We have moved!

20.11.2016

Robert’s Dog Sanctuary is on the sunny island of Cyprus that boasts over 360 days of sunshine in a year. Sounds like paradise, right?

Think again… The Island of Love and the weather it commands do not have the same appeal to a furry little friend, as they do to a tourist that has just landed to indulge in sea, salt, sand.

Summer temperatures reach in excess of 40 Celsius and summer reigns supreme for over 6 months on end. Winters, though brief, are typically cursed with monsoon-style showers, which are very welcome for us, people and our crops. Yet, an animal that lives in a wiry cage has a different story to tell…

We have been based on a largely open field in a village outside Limassol for a while. Because of the lack of utilities and facilities, cleaning pens and cages was a Herculean task. Summers were so scorching that even the staunchest volunteers could only walk dogs in very short periods of time. Winter brought rains so violent that dogs were at risk of drowning. We dreaded the change of season, not knowing what is worse…

flood-in-sheltershelter-flood

 

And lack of gates meant that most dogs had to be put on chains, lest they run off and become victims of a nearby farmer that wants to protect his lifestock…That meant dozens of dogs, large and small, had to be isolated from each other, chained up for their very own protection. Days morphed into days and weekends were the only times the puppies could get a decent stretch in, when volunteers came in to walk them, free from their office desks at last.

old-shelter

And then we rallied up, called in every favour, bombarded our friends and family with fundraisers and have managed to make a move. It was a bold and adventurous affaire, as stay-at-home moms, office workers and their relatives came in to the new premises on the other side of Limassol to lend a hand. Literally… Money talks but cash was not going to suffice at this stage. Everyone had to learn a skill. They churned cement, they wrestled with metal sheets, they moulded wires and they managed to construct ample pens for 150 dogs and counting…

shelter-dogs

Many of them are now in roomy pens with their mates, able to socialise. Some have to be kept in solitude for one reason or the other but all get to run around in the walled courtyard.

doggies-on-furniture

Of course our volunteers do not sit idle and still come at any opportunity to take them for walks amongst the orange trees and along the nearby creek. You can, too! What a way to get in some fresh air and puppy love!

dog-walkers-group