Cyprus Association for the
PAWS Dog Shelter
The Cyprus Association for the Protection and Care of Animals (CAPCA) is a charitable organisation based in the Paphos Area of Cyprus, set up for the care and protection of abandoned, neglected and abused dogs. PAWS is the name of the dog shelter maintained by CAPCA.
The PAWS Shelter is situated in Acheleia, near to Paphos airport and cares for around 150 dogs. It is run by two Kennel Consultants, one Maintenance Consultant and about 50 volunteer workers, all of whom maintain the Shelter and care for the dogs.
The shelter was originally located in Yeroskipou and was started off by some caring individuals in the mid 1980ís who took pity on the plight of some dogs. The number of dogs grew and thankfully so did the number of caring people. By 1996 the formal CAPCA charity emerged and was registered as such in Nicosia. In 2002, the owner of the land we leased for the shelter in Yeroskipou gave notice that they wanted their land back for development. So the hunt for a new location and premises began. After a lot of perseverance to cut through bureaucracy, sheer hard work, and challengingly serious fund-raising, our new shelter was built in Acheleia. The dogs moved there in December 2007.
The Problems we Face
Animal cruelty and neglect are sadly huge problems in Cyprus. Dogs are abandoned on a daily basis and with ever increasing frequency by people of all nationalities.
Dogs seem to bear the brunt of human frustration, ignorance and anger. Many dogs and pups are let go on busy roads when their owners lose interest in them; others tied up and starved, thrown down wells, dumped in wheelie bins or simply thrown out of the house and left to fend for themselves.
Another major problem is the reticence of many people to have their animals neutered. This results in more unwanted puppies who then grow into yet more unwanted dogs.
What We Do
Abused dogs need lots of patient and careful support to re-build their confidence in humans so that they may once again learn to trust people and have a mutually rewarding life with a family. Often this can take time and PAWS dogs are lucky in that the staff and the volunteers will build a relationship with new dogs in their care, at a rate that the dog is comfortable with. With the best in medical care and treatment, play and human contact in a safe and secure environment, many will eventually leave us for a new family.
We actively try to re-home dogs to good caring homes in Cyprus, the UK and Germany. We remain very grateful to the charity Zypernhunde e.V. who foster and re-home many of our dogs through their network in Germany.
Some dogs are too traumatised to be released and will live out their remaining days peacefully and comfortably in our care.
The dogs, in most sections, have access to a small pen with an enclosed feeding/sleeping area. Each of these areas has optional access to a larger communal run containing trees, shelter, benches and toys for the animals enjoyment. Additionally many of the animals are taken for a walk along our 1 km of private road by our volunteers.
We are very proud of both the high standard of hygiene at the shelter and the care standards of our dogs, and have been told that our shelter is the best on the island, and one of the best in Europe. We welcome public visits to the Shelter on any day of the year between 07:00 and 12:00.