ScenterBarks volunteering in Cyprus
When the opportunity arose for a trip to volunteer with rescue dogs in Cyprus we were intrigued. Set up by Maria at Positive Dog Trainers Academy with the help of Helen from Pet Professional network, the idea was born to give dog professionals the chance to work with these rescues.
Their slogan was "We cannot help everyone but everyone can help someone"
The thought behind this was to give the professionals a chance to work with breeds and different behaviours they may not encounter in the UK. Also, these dogs have not had the positive human socialisation that dogs in this country get and some are quite worried about being around people so we could help with that.
We were accompanied by some fantastic PDTA students too who are learning about dog behaviour so we could all learn from each other.
Before coming to Cyprus we didn't really know what to expect and were undecided about whether we should be rehoming all these dogs from abroad and could not say we fully understood why they were being flown over here. We heard arguments such as:
“we have our own dogs in rescue to worry about and why are they taken off the streets”
“forced into homes where they don’t want to be.”
These are all relevant opinions and we would be lying if we said this had never crossed our mind. Our thoughts still changed hourly/daily/weekly while we were there. The truth is, we still understand those questioning.
What is evident from going there however is they do not want to be flying dogs out to the UK, they need to! They need us to help out while they sort some of the misconceptions around dogs and welfare issues in their country. It was also clear to see the majority of these dogs are not street dogs, they are dumped at the rescue centre gates or disposed hunting dogs who end up in the pound.
We were taken to five different rescues:
- 2nd Chance Dogs
- Saving Pound Dogs Cyprus
- Dog rescue Dali
- Argos Sanctuary
- Valley dog rescue
We were taken to these as they are all non kill shelters, they are all vet checked regularly and all embrace the positive way.
Thanks to our Clients we were able to take a load of donations and hand them to the rescues in most need.
As you walk into these rescues, you can instantly feel the struggles they face as they try to save as many dogs as possible without lowering the standard of care. The need for extra hands to help is clear, they are trying their hardest with minimal staff and very limited volunteers, especially those that are more remote. In these rescues, it was normal to generally have more than one dog in a kennel which have to be carefully matched.
They all had beautiful play areas in which they can give the dogs a chance to exercise and socialise when they have the staff to supervise. We know our ScenterBarks dogs would be quite jealous if they saw!
These rescues are fighting for change by
- Educating the younger generations by going into schools and holding seminars for children
- Working alongside the government to improve welfare standards
- Assessing and training their dogs in positive ways before rehoming
- Neutering, microchipping and vaccinating their dogs
How you can help
There are many other ways you can help the rescues. There are obvious liking, commenting and sharing their posts of dogs needing a home will help get these dogs some exposure and maybe their new forever home will see them. And of course bare these rescues in mind if and when you are looking to add to your family.
Helping with their fundraising! There are so many ways you can help raise money for these dogs here in the UK.
Sponsoring - you are able to sponsor a dog, kennel and more at these rescues! How amazing is that! To have your name put to rescuing a dog.
SPDC and Argos are volunteering are fundraising to build accommodation so that holidaymakers can stay and help volunteer while enjoying the Cyprus sun! We will be the first on the flight when that is set up! Dogs and sun! Why not?
Home checking potential UK adopters to see if they are suitable for the dog coming over and preparing them for their new home.
Rescue back up – The rescues do all they can to make sure that potential adopters know what to expect when bringing home their new family member however sometimes this does not work out. These rescues need a foster home for these dogs to go while a suitable home is found for them.