Hope 4 Pets in North Cyprus
By Margaret Sheard…
We recently had a visit from Maria Chappell who is a lover of animals and having lived here in North Cyprus for nearly 8 years and seeing the plight of street animals, both cats and dogs, wanted to do something positive to help make a difference.
I asked Maria what prompted her to start the Facebook page – Hope 4 Pets North Cyprus and she told me that a good friend, Muriel, had been diagnosed with cancer and decided to return to the UK for treatment and she asked Maria if she would look after her 2 dogs, Scamp and Pepper while she was away. Unfortunately, Muriel’s treatment was not successful and she asked Maria if she could find a home for her 2 dogs. A Facebook page was set up to see if homes could be found but as all of this had taken place over a period of a year Maria decided that although she already had 3 dogs, she would keep Scamp and Pepper and give them a loving home for the rest of their days.
It was then realised that there were a lot of expatriates returning to the UK and for one reason or another couldn’t take their pets back with them and so on 21st January 2014 Hope 4 Pets North Cyprus was born with a Facebook group. The site has grown from there and now has about 580 members and it has been successful in finding homes for many unwanted animals.
Following are 2 of the early entries made on Facebook to encourage people to join with Maria’s vision of helping the abandoned animals in North Cyprus as well as missing pets.
Maria’s Vision, 21st January 2014
Hope 4 Pets is an open group for members to help find homes and love for the many abandoned dogs and cats here. All who deserve kindness, love and a forever home, in return for their love and devotion. If you are a pet lover please support by sharing on your wall and helping these adorable animals to find new loving owners. They are unable to talk for themselves WE need to Help them ALL. Thank you. Maria.
Maria’s Vision, 21st January 2014
Welcome all new members and thank you for joining, please share with your friends or also invite them by going to the right hand side of this page. All invited friends are able to take themselves off if they do not want to join. Easy. Let’s all try together to help make a difference if only for a few pets needing loving homes. Please post photos or SOS messages of missing pets we want this page to work.
Following a group discussion on their Facebook page it was decided to have a meeting of all of those interested. The meeting was held at the Pia Bella Hotel in Girne and at this time it was decided to extend the help of the group to the Nicosia and Famagusta areas with food donations etc. A carload of food has already been taken to Famagusta for the 30 or so animals at the Pound.
The Hope 4 Pets group has a lot of help from people who live in the area. Famagusta Belediyesi has a problem with stray animals and they are doing their best for them to ensure they are cared for and fed as best they can.
A law has been passed which means that all Belediyesi’s now have to provide a Pound for stray animals. All dogs have to be micro-chipped although the group realises that in cases where people have taken many dogs off the streets this can prove to be very expensive, especially with people who basically live on a pension.
Maria said that it is her intention is to work closely with the Belediyesi in each area and also the Government vets. She feels very strongly about neutering being done free of charge and emphasised that with the re-homing of stray animals, which is her vision, the private vets will in fact find that they will do more business with the people who have given the animals loving homes and may need private care in the future.
The Hope 4 Pets group feel they can do so much to help and will be encouraging people to give a home to unwanted street dogs and the puppies which are appearing all the time. The Hope 4 Pets group are also looking for foster homes for dogs and puppies while they are trying to establish a permanent home, so again animal lovers can help with short term care.
The group wants to improve the living conditions for these incarcerated dogs, make sure street dogs are fed and watered, all compound and stray dogs neutered (preferably free) and fund-raise from outside North Cyprus to fund all this and find homes abroad for as many strays as possible. In the future, the group hopes to raise enough funds to either fully fund or partially fund the transportation costs as there are many people in other countries who would adopt one of the street dogs, but perhaps cannot afford the costs of getting the dog to them.
A meeting has been held with Kyrenia Animal Rescue when they were advised what Hope 4 Pets was all about and KAR was able to offer some advice. Hope 4 Pets will be working totally independently from KAR and eventually when there are homes found in other countries this will be passed to KAR who are experts in the field of travel arrangements for pets to other countries.
An application to become a charity is being lodged with the backing of Halil and Tulin Avukat who also helped the 112 Emergency Service Volunteers with their charity status in their early days. It is hoped that when charity status is granted to Hope 4 Pets North Cyprus this will encourage even more support from the public who understand the vision and want to achieve the same goals.
On Saturday 30th August there was an Ice Bucket Challenge and Chris Elliott had given some suggestions and advice to Stephanie Harrison-Croft, a member of the Hope 4 Pets Group who was organising the event and published an article promoting it with date and time. Chris went along to take photographs of the event which was a huge success, with many participants and money being raised. Thanks should be given to the Girne Belediyesi who agreed that the event could be staged outside their offices and also to Ali at Cafe George for welcoming all of the participants and supporters for a cool drink and shade from the blazing sun and also to his customers who donated to this “splashing” event.
We are also pleased to confirm that cyprusscene.com is very supportive of this group and is currently preparing a website for Hope 4 Pets North Cyprus, as a donation to the group, and it is planned that this website will go live very soon.