Readers Mail
From Kyrenia Animal Rescue…

When we received a link to this excellent article by Melanie Whitehouse, featured in the Sunday Express magazine on Sunday 3rd December 2017, we were so proud of Margaret Ray, it was too good not to share with our readers. The whole article can be reviewed at the end of this one.

Melanie Whitehouse’s article replicated below

Margaret Ray, 67, moved to Cyprus in 1995 from Somerset with her husband David, 74. She founded Kyrenia Animal Rescue (KAR) in 1997 to help stray cats and dogs.

Margaret said: “We retired to North Cyprus from Somerset in 1995 after we’d fallen in love with the area while on holiday. KAR began after a few of us found four puppies walking in the middle of a busy road. After trying to find them new homes, we decided to work together to help other street animals.

Back then, most cruelty cases were due to ignorance. Unwanted dogs were abandoned in the mountains, tied up without shelter, food or water and diseases were left untreated. Some locals were – and still are – frightened of dogs and can be extremely cruel. Cruelty to animals makes me angry and makes me take action. But when an animal is in distress, I switch off emotionally, like a paramedic would be at the scene of an accident, so I can help it.

In 1999, we opened our rescue centre in the beautiful Besparmak mountains. It’s home to about 300 dogs and puppies and 60 cats and kittens. We find homes for many but there aren’t enough good homes here, so it’s wonderful when visitors fall in love and offer a dog or cat a home.

In 2004, we set up an education team to teach children how to behave with dogs and cats, and hopefully this is now filtering through to the older generation, although half-starved dogs full of ticks are still left at our shelter overnight.

Their eyes light up when they see us. They’re so trusting – even after what they’ve been through. We’ve encouraged the local authorities to take responsibility for street animals and slowly we’re seeing changes. Microchipping and registration is now law for all dogs.

The infrastructure is in place, but isn’t enforced enough to make it work. To begin with, we were neutering dogs and cats in a garage on a kitchen table, with a vet working for free.

Now we use private vet clinics but the cost is astronomical. Soon we’ll have our own neutering programme run by our own vet at our own clinic, but we have to employ a Turkish Cypriot and there aren’t any looking for a job. We receive no government help, so we raise funds through events, our three charity shops and collection boxes.

Margaret Ray in the Sunday Express magazine

Visitors to our centre sponsor cats or dogs for £10 a month, which is regular income. In May, we celebrated 20 years of KAR. We’ve achieved huge things – but there is still so much to do. When David and I arrived, we were looked at with amusement, when we took our two German shepherds for a walk on leads.

Now local people walk their dogs on leads, proudly displaying smart collars. I’m sure KAR has had some influence in how people now respect their animals.”

For more details, visit Rescue rules Strict laws are in place for bringing animals into the UK.

For entry without the need to be quarantined, dogs and cats must have a pet passport, a rabies vaccination and (usually) should have been treated for tapeworm.

They also need to be microchipped (before the rabies vaccination, otherwise the jab won’t count) and travel with an authorised transport company on an authorised route.

Find out more at Companies such as Airborne Pets (, 01784 425303 or 0161 359 3914) provide a full import process for your pets, including the necessary UK import paperwork.

To see the whole Sunday Express article Click here


Kyrenia Animal Rescue rely solely on donations for funding, please help us to help the animals of Northern
Adopt, Volunteer, Feed, Sponsor, Donate, Love – our animals want all of these but would be happy with just
one of them


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