year with the right of renewal.

“The municipalities, understanding the serious problem of the increasing number of strays, which results in increased needs for dog shelter space, requested the allocation of state land for the creation of a dog exercising area, while maintenance and upgrading works will also be carried out on the existing facilities,” the announcement said.

The facility is the only municipal shelter in Cyprus, and is managed by the animal welfare organisation Simba Animal Aid.