Expat heroes: Paws Dog Shelter

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Expat heroes: Paws Dog Shelter

What and where:

Paws Dog Shelter is a charitable organisation that takes in and cares for stray dogs. Part of the Cyprus Association for the Protection and Care of Animals (CAPCA), it's located in Acheleia, near Paphos airport. Founded in the 1980s by a group of expats, the current shelter opened in 2007, after volunteers raised the €685,000 (£606K) needed to buy the new site. Paws has the capacity to house 150 dogs; last year it found new homes for more than 400, in Cyprus, the UK and further afield.

The Team:

On a daily basis there are between eight and ten volunteers at the shelter, most of them British expats. The Paws team includes two managers, Annie and Chris, who work 45 to 50 hours a week, a maintenance man, Graham, who works five mornings a week, and a sponsorship and events organiser, Evelyn Judge. All other volunteers, who range from 20 to 80 years old (younger in the school holidays) generally do one day a week. Some volunteers are actually on holiday, spending time at the shelter as part of their annual trip to Cyprus!

Costs and Funding:

The shelter costs €95,000 (£84K) p.a. to run. This year it received a government grant of €6,500 (£5,752) but most of the funding is raised through the Paws charity shop, fundraising events, sponsorships and donations. The charity also produces its own magazine (Paws Patter), sponsored calendars, Christmas cards and other promotional items. One year the volunteers even did a Calendar Girls style calendar, which was very well received! The Paws charity shop is in Chlorakas, Paphos, and contributes approximately €50,000 (£44K) a year to the shelter. Run by volunteers, all items sold there are donated. Fund-raising events include quiz nights, dog shows, sponsored walks, BBQ nights and dinners at local tavernas. Each event typically raises between €500-€1,500 (£442-£1,327), although the Christmas dinner dance, held at the Amathus Hotel in Paphos, raised €3,353, mainly from the raffle!



A Place In The Sun