happily ever afters

Elpida and Hara

No comments

Written by Paul Taylor and Robert Leitch

The story of Elpida and Hara our two Creten puppies. On Saturday the first of June we decided to go for a day out taking in Vai beach, Palekastro, and Zakros Cape we left Elounda around 9 am with our friends son seventeen year old Scott Campbell who has lived in Elounda since he was a small child and speaks fluent Greek. We stopped of at the View Point Restaurant with amazing views of the Gulf of Merabello and Aghios Nikolaos around 11.20 am for a late breakfast , we then carried on our journey we stopped just the other side of Sitia town centre on a bridge across from the beach by Sitia bay, my Sciatica was playing me up and I was just about to get out of the car when my Partner Robert spotted a dirt lay-by at the end of a dirt track lane so he thought it would be a much safer spot to stop this was around 12.30 lunchtime. We got out the car and lit up a cigarette and walked to the back of the car when something shot between Roberts legs he thought it was a cat but when he looked down it was a cute little golden puppy looking up at him with the most beautiful eyes, I immediately told Robert to pick it up and put it in the car as we were next to the main highway I was terrified incase it got ran over. We saw a Taverna just a little further down the road so young Scott and I decided to take the puppy down and ask if it belonged to someone in the area, the owner made a few phone calls and told us that it was a stray and it had been seen running along the road and adjacent lane with other puppies, but they did not know how many there were. We took the wee puppy back to the car and Scott sat with it in the back of the car while Robert and I discussed what we were going to do, we decided to wait a little while longer to see if anymore puppies turned up after half an hour we decided the best thing to do was carry on to Vai as we could get parked up in the car park and try and sort things out from there, just has I was about to get in the car I heard a whimpering sound coming from underneath a large wheelie bin at the side of the lay-by I looked underneath and there was a black puppy underneath it was terrified and would not come out I don’t know if it had been there all the time we were there or if it had just crawled there from the land behind anyway I had to lay on my belly and drag it out the poor thing was shaking, but once she was in the back of the car with Scott and her sister she soon fell asleep she looked a lot weaker than her sister. We made our way to Vai and arrived around 14.30.

Before I carry on with my story I would like to state that we had a Patterdale terrier Tess at home she will be 13 years old in February 2020 , she was thrown out of a car doing 70 mph at Morpeth Northumberland And sustained terrible injuries when she was 18 months old, we adopted her shortly afterwards she was so nervous but showers with our love she eventually learnt to trust people again and she is such a sweet and loving little girl. we had no intention of having any more dog’s after Tess. On our last visit to Elounda in October 2018 we found out from Scotts mother Tracy about another shelter in lerapetra, (which i will not name as i do not want to cause problems for sitia animal rescue, so i will refer to them as X) as we only had a couple of days left of our holiday it was to late to organise a visit to the shelter so we said we would make arrangements to visit on our next holiday to Elounda in may this year 2019 the day before we found the puppies in Sitia. Between our holiday in October 2018 and our holiday in May 2019 I followed The ‘X’ shelter Facebook page and a few months before our visit in may of this year I made a donation to ‘X’ of €90 for an operation on a beagle that had sustained horrific injuries by other dog’s, I also collected several donations from my friends and we rounded it up to €150 which I took out and gave to ‘X’ on our visit to his shelter on the 31st of may we saw lots of beautiful dog’s there, but we still stuck to the fact we did not want to adopt another dog, I was very disappointed with our visit to the ‘X’ shelter as after about one hour we were locked in a compound with a family from America while ‘X’ went back into Sitia to collect two women, when he got back instead of letting us out he went off showing the women around the shelter on there own and then in full view of us brought some puppies and sat playing with them on the grass outside the compound we were locked in we were stuck in the compound for well over two hours in 30 plus temperatures eventual he let us out showed us one more compound then told us it was time to leave, I asked him if I could see the dog that I had given the donation to for its operation and also Black another dog I had been following but I never got to see them I was not a very happy bunny.

Once at Vai beach I contacted Scott’s mother Tracy to see if she knew of any local animal shelters around Elounda or Agios Nikolaos area she only new of two Amber’s hope and Hector’s House in Ag Nig, so I left Robert in the carpark with the puppies to try and contact them whilst I and Scott went for a swim, when Scott and I got back to the car Robert said he could not get an answer from either Amber’s hope or Hector’s House so all he could do was leave a message with Them. I decided to give ‘X’ a call to see if he could take the puppies for a couple of days until we could get them into another shelter I told him that I was going home on the the 4th of June but I was prepared to stay in Elounda till something could be sorted out.

I was going to add here the text messages from mr X, but i decided against it, basically he told me that he could not help me and the dogs, as he was trying to sleep, but would he could do to hep was create fake papers so that the dogs would be able to fly out with us in 2 days time. We told him that we are talking to a very helpful lady from Ambers hope, and we would sort it out the correct and legal way… These 2 puppies were very young, and living on the street, so we had no idea what sort of disease’s they could be carrying. It was not a pleasant conversation, and he became quite rude with me, and i have since shared my experience on his page, and received hate mail about it.

Whilst we were in the carpark at Vai and I started my conversations with ‘X’ Tracee Walton sent a text to say that Amber’s hope was full, but if we could find someone to look after them for a few days she would try and arrange to foster the puppies, I said in my texts to ‘X’ that Tracee would try to help I then contacted a lady who I had become friends with through following The ‘X’ shelter Facebook Page, she lived near Chania and had adopted a dog from ‘X’ several weeks before , she got angry with me on the phone and said that ‘X’ could not take in every dog not even for people who had donated, she said we need to harden ourselves up and take the puppies back to where we found them and abandoned them to there fate.
We tried to give them food and water at the carpark but they would not touch either we did not have anything to tie around them to let them have a wee walk to relive them selves a man in a café gave us some plastic tubing but that did not work.
It was now time to start thinking of heading home, we new we could not take the puppies back to our apartment complex in Elounda so we had to come to the very difficult decision to take the puppies back to where we found them and leave them there

We got back to where we found them, but instead of leaving them at the lay-by we decided to drive up the dirt track lane alongside the river there where a few homes up the top of the lane we turned the car around and put the puppies in the grass verge next to the river whilst they were both reliving themselves we got in the car and drove off I tried not to look back but I could not help myself, I saw both of them chasing after the car I also noticed that Robert had seen them too and we were all in tears I said to Robert I can’t do this and he said the same, I told him not to stop suddenly incase the puppies went under the wheels I told him to drive back to the lay-by we then got out and ran up the lane we saw the puppies and called to them the both picked up speed the black and gold one jumped into Roberts lap and the gold one into my lap, we new from that moment that these two puppies were staying with us even if we had to sleep in the car that night and camp out with them until we could sort this out, we had them for the best part of the day and that bond was now unshakable we were in love with them

As we set off back to Elounda we passed through Sitia town centre and Robert noticed a police station, so we parked across the road this was around 17.30 Robert and our friend Scott went to the police station whilst I stayed with the puppies in the car young Scott spoke to the young policeman on the desk in Greek, the young policeman spoke back in English and asked why did we stop and why did we pick them up he said we should have just left them where we found them he was quite angry and said we should not come on holiday and interfere in matter’s that don’t concern us and with that he walked off and went upstairs, there was an older policeman sitting at a desk at the back of the office, so Scott shouted over to him in Greek to say that we would like to adopt the puppies if someone could help us he came over and was very pleasant compared to the young officer he said give me a few minutes and I will make a phone call, he came back and said that the local animal welfare officer would meet us at our car.
The welfare officer arrived ten minutes later he looked at the puppies and said they are beautiful and that what we had done was a fantastic think he said he was going to phone his wife and get her to explain thing to me as she was fluent in English, his wife was Despina Kounelaki and she worked for Filozoikos Syllogos Sitias animal rescue center, wich is now Sitia animal rescue. After a brief conversation with Despina her husband drove me to there family ran supermarket in Sitia where he transferred the puppies to his van then Despina explained what would happen, she told us that the puppies would be housed with others puppies of a similar age group as she thought our puppies were around 6 weeks old and far to young I told her that ‘X’ wanted to get papers from a vet he knew in Ierapetra so they could fly home with us on Tuesday the Fourth of June three day’s away, she told us that was breaking the law and we would have never have got them out of the country they would have been confiscated and we would have ended up in very serious trouble.
Despina told us that they would get inoculations in the coming days and would be treated for there flea’s, ticks and any other problems, then in about another six weeks there would get there final inoculations and would be then free to travel to the UK, they would deal with everything included obtaining passports for them all we had to do was organise the flights to Glasgow or an airport in Europe, I asked if they needed any money towards there keep but Despina said it was okay, she said they were just thankful that we had saved the puppies I had a fifty euro note in my wallet so I made Despina take this as a donation to the centre I also said I wish I had not given ‘X’ the €150 yesterday as I could have donated that too.
Despina asked if we had thought about name’s for the puppies, we said we would like to give them Greek names but we did not know any so she said she would have a thought on it and get back to us, it was heartbreaking to be leaving the puppies behinds but at least we knew they were now in safe hands so we said our very emotional goodbyes and headed back to Elounda

We Got back to Elounda around 20.30 and instead of going back to our apartment’s to shower and change for dinner which were halfway between Elounda and Plaka, we parked the car in the square so the rental company could pick it up in the morning and we went out to dinner , we met up with Scott’s parents for a drink after they finished work we told Scot’s mother Tracy that we wanted to give the dog’s Greek names, we told her that the black and brown one had slept most of the time and we thought that she was the weaker of the two so she suggested Elpitha pronounced Elpida meaning Hope, we told her that the golden one was a cheeky little scamp and a rascal, so she suggested that we call her Caps pronounced Hara meaning Joy so now the puppies had there names. The following morning Sunday the 2nd of June we handed back the keys to our hire car and then met up with Scott and we took him to Cyprianas for breakfast while we were having our Breakfast there was two couples sitting at the next table to us one of the ladies got up and went up to the bar with a charity box and handed it over to Maria the owner of the restaurant, so after Breakfast I went to the toilet passing the bar where I noticed that the charity box was for Amber’s hope animal rescue centre, so I asked Maria who the lady that handed it over was, Maria told me that the couple sitting with there back’s to our table where John and Tracy Walton the founders of Amber’s hope so I went over and introduced myself to Tracee. I told her that we were the two guys who had messaged and spoke to her about the two puppies we had found in Sitia she said that she would come over and talk to us before they left. We told Tracee Walton that we had managed to get the puppies into Filozoikos Syllogos Sitias animal rescue center in Sitia I also told her what ‘X’ told us, she said she was sorry we experienced this, but was happy we had found a solution. She said for us to keep in touch and let us know when the puppies were ready to fly and she would try and arrange the flights she told us to go home and not to worry about the puppies as they were in safe hands now. With a heavy heart we flew back to Glasgow on the 4th of June.

Before we left Crete I let Despina know the names we wanted the puppies to be called by and she thought they were good name’s for them.
We tried to get back to a normal life and get work here and at our holiday home in Berwick upon Tweed in fact we had the a new kitchen designed for there but ended up putting it in hold till next year as we could not concentrate on anything but the puppies we did manage to get some outside work done at home but another thing that started to worry us what’s how was our little baby girl Tess who is twelve years old going to react to two bounding puppies especially two bitches we were worried incase she did not accept them or attacked them as she was not that great with other dog’s that visited and stayed occasionally.
Despina sent us some photos on the 21st of June of Elpida and Hara in the kennels at Filozoikos Syllogos Sitias with several other puppies well although it was lovely to see the photos of them it also made us sad for the other puppies we wished we could have taken them all they all looked so sweet

We had an extra holiday booked to Turkey with friends that had to be cancelled a couple of years before due to a death in there family on the 21st of July till the 4th of August and this tied in with the time that Elpida and Hara would be ready to travel so this meant that we could not organise there travel to Glasgow till we got back home ,we had a great holiday but the puppies were never far from our thoughts and unfortunately I took ill and was ill for several weeks after returning so this made it much harder for me to organise the puppies travel to Glasgow, but with the amazing help of Despina Kounelaki of Filozoikos Syllogos Sitias now Sitia animal rescue we got there in the end.
Tracee Walton of Amber’s hope Crete who was now working at a animal sanctuary in Athens organised the flight to Glasgow on the 10th of September a lady called Alexis Noon was traveling to Crete for a weeks holiday to adopt a dog from Amber’s Hope and traveling back on the 8th of September registered the flight for her dog and our two in her name so that they could travel to Glasgow on the 10th.
Despina, Tracee Walton myself, my partner Robert and Alexis Noon all kept in touch with each other by messenger.
Tracee Walton forwarded Alexis Moon’s information so that Despina could arrange to have Elpida and Hara’s micro chip’s put into her name and Despina arranged the passports, then Tracee Walton’s husband John Walton arrange to meet up with Despina at Iraklion airport on the morning of the 10th of September to see Elpida and Hara, and Alexis’s dog safely boarded onto the flight to Glasgow.
For two weeks before the flight to Glasgow and although I was very weak and had Lost over two stone in weight we went shopping for goodies for Elpida Hara and our old rescue girl Tess, we bought three new beds new harnesses leads also extendable lead’s new dog bowls, hundreds of treats blankets and a basket of Toy’s, which by the way have now all been chewed till there is nothing left of them

Back to the 10th of September the flight was due to land at 17.20 UK time so we arranged to me Alexis her husband John and there grandson William at the animal holding center at Glasgow airport around 18pm, they went in to the reception first while we waited with Tess it was only
15 minutes before Alexis came out and told us we could go in before the dog’s were released, but it seemed like hours.
Once in the reception the lady who was in charge of them came through with there paper work she said they had been checked over by the airport vet walked and washed and dried she had also cleaned out there traveling crate’s too I cannot thank the staff at the holding centre enough and the young woman in charge was marvellous.
Then the time came to be reunited with Elpida and Hara they came in with Alexis’s dog she let them off there lead’s they were so excited running between us and Alexis’s family to get fussed it was a very joy-full moment, eventually we left and said a emotional goodbye to Alexis and her family promising to keep in touch. There were a couple of accidents in the car on the way home and they found it hard to settle in the car and it took a few days before they would settle at home before the realised the could actually go on the couches, there were a few accidents in the house but within a few days they were completely house trained and we have only had a couple of mishaps since.
As we knew we would be only be able to spend three weeks with them after there arrival has we were going to Turkey for 4 weeks on the 27th of September and could not cancel the holiday as it had been booked and paid for before we found the pup’s, so we took them down to our holiday home for a week were they would be away from any major road’s this was great for them and got them use to the place as my best friend was going to be spending the time down there after them along with our old girl Tess while we were in Turkey.

Whilst we were on holiday in Turkey from the 27th of September to the 25th of October four weeks we did nothing but worry about Elpida and Hara I kept texting Alastair who was looking after them, but He his a man of very few words apart from telling me that Hara had chewed the leg on my new coffee table and they had chewed the corner’s of my new cushions all he said everytime was they are fine.
After ten days in Turkey Robert wanted to get a flight back home but I said that we need to stay so that Alastair can get used to coping on his own with the three dog’s or we would not be able to go away not even to get married in Elounda next year.
Eventually it was time to go back home we arrived back in Glasgow about 3am on the 26th of October we had a taxi booked and Alastair had traveled back up from the lodge the day before so Elpida and Hara were in the house when we got home, they immediately jumped all over us they were so excited , the first thing we noticed was how much the had grown in the four weeks we had been away, the second thing we noticed was how well they and our old girl Tess were getting along together, Tess had never really played with another dog since we lost our other dog Jack 9 years earlier and now he she was instigating the play fights she has got so much more energy now and is just like a puppy again.
It has been three weeks since we arrived back from Turkey and 23 weeks 5 and a half months since we found Elpida and Hara on the 31st of may this year and every day is a special day with them along with our adorable Tess, We are so looking forward to Christmas as we are spending it our lodge at Berwick upon Tweed and the reason for this is that Jennifer Chambers who also found a dog in a deserted house in Crete and went back to rescue her and named her Cresha, and Tracee Walton arranged for her to be taken to Athens and then transported to London by road and Jenifer drove down to pick her up this morning and is now safe and well at there home.
We Jennifer Chambers her husband the two boys and Cresha are traveling up on boxing day to spend a few days with us and our three dog’s it will be a very special time

We would like to say a huge thank you to the policeman at Sitia police station, Despina Kounelaki and her husband, all the staff at Sitia animal rescue center, Tracee and John Walton, Alexis Noon and her family also Sara Padermalis and all our friends for getting us through the bad times when we received hate mail for adopting dog’s from outside the UK

Below is just a few of our photographs of Elpida and Hara and of course Tess, who has been great with both of them…

sitianimalrescueElpida and Hara
read more

Tessa and friends

No comments

Tessa tells us her story, and the story of a few of her friends who her new adoptive family have also helped..

Tessa writes:-

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.

This is me now – enjoying the sunshine!

Photos and Story provided by Bob and Helen Body

sitianimalrescueTessa and friends
read more

Daffy and Taz

No comments

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.

And here they are now enjoying the good life….

Written by Joy Hodson

sitianimalrescueDaffy and Taz
read more

We save cats too..

No comments

Nellies story…

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.”


Written by : Michael Fairbairn

sitianimalrescueWe save cats too..
read more


No comments

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.

Written by Joy Hodson

read more

Pilar & family

No comments

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…

sitianimalrescuePilar & family
read more


No comments

This handsome little man was found wandering the streets of a local mountain village called Mouliana.  He was soo scared of humans, that he would run away anytime someone would go near him… It took us a long time to try and catch him, we tried many different ways, including food and calm talking….. finally we did manage to catch him, and bring him back to the shelter for a check up with the vet and treatment for fleas and ticks.

Within the first couple of days at the shelter we could see that we would have to work a great deal with little Coby… He was showing signs of depression, and didn’t trust any human, and was also showing signs of behavioural problems…… all of which would need to be worked on if he was going to stand a chance of a finding a new home.

One of our volunteers, a kind and patient lady called Eleni Petropoulou offered to foster Coby….. To start working on his trust issues, whilst we tried to find a more permanent solution for him.

So we posted his story and photograph on our facebook page…. where by the hand of God a woman named  Julia Kontaros, who is from Sweden and  is married to a man from Greece.  She saw the post about little coconut and immediately knew that she wanted to help and got in touch with us.

It is one thing to say that you will help, then it is another thing to go through the lengths this lady went through to bring little Coconut to Sweden…. There were numerous messages back and forth between herself and Eleni (who was already fostering him) so that she could prepare for the work ahead… and then there was the technical side… getting him to Sweden, trying to find the best, most comfortable was for him to travel…. would someone drive him over, would he fly over…. In the end they got lucky and a friend of Julias was flying over…… and very kindly offered to escort him on his journey over.  At the same time Julia had managed to already find his forever home …. a Lovely lady called Nicoletter Lindvall-Rae and her family, who also lived in Sweden.

Whilst his transport to Sweden was being sort out, Eleni made a start working with him on some of his issues, giving him unconditional love, and time….. time to realise that this human was here to help him and not hurt or abandon him…. 

Unfortunately we do not know anything about his past, and what he went through before he was found at the village… so she was having to work without knowing if anything in particular would trigger him off.  One thing was for sure… He needed a bath and a brush…. Which did not go down well… And the judgment  was made that she would have to cut out some of the knots in his fur…. as he was not keen on being brushed at all…..

The day arrived for Coconut to leave…. His passport was ready, the paper work was done and he had all his injections ready to go….. this is a hard day for a foster mama….. But also a good one…. So a happy but sad Eleni bid good bye to coconut, and watched him fly away…..

Now i don’t think i will be amiss to say that Coconut owes a great deal to all three of these ladies, but Julia especially went above and beyond… from the beginning she was in communication with the shelter, Eleni and Nicolette…. she was the glue that held it all together.

Once he arrived at her house, she had a great many behaviour problems to work on with Coconut…. many were going to take training, others were going to take time, love and patience.

Julia had another dog, and Coconut would become possessive over food and toys, and most things… So this took a lot of training and calmness…..

Over the next weeks… she worked tirelessly on all his issues…. And he started to come out of his shell….. Started following her around the house, letting her brush him, and eventually stroke and hug him… The whole time she was keeping everyone up to date with his progress… until he was ready to go to Julia and his forever home.

He still has a few issues, and these will fade with time and love, but wouldn’t you?

He is a very happy boy now….. He now goes by the name Coby…. He loves to have his tummy rubbed, he adores Julias and especially her son…. And likes nothing more than going for a walk and then home for a cuddle.  

read more


No comments

We had a phone call about an abandoned mama dog with her 2 puppies, walking around a local village….

One of our volunteers went out to investigate, and found this little man hiding in a bush….. cuddled up to his mum and sister.

She had a look around, and asked if anyone owned them, they all replied the same, no…. they are just strays, they don’t have an owner or home….. they just wander around the village.

So our volunteer took henry, his mother and sister to our vet, where they could have a thorough check up, and treatments if needed.

The vet gave him a thorough health check, and found that his mum had no microchip.  They were all covered in fleas, and henry and his sister were about 5 months old.  

He was not too much under weight, as his mum had been trying her hardest to feed them all.  Living off scraps of food that sometimes a kind villager would throw for them, and drinking rain water.

Our volunteer brought them all to the shelter, where they were given a nice warm and dry bed to snuggle up in.

One of our volunteers spent the rest of the day giving them loads of cuddles and love, and made sure they all had a good meal and plenty to drink.

The following morning we set about a very important job… photos! so that we could put him (and his mother and sister, but i will tell their stories another day.) on our site, and try and find him a home as soon as possible…. This is easier said than done sometimes, and this was the case with henry!  He did not want to have his photo taken at all… was far more interested in giving kisses and cuddles… amazing how some dogs can just be so trusting and full of love even when they have been abandoned.

We uploaded his photos, and information.  We are very lucky that we work along side some sister organisations… to give an example: Germany, England and France.

So like we do with many of our puppies and dogs, we sent them his photo and information…. this means he has a far greater chance of finding a home.

Well this time Germany really did it for him…. His little face was seen on their website by a lovely lady called Sylvie Frey.

Without even being able to see him in the flesh, she wanted to adopt him…..

So we went through the official paper work for the adoption, got his passport sorted, and got him ready to fly off to Germany to start his new life!


Here he is a few months later, at his new home….. where i am told he is a brilliant addition to the family.  He loves children, other dogs and cats.  He even just won first place in a good learning dogs competition.  He is very much part of the family and is showered in love and affection every day.


read more


This little angel was found walking alone, along the main highway towards Agios Nicholaos, close to the town called Sfaka.

He was found in a terrible state.  As you can see his fur was soo badly matted we could not make out if he was a boy or girl, if he was injured at all, or if he had any skin problems underneath it all.

It took a while to try and get him to come close enough to be caught… eventually he was won over by a cheesepie… 

We took him straight to our vet, who after what seemed like hours, was able to remove all the matted fur from his body…. what a weight it was, it weighed more than his actual body weight.

He was given a full health check, which revealed he was a boy, around a year old.  He was severely malnourished, had fleas and ticks but no broken bones….

We took him back home to the shelter, where he was given his first meal in who knows how long.  And a blanket to keep him warm. 

It took pepito a while to trust a human again, he had obviously been alone for a long time….. And would prefer to sit back and watch from a far… But with time and love he slowly started to understand that we were there to help him, and we would never let him be alone again.  

We took some photos and put them up on our facebook page, then all we can do is wait, hope and pray that some one would see him and want to take him home.

Luckily for little Pepito here he didn’t have to wait to long….  he was seen by a lovely lady called Ioanna Papapetrou, who instantly fell in love with him, and wanted to make him a part of her family….

So after we went through the formal adoption paper work, and one final health check, off he went…

And here he is now….. what a difference!

He now lives in a home filled with love, walks, cuddles, playtime and soo much more….

read more