.…is something that you say which means that life is hard and unpleasant. That certainly applies to some in Cyprus. Most of us have been involved with, or know about, the situation regarding stray and abandoned dogs. We hear almost daily of dogs needing rescuing, fostering and saving, but it is, contrary to public opinion, not all doom and gloom. There are many Cypriots and ex-pats from around the world who are doing tremendous work to help the situation.

Lao Tzu said, many centuries ago, ‘The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.’ There are several such steps being taken. One is being taken by Stray Haven Dog Rescue in Giolou. Nieske De Jonge, a caring and hardworking Dutch woman, started with just a few stray dogs but this has exploded in the last few years to around 140.

Nieske De Jonge (pictured with Eddie, general factotum extraordinaire),Eddie-and-Neiske
has sent over 80 dogs to their ‘forever homes’ around Europe in just 3 years. Thanks to her efforts, and a small and dedicated team of volunteers, all dogs have been vaccinated, with priority given to the puppies. We are proud to say all dogs at Strayhaven have been spayed or neutered.


Strayhaven filmed in 2018

Luckily Stray Haven has been helped with donations of building materials, pallets and fencing. A few dedicated volunteers built pens for the dogs, measuring 10m x 6m which house between 2 and 6 dogs each and they run free in them day and night. Great care is taken to match up the dogs and many have formed deep friendships. They all have warm, dry kennels with additional roofing for shade, as well as the almond trees which grow in each enclosure. In the summer there have also been sails added for additional protection from the sun.

In order to raise funds Stray Haven opened a shop in Peyia opposite the Fruit Market and Evangelismos Medical Center. It has a wide range of goods including clothes, jewellery, paintings, kitchenware, bric-a-brac and even furniture. A second shop has also opened in Polis opposite the municipal buildings.

Donations are always welcomed and gratefully received. There are also fundraising events such as Talent Shows, Dog Walks, Treasure Hunts and Open Days – do look out for them and come and join us. All this helps to raise much-needed funds for medications, vet bills, neutering and food.