By Patricia Garrod…
When I returned to North Cyprus in July this year, I was asked whether I would be interested in a new volunteer role at the rescue centre.
Not only would it be helpful to have someone ready to meet the visitors that came to the centre, they also needed someone to help with the admin, so that Elaine, the supervisor could devote her time to the dogs and cats, without having to worry about paperwork as well. It sounded like a good idea to me! I get to spend time with the animals and stay reasonably clean into the bargain.
My day starts around 8am at the new visitors’ portacabin and making it look presentable for the visitors, giving a quick dust around and sweep of the floor.
Visitors come in many guises:
- People who have never been to the centre before and want to have a good look round and perhaps take some dogs for a walk.
- The wonderful people who sponsor dogs and visit whenever they are in North Cyprus, taking their sponsor dog(s) out for a run.
- The lovely people looking to offer a forever home to a dog or puppy, cat or kitten.
- Others may have found abandoned puppies or injured/sick dogs and bring them to us.
- Some come along to donate food and toys for the dogs and cats.
- And we must not forget our regular dog walkers.
- Sadly, we also get people who for whatever reason, no longer want their own dogs and think they are doing us a favour by offering to give them to us.
Recently we had a lady called Carole, who came to visit and take some photos of our dogs for an exhibition she is holding. We can’t wait to see the photos!
So that’s the Meeter & Greeter part of my role.
On to the admin – this involves:
- Compound moves/changes, neutering, vaccinations, vet records, homings, new sponsors – all have to be recorded.
- Keeping the centre database up to date
- Naming and entering new puppies, dogs, cats and kittens on to the system. Taking descriptions of them can be time consuming, a dog of one colour is easy but you would be surprised how many different colour combinations one animal can have!
- I get the occasional assistance from Fletcher or Evie who like to pop into the portacabin, plonk their paws on to the keyboard and make a mess of what I’ve just typed. Mumble comes in for a tummy tickle and Freddy wants to sit on my lap. Life is hard sometimes!