By Roger Bara…
This Sunday will see the start of what is hoped will be a regular mini-bazaar in the popular little fishing village of Bogaz, with the aim of raising sufficient funds to feed the increasing number of animals at the Iskele Dog Shelter.
Organiser Charley Balli told Cyprusscene why this has been deemed necessary. “Unfortunately, we’ve heard that one of our biggest donators has stopped providing food, so we need to replace that urgently. While things were not so good at the Shelter some time ago, superwoman – my mum Tina, has done an amazing job there to improve things.”
But more help is needed, particularly with finances. Charley said “We’ve had a team meeting of volunteers and hopefully, thanks to Maria from Busy Bees, we’re allowed to hold a bazaar every Sunday at Pisces and Spices restaurant, next door to Busy Bees in Bogaz. There, people can sit down and have a drink and relax as well as looking at what’s on offer.”
If this doesn’t work, what will it mean? “A shortfall in dog food, simple as that,” warns Charley. “Myself, mum and others have already been putting our hands in our own pockets, but there are at least 150 dogs already, with new puppies being brought in every day. We try and limit the admissions, but how can you turn away animals?”
So, this coming Sunday, 16th August, at 12.30pm, the bazaar will start with new, old and second hand stuff, clothes, books and household items.
Charley is hopeful of help from the local population around the Iskele area. “We’re looking for anybody who has items that they have no use for anymore; we are using social media to advertise this. We intend to do this weekly, and it doesn’t just have to be a summer thing. Maybe in the winter we will be able to go inside. Maria’s wonderful, and she is encouraging us to go on for as long as possible.”
So, what is the message to businesses and potential donors in the area? “We know that many restaurants are offering to give scraps to us, and we are grateful; we know beggars can’t be choosers, but the dogs cannot live on things like bread. They must have the nutrients as well and other benefits that proper dog food offers. Bones or anything chewy is good, it occupies them and stops them getting into mischief. So if people are going to donate, and I really don’t want to sound ungrateful, because I’m very grateful indeed, cakes just won’t cut it. So things like scrap meat, as long it’s not mouldy, and bones would be great.”
Finally, Charley made the point of what keeps her mum Tina and the other volunteers going during difficult times. “It’s always been a firm belief of mine that the Belediye isn’t technically there for the dogs, it’s to clean up the streets. So the care of the dogs is really down to us.”
If you want to help, or just have a good old nose around, be outside Pisces and Spices every Sunday from 12.30pm, starting this Sunday, 16th August.