Tessa tells us her story, and the story of a few of her friends who her new adoptive family have also helped..
My first try at blogging and having keyboard trouble. Paws not designed to type, really, so I’m getting some help from a friend. My name is Tessa, because I was the fourth dog from Sitia adopted by my people – for people who don’t speak Greek, let me explain that the Greek for “four” is “tessera”!
I live with some nice people and 3 other dogs near Sitia. Life is good, but it wasn’t always like this; I spent my first few months living on the street, as my first owners didn’t want me any more and threw me out.
Living on the streets is hard for dogs & cats, and I got very weak & thin; I used to let the tiny puppies get to food before me, as I knew they were really desperate, but it didn’t help me. I could only go a few steps before I had to lie down & rest. The people I live with now found me in December that year (2009) – just before Christmas and came every day to give me extra food. They must have been really worried about me because at New Year they came to find me and brought me home. For 3 days I just slept and ate the food they gave me – I couldn’t believe my luck and could finally relax because I was safe. I stopped being smelly, as well; living on the streets makes it hard to keep clean when you have a thick coat!
This is me not long after I arrived at my home.
My people love dogs – all the other dogs that live here were strays too, and we are good friends. There are so many dogs on the streets that need homes, and I hope they can find them. My people work with others in Sitia, in a group which helps animals; they leave stray animals food every day and take them to the vet when they are ill. Some of the animals get to go to new homes, too! We have had lots and lots of puppies staying here since I’ve been here.
These 2 (Abbi & Aliki) were found as 2 week old pups with their brother. Our family made sure they were fed properly, and they grew up into big, strong girls.
They stayed at our house for 6 months, until they were found permanent homes in Germany.
When the puppies came here, there was an adult dog called Renaud with them as well. He still lives here with us! My people said that if he came here, he stayed – they didn’t want him to be sent away again. He’s quite old now, but he still runs around ok.
One day, he and one of our other dogs (a very naughty one called Dusty) nearly caught a CAT! It was a bit hurt, but luckily (I think) the people saved it, and kept it in their bathroom for a while until it could have a “little operation” and then it went to Germany.
It was a white cat called Snowy, and white cats sometimes get sick here, so I’m glad it could go somewhere safe. There have been other CATS here sometimes, too, so I check the bathroom every morning just to make sure that none have sneaked in! You know how dodgy CATS can be!
This one was really dangerous!
Some of the puppies that have come to stay here have been really sad. Poor little Casper arrived at our gate very early one morning. It was still a bit dark, and our people could just see a little white shape, sitting there crying. Once they were able to catch him, they brought him in, and could see him properly. His poor ears were absolutely full of ticks (yuk) and the skin couldn’t be seen at all. Once they had got rid of the ticks he grew up well and I loved playing with him (even though he was a boy puppy!) The last I heard from him he was sitting in the back of a Saab Cabriolet on his way to the south of France – he really landed on his little paws!
One day we got a call to look after another sad puppy that was crying all the time. He came home here, and still cried, so my people found the tiniest puppy in the shelter to come and keep him company; enter Bonnie!
This is Bonnie, with my big friend Alex – he was terrified of her! She stayed here for quite a long time, and then went to Germany. We loved having her here, but we were really pleased that she found a new home.
Little Scamp was found by the side of the main road, along with another pup called Scruffy, and they both came to stay here for a few months. Scamp had something wrong with her front legs when she came here, and couldn’t walk properly. She had to do lots of exercises, but by the time she left she was fine, and found a nice home. She changed her name to Luna!
I’m really glad that all these pups have found new homes.
We are 2 girl dogs and 2 boy dogs living here now, and all of us are lucky.
Two of our wonderful volunteers tell the story of how they met and adopted 2 rescue dogs…
We came to live in Crete in 2001 and had the company of our lurcher called Merrick for four years. We had promised ourselves that we would not have another dog until we had done a bit of traveling to see the island where we had settled.
It became obvious after 3 weeks without a dog that this was not going to happen. My son had been spending his first 2 week holiday in his renovated house in a tiny village in the valley below us. He contacted Ray and asked him if he could come down to the village whilst I was at work. It transpired that he had been feeding a little cream and tan spaniel type bitch but was now concerned about her welfare when he left to go back to work in two days time. The village was almost deserted and knowing how much Ray was missing Merrick, he wondered if I could be persuaded to adopted her. Ray took one look and knew that I would fall in love with her but they would have to give her a good wash and brush up before they presented her to me in the office. Of course we took her in; she was such a sweetie and we called her Daffy.
Working as an estate agent took me to many parts of East Crete. An owner in Athens wanted to sell his house in Agios Georgios and In the garden, tied up under a tree, was a little black hairy dog who was supposed to be guarding the chickens. A nearby neighbour was using the garden whilst the owners were away. On several visits to show buyers around, this little dog was so pleased to see us but was gradually looking more and more neglected. His coat was full of fleas and ticks and he must of being fed but his water bowl was empty, despite a water tap nearby. On two occasions, midnight visits were undertaken by my boss, to spray the dog to control the flies and ticks. We found a buyer for the property and the neighbour had to clear the garden. Ray had fallen for this little dog and had asked the boss a few days before, what was likely to happen to it. We had just taken on Daffy two days before, so when Ray expressed a wish to adopt him his appeal was answered with, well we have already got one so another will fit in fine. An urgent Sunday morning call had Ray rushing off with a dog box in the car to collect the dog before the owner changed her mind. Ten minutes after putting him into the box at the back of the car, Ray glanced back to find that he had escaped and was standing on top of it looking out of the back window. My daughter named him Taz after the Tasmania devil because of his protruding dog tooth and the two dogs became inseparable friends for many years until Daffy’s accidental death deprived us of her company. Taz lived for several more years and recently died of old age. As far as we could tell he was about 14 years old and both dogs had bought great happiness to us and their many friends especially the children in the village.
Two of our amazing volunteers, Tony and Lynne Acharya. Volunteer their time at the shelter, and take some of the dogs out for walks, adventures and most importantly socialisation with their own dogs.
Here we will keep you up to date with who they have taken out and what they have gotten up to….
This gorgeous little girl (little white girl on the left) is going to be the perfect addition to one lucky family’s home!
We took her and her brother out for the afternoon, with two of our own dogs. Although she had never met any of us before, she was totally comfortable with us, and the kisses and cuddles we gave her were returned in spades. We took her in the car and she cuddled on my lap, then settled beside me as we drove to a safe place for her to explore. Within minutes she was walking around, happily exploring the new surroundings and experiences, and wasn’t fazed at all by the collar and lead. She gave kisses to both our dogs and they were perfectly happy with that. She encouraged her less confident brother to explore with her and they rolled around playing and covering each other in the long dried cut grass. A calm, happy and confident little girl that I would have brought home with us to live had it been remotely possible! Be quick if you’d like to adopt her…she deserves to be in the most loving home very quickly.
This gorgeous little boy is a total softy. All he wanted was cuddles. He was a little nervous of his first car trip, needing a little reassurance. He loved our two dogs and wanted to make friends with them rather than explore the area we took him too with his sister. A little unnerved by the first time in a collar and lead, he preferred to lie in the grass and play. Once he saw his sister having a drink he happily trotted over to have some too. He is a gorgeous little man who will be a fabulous addition to your family as an only dog but I think he would love being with a calm, confident, older dog to show him the ropes.
Εθελοντές ενισχύουν την προσπάθεια του Φιλοζωικού Συλλόγου Σητείας Η προσπάθεια του Φιλοζωικού Συλλόγου Σητείας ενισχύεται σημαντικά από εθελοντές που κάποιοι από αυτούς διανύουν πολλά χιλιόμετρα προκειμένου να φτάσουν στη Σητεία και να προσφέρουν τη βοήθεια τους. O Mike και η Carol έρχονται από την Αγγλία εδώ και 15 χρόνια για να ενισχύσουν την σημαντική αυτή προσπάθεια που κάνουν οι εθελοντές του Φιλοζωικού Συλλόγου Σητείας και που όπως ομολογούν και ίδιοι φαίνεται να φέρνει αποτέλεσμα.
Ενισχύστε την προσπάθεια του Φιλοζωικού Συλλόγου Σητείας για την απόκτηση του δικού του αξιοπρεπούς χώρου.Όπως δήλωσε στα ΣΗΤΕΙΑΚΑ η πρόεδρος κα Κουνελάκη Δέσποινα είναι ο μόνος τρόπος για να λυθούν τα προβλήματα που αφορούν την φιλοξενία και φροντίδα των αδέσποτων του Δήμου.
4 Οκτωβρίου. Παγκόσμια Ημέρα των Ζώων. Ημέρα δράσης για τα δικαιώματα και την καλή διαβίωση τους. Σε μια κοινωνία που αλλάζει έχουμε σύμμαχο τη Διεθνή Ένωση Αστυνομικών, τοπική διοίκηση Λασιθίου, που απέδειξε εμπράκτως την προσφορά της στο Φιλοζωικό Σύλλογο Σητείας. Μαζί συνεχίζουμε για να εξαλειφθουν φαινόμενα κακομεταχειρησης όλων τη μη ανθρωπίνων πλασμάτων. Γιατί “τι είναι ο άνθρωπος χωρίς τα ζώα; αν εξαφανίζονταν όλα τα ζώα, ο άνθρωπος θα πέθαινε από τη μεγάλη μοναξιά του πνεύματος.” (αργηγος Σιάτλ 1786-1866, φυλή Ινδιάνων Σουκουάμις)
October 4th, was world animal day! We have an ally in the International Association of Police Officers, the local administration of Lassithi, which has proved its alliance to the Sitia Animal Rescue. Together we will continue to eradicate the ill-treatment of all non-humans. Why ‘what is man without animals? if all animals were gone, man would die from the great loneliness of the spirit’ (Seattle Trooper 1786-1866, Indians Soukamis tribe)
This weekend we sterilised 86 cats and 33 dogs. As part of our on going battle to try and reduce the stray population, the best way… at the route of the problem…. if we can manage to sterilise as many as possible, we should be able to start reducing the stray population. A huge thank you to Förderverein Arche Noah Kreta e.V. who provided the vets.
A big Thank you to Nikos Pandermalis who made the video for us, and his continuing help with taking photos to help spread our story.
And also a huge thank you to all our wonderful volunteers, without your help the weekend would not have been such a huge success, each of you was a massive help….. The animals and us thank you .
Come and see how we got on by watching our video below…
English follows…Αυτό το τετραήμερο στειρώσαμε 86 γάτες και 33 σκυλιά.Ένα τεράστιο ευχαριστώ στην Förderverein Arche Noah Kreta e.V. και τους κτηνιάτρους τους.Και επίσης άλλο ένα σε όλους τους υπέροχους εθελοντές μας, χωρίς τη βοήθεια των οποίων δε θα είχαμε τόσο μεγάλη επιτυχία…This weekend we steralised 86 cats and 33 dogs. A huge thankyou to Förderverein Arche Noah Kreta e.V. who provided the vets. And also a huge thank you to all our wonderful volunteers, without your help the weekend would not have been such a huge sucess, each of you was a massive help….. The animals and us thank you .Thankyou to Nikos Pandermalis who made and edited the video for us
Nellie’s story began on a hot summer’s day in 2015 when the sound of a mewing kitten could be heard coming from the bottom of a large rubbish bin on Sitia seafront. But the kitten was not scavenging for food — she had been tied up in a plastic bag and tossed in with the trash to die.
The kind-hearted passer-by pulled the bag containing the crying kitten out of the bin and took it to Sitia Animal Rescue where, as luck would have it, the vet from Forderverein Arche Noah Kreta e.V. was paying a visit for one of the regular neutering sessions. The little kitten was found to have one badly damaged eye and was operated on immediately to remove it.
But what’s the future for an undernourished one-eyed feral kitten? It couldn’t just be put back on the street, where it would surely die. The kitten’s plight attracted the attention of one of the UK’s largest-circulation newspapers, which published her story online and the work being done by Sitia Animal Rescue. That story from 2015 is still on the internet and you can read it here:
And what of Nellie today? Did the story have a happy ending? You bet it did! After being fostered here in Sitia for a few more weeks until she was old enough to travel, Nellie was then given all the necessary jabs, together with a pet passport, and flown to England to begin a new life with her British “mum and dad.”
Rufus appeared in an almost deserted village in Eastern Crete and looked like a pure bred German wirehaired pointer. Only two local residents lived in the village but we were involved in the renovation of my son’s property and were helping to feed the feral cats, so in the absence of a local shelter, we found him a small abandoned block building and provided him with a clean warm bed and fed him every day because we were unable to home him due to our circumstances. He had suffered a broken back leg in the past which left him with a limp, but otherwise he was fit and healthy with a lovely temperament. With the arrival of an Arche-Noah Vet to the Sitia Animal Welfare we had him neutered and checked over and once the renovations were complete, my son and his wife fed him when they were in the village with us filling in when they were away. Rufus was free to wander in the area but he always returned for his food and shelter at night. This continued for about five years until his work forced them to return to the UK.
Whilst Rufus missed them and their dog he continued to live his free life style whilst living in the kennel beside their house with us going every day to feed him through the worst days of the winter until one morning Ray found him limping towards him with the same damaged leg hanging in the air. The xray showed a bad brake close to the joint and an operation to repair the fracture had only a limited chance of success. A different way of dealing with this kind of fracture, entailing making a half plaster caste and pressure bandaging the leg every day, was used to repair the damage whilst Rufus endeared himself to the veterinary staff who agreed with us that at his mature age it was not possible to return him to the village. With the aid of Arche Noah he found his forever home in the residence of a German volunteer who loves and adopts these large dogs with similar health problems.
Arriving in winter and coming from the relative heat of Crete, Rufus goes into the house to be introduced to the other dogs and immediately chooses the dog bed closest to the radiator and subsequent photos sent to us have shown him running and playing with the other dogs in the owners lovely garden.
One morning we had a phone call, from someone who does not want to be named… About her dog that had given birth, at the village of Pilalimata. She did not want to keep the puppies, and demanded that we come and take them, or she would “take care of the issue herself”
So one of our volunteers, who was already in the area, said she would drive past and check out the situation.
What she found just past Pilalimata…. (why we called her Pilar) was a mummy with her pups, living in a wooden box….. exposed to the cold wet winter weather….
Mum/Pilar was soo skinny you could see all her bones, it was amazing her puppies were in such good condition, especially when you consider she had been living off cucumber!
We can not just take the dogs… this is against the law and could cause serious leagl issues…. We have to be given the animals, and the owner was nowhere around, the heart breaking choice had to be made to leave with out them, and contact the owner to arrange a collection. The volunteer left some food and water, and with a very heavy heart had to head back to the office.
We were able to track down the owner and arrange collection the following day… but when our volunteer arrived at the same location, the puppies were missing!
The owner claimed that maybe they had run away! one month old puppies, who need to feed every 2 hours… run away…. not convinced!
Neither was our volunteer, and after what seemed like hours of discussion, the owner admitted to dumping them further down the road….
So we finally had the puppies…. but what about the poor mum! firstly these angels were still nursing every 2 hours! And if we did take them and bottle feed them, what would happen to mummy Pilar? live the rest of her life on that chain…. eating cucumber? No way….
We managed to convince the owner….. which was not easy… to hand over mum as well.
So we managed to get the family back to our shelter. and then set about making sure their were no health issues, some food for them all, and a warm bed.
Due to the ages of the puppies, and the state of mummy Pilar… we decided to wait until the puppies were older and weaned, and mummy had put on weight and was healthy again, before we would put them up for adoption.
These angels were not up for adoption for long… within a month Pilar and all the puppies had been adopted and off to their new homes…
Here are some photos we have been sent from all their new families of them in their new homes…