A Gosport resident is appealing to animal lovers to donate to a shelter in Crete which looks after stray dogs and cats.
Samantha Millerchip is a supporter of the Takis Animal Shelter, located in Ierapetra, Crete.
The shelter is home to more than 200 formerly stray dogs that without the shelter would have been put down long ago.
The shelter is run by Theoklitos Proestakis, a former dentist who gave up his profession to care for the strays, after visiting a rubbish dump and finding it was home to many uncared-for dogs.
Mr Proestakis tries to give the dogs the best chance for a new life by sharing pictures and videos of the dogs to the shelter’s Facebook page, with the hope of finding them loving new owners.
Praising the work Mr Proestakis does, Ms Millerchip said: ‘He has given up his job and his social life to run this shelter full- time so the expenses are ongoing on a daily basis. He needs to buy food, build shelters, fencing, vet bills, etc. People sponsor dogs within the shelter making monthly donations.’
The situation and quality of life for stray dogs in Crete is far from ideal.
Commonly the dogs are taken out into the mountains or the wilderness to hunt. Those that are less successful than the rest of the pack are often left to fend for themselves.
Ms Millerchip became aware of the issue after rescuing a dog, named Zante, while on holiday on the Greek island of the same name back in 2004.
Together with her mother she sponsors four dogs at the shelter and also plans to take a working holiday to Crete to aid the shelter.
Ms Millerchip said: ‘I have already carried out a fundraising initiative via Facebook, amongst friends and family, and have raised £500 which has been donated to Takis to help build new houses for the dogs within his shelter.
‘My main aim is to raise awareness of the work he is doing and also to hopefully get people to donate via Paypal to his shelter.’