Virtually every major city has a stray dog problem. Some places have it far worse than others though. In cities with a severe stray problem, residents often consider these dogs a nuisance. Some, however, are the heroes these pups desperately need who think they deserve better.
Dimitra Andrenou is one of those heroes.
In order to help her husband Paul Kofteros’ business, Dimitra and her family moved from Leicester, England to Larnaca, Cyprus.
Dimitra quit her job as an assistant bank manager for the move. Initially, her plan was to open a dog hotel for extra income, with a handful of kennels for strays. After what she witnessed on her walks around town, Dimitra just couldn’t bear the thought of leaving so many stray dogs to ‘die of starvation.’
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From the day she moved to Cyprus, she was horrified by the treatment and the condition of stray dogs she saw.
“I have seen dogs living in horrendous conditions, cooped up in a small cages covered with excrement and dirty water. Hunters will use their dogs until they can’t physically work anymore and then dump them in appalling conditions or even worse shoot them. It doesn’t get any easier seeing dogs who are skin and bone every day and scared of everything and anything.”
At first, Dimitra took it upon herself to help the suffering stray dogs she encountered.
“I used to bring them to a local rescue shelter for check-ups and had fostered approximately 30 dogs before I decided to open up my own shelter.”
Eventually, she founded Doggie Warriors Rescue Sanctuary. Dimitra had to stop helping her husband with administration to give everything she had to the shelter. It became her full-time job.
Her husband Paul also put everything he had into getting the shelter off the ground (supposedly he was ‘sick’ of her filling their home with strays.) Even their two children Andrea (6) and Sotiris (5) volunteer with the dogs in their spare time. It really is a family affair.
The Sanctuary’s mission statement is clear and simple:
“Our mission is to relieve the suffering of animals, predominantly stray and abandoned dogs, in need of care, attention, and to provide and maintain rescue facilities for the care and treatment of such animals, with the eventual hope of rehoming these animals into loving families.”
Doggie Warriors Rescue Sanctuary was founded in January of this year. Since then 52 dogs have found a forever home. Some have even been flown to Europe to their new families.
Just a look through the Facebook page is enough to prove how much passion goes into saving these helpless pups.
Dimitra, a woman who used to put so much effort into her appearance and material things now finds herself “covered in dog poo” day by day. Her new, different lifestyle makes her immensely happy.
“I never thought I would invest all my time and money into looking after and rehoming dogs, but it is the best thing I ever did.”
Honestly, the dogs in the sanctuary look pretty happy too.
Since it’s such a small operation, Doggie Warriors really relies on donations. They spend around £350 a week on food, and vet bills cost between £100 to £400 per visit.
Luckily, Doggie Warriors has a PayPal account you can donate to if you’re feeling even a fraction as generous as Dimitra!
FEATURED IMAGE: @DoggieWarriorsRescueSanctuary/Facebook
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