Save pets!

The front page article in Sunday Mail (Cyprus Mail Internet Edition of 2, August 2009) adresses the issue which has been my constant concern over the last 10 years, that is abandoned pets in Cyprus, mostly cats and dogs.

Record numbers of dogs abandoned
By Nathan Morley

Britons packing up are not only kissing goodbye to their life in the sun, but their pets as well.
Despite UK's reputation of being a nation of animal lovers, British expats are rapidly becoming the main culprits behind the growing scourge of pet dumping in Cyprus<...>

A recent case in Paphos left animal rescuers close to tears when they were tipped off by an anonymous caller that a dog had been left alone in an apartment.
Rescuers were forced to break down the door, only to discover the family had packed up and fled to England, leaving the dog locked indoors and left to starve.

And only last week a family had abandoned their pet dog and cats in their garden and left for the UK, a concerned neighbour told the Sunday Mail, “they were such lovely people, I cannot understand it."

Every time I read a story of that kind, my heart is bleeding. There is no excuse for people leaving their loving and devoted pets behind knowing that they'll be lonely and not taken care of and eventually dying of starvation.

Last summer we'd nearly hit a dog on a motorway and only a miracle had saved us and that dog (see photo) which we'd picked up, fed and later delivered to a safe place. The dog was rather old but very cute and friendly. He had a little dirty scarf on his fluffy neck, and looking at him I thought about his owners and how much they'd worried about their pet being lost. But now I'm thinking that probably that cute dog might be just discarded, brought to the deserted and dangerous place near a motorway and left on his own.

The other day, we'd found a newborn kitten sealed in a plastic box and left in the middle of the road in front of our house. Thank God, we live in a quiet dead-end corner of the village and just a few cars a day roll by our house. That kitten was taken home and we'd almost broke our nails just to unseal that box! He was blind, wet and cried from cold and hunger.
Now he is one of our favorite cats named Cucumber (see photos) who shares daily food and home with the other 15 to 18 cats and kittens we'd saved and sheltered over the last few years. Yes, they leave in our garden and my husband had built a two-storeyed wooden house for them!

Some cats come and go, probably for better life someplace else. People in our village are pet-friendly, and the one can see cats and dogs in every courtyard and garden. Sometimes we feed our neighbours' dogs and they share their BBQ with our cats ) )

I do not suggest that everybody should follow our example, but I'm sure that anyone who wants to get a pet should think twice and realize that this is and always will be a lifelong (at least, the pet's lifelong) responsibility regardless of whether the one wishes so or not.

And those who betrayed their pets must beg for the Lord's forgiveness...