Poppy was a black Labrador mix found wandering in the street in Girne by Adela one of the Gonyeli Guardian Angels. She was around 8 weeks old and lost, so we sought to find her a foster home until a permanent home could be found. Seda and Adem from Kumyali contacted us to help.
Seda said "I saw the photos and asked my husband if we could try fostering. He had 2 Labradors in the past and having pets in the UK is a world away from having pets in North Cyprus. Reluctantly he agreed, and after being vetted by Irene and Adela this little black bundle of energy was delivered to us. We decided to name her Poppy and she soon became used to hearing her name. We fostered for 2 months and anyone who has had puppies knows the trials and tribulations of caring for a puppy, especially when you have a cat who is the main pet resident and did not take to kindly to having another pet share her space!
We then decided to give Poppy a permanent home and she has settled in not only with us but with Boncuk her adopted sister cat.
We would like to thank Irene and Adela for their support from day 1 and for their continued efforts to help support and rehome abandoned dogs and would urge others to experience the joys of fostering and giving a pet a home."
Lisa said "The whole process with adopting Buster was easy and straight forward through Friends of Gonyeli Shelter and Busters foster mum who kept us up to date with his progress with pictures and videos.
The home visit was straight forward as our house was already dog safe. Irene sorted everything from then on for Busters transfer over to the UK.
We collected Buster from the agreed collection location, where they gave us the wrong Pointer at first. We expected a pup and got given a full-grown male called Titan a working Pointer. It got sorted in the end and we had a laugh about it.
Buster settled in lovely, he was timid at first but now he's grown in confidence with training and patience. He’s living the dream chasing squirrels and is great with children and grandchildren. I always get told what a lovely boy he is and I spread the word of adopting from Friends of Gonyeli Shelter, North Cyprus . I knew if I had any problems Irene and his foster mum would help.
The hardest part is choosing a dog with so many needing a family but I know everyone at the Charity will guide and help you to choose."
Louise told us "A friend who is a Friends of Gonyeli Shelter adopter told me of her experience and showed me a video of a mum and her pups. We loved them, particularly one little dark chocolate brown bundle of fun, who became known as Charlie. Our journey as first-time adopters began.
At one day old, Charlie and his family were rescued from the shelter late at night in torrential rain as the shelter was flooding and they were all at risk of drowning. They were saved by the team and Irene and she fostered them as a family.
Four months later we collected Charlie from an agreed location from the courier. He was timid and tired so coming out of his crate for chicken and rice was a big step, but when he saw William, an 8 year old lab/collie cross bounding towards him, his little tail wagged and wagged. They have been firm friends ever since.
He has overcome challenges including his fear of bin lorries and has grown into a beautiful, confident, happy and loving dog. We are so proud of him.
The organisation, communication and reassurance from Irene throughout was incredible and made the whole process so easy.
We thank Irene and the Gonyeli Guardian Angels for helping us to adopt Charlie and for all the work they continue to do for abandoned dogs.
We are often asked ‘where did you get him?’ I am delighted to say that he came from Friends of Gonyeli Shelter, Northern Cyprus. Our experience of adopting through Irene and the Friends of Gonyeli Shelter has been amazing and I would totally encourage others to do it."
Corinne told us “We first saw a photo of this little pup after she had been taken out of Gonyeli shelter and was being fostered by Adela (one of the Gonyeli Guardian Angels). My heart went out to her as she was so small, and I couldn’t imagine her getting on very well in a shelter, so I immediately contacted Irene with a view to homing her.
We arranged to go and see her in a home environment at Adela's, she seemed quiet but very friendly. She was a lovely little thing that we hoped would fit in with our other 3 dogs. We thought we ought to introduce her to the other dogs on neutral territory which we arranged for the next day. With the help of Adela everything went very smoothly, and our dogs seemed to be ok with her.
We took her back home with us straight after this meeting and named her Zola. She immediately made herself at home and started to play with the others.
Her personality has come out big time as she is an energetic bundle of fun that gets up to all sorts of mischief. She is certainly keeping us on our toes with her antics.” told us "
Ayza told us "(For those leaving their dogs because of a baby or move to another city/place.) We are expecting a baby, Hera and Thor will be a big brother and a big sister in a month. We just travelled to İzmir from North Cyprus to give birth without leaving our dogs behind!
When we met Hera and Thor; we had been away from Cyprus for a year because of my husband's job, we had just returned, and we were trying to settle down in Cyprus again.
I saw Gönyeli shelter's sad photos on a charity Facebook page. The shelter was flooded because of torrential rain, charity volunteers were trying to rescue all the dogs from the water. The next day they posted a foster home appeal for 8 puppies and their mother till the shelter's situation could be fixed. Me and my husband didn't think twice, it was a small help just for 1 or 2 weeks. I contacted the page admin Cemaliye and she arranged a meeting for me with Irene's daughter to take two tiny puppies. They were only four weeks old; they were crying all the time and they were both sick.
The charity and Irene provided all the supplies such as blankets, puppy milk, vet expenses... They were always there for us for any tiny questions and requests.
By the end of our first week with the pups my husband had already fallen in love with them. We decided to adopt them in a very short time. Irene visited our home to check if it was suitable for two dogs and she tried to get to know us to be sure we could handle them and never leave them.
It wasn't always easy, we had crazy days, good days and fun days. They had so much energy, they needed so much attention. We took them kitesurfing, trekking, camping... They are part of our family and our family getting was getting bigger. I’d never been a fan of babies or children, but because of Thor and Hera I realised I could be a good mother too. Now I'm pregnant and we are all in Izmir to meet our new family member, our baby. My husband had a long travel with our dogs by car and they made 900 km to Izmir.
Hera and Thor are unique and loving. Both are extremely beautiful that nobody believes they are from shelter.
We are grateful to Irene, Cemaliye and the charity for their hard work, energy and sacrifices."
Joan live in Northern Cyprus and has been a Foster Guardian for many of our rescues. This is what Joan said....
"All of my nine dogs are rescues. Either abandoned in my garden , picked from the street or mountain or rescued from abusive owners.
When the bank balance was having a nervous breakdown the only way I could afford to help dogs was fostering which I have been doing for the last six years.
No financial input, everything from food, bedding, toys, medical treatment and vet’s visits provided. All you need is time, patience and space in your home and heart. It’s also a great way to test drive a dog if you are considering offering a poor soul a permanent home.
Meeting the Gonyeli Angels was a bonus, a dedicated amazing team, the love of dogs bringing us together. Close friendships have been formed with lots of fun either through fundraising or socializing. Support is always on hand , you are never alone.
It is a sad day when your foster baby goes to a new home but gratifying to know that you have been a part of their journey.
Ups, downs, tears, cuddles and fun. I
wouldn’t change it for anything. An amazing experience.
Lots of Gonyeli dogs to choose from.
Give it a go nothing to lose everything to gain."
Anne and Martin shared their foster story with us.
"Big, small, fat, thin and sometimes in such awful health that it beggars belief that they have survived and are alive. The pleasure of fostering animals is huge. That sense of helping, training, walking and socialising an animal that would likely otherwise have died is a sense of achievement that can be difficult to put in to words.
We often get asked if we become attached to the foster dogs we've taken in, irrespective of having them for a week or two or on some occasions two or three months. Of course we become attached, it's a natural thing for animal lovers to become attached, and yes the day they leave for pastures new there are tears but those are tears of joy and a sense of accomplishment in the fact that you have helped a four legged friend on its journey.
Those dogs go to new adoring owners, mainly in the UK, which has come as shock to the system for some of them, leaving the Cyprus sunshine for a wet and windy day in Preston can be a bit of a culture shock!!!!!
The positive thing about the 21st century and the modern social media platform is having arrived at their new 'forever home' you can continue to watch the progress with regular pictures and comments from new owners.
You naturally beam with that sense of pride watching an animal that you have helped, run round a muddy field, jump in the river and play with new toys in their new surroundings with a new mum & dad and sometimes brothers and sisters.
We could tell you the story of all the dogs we have looked after but would be writing something akin to War & Peace in volume. Instead we are going to highlight just three of the success stories.
Isla – we fostered Isla from Irene as a very nervous collie dog, petrified of male contact. Slowly but surely we tried to feed her confidence and give her some social skills, to some extent we achieved that goal, on leaving us she would take food out of our hands and had developed some trust in men but still not fully trusting.
A couple of months down the line with Isla in her new UK home it was heartwarming to see a video of her welcoming home her new dad from a day at the office, she literally jumped all over him with hugs and those special doggie kisses.
Along came Zeus – so small and fragile, a pointer dog that at even a few weeks old should have had long spindle type legs, silky ears and should have had that sense of devilment that most puppies have. Instead he came, curled up in to a tiny ball on my chest and just slept. Feeding and confidence building over a couple of months and Zeus was unrecognizable from that very small, frightened puppy.
Off he went to his forever home and a short time later, he had a job, yes a job!!! Being a pointer his natural instinct is of course to hunt. So working on a golf course all day long searching for balls that had been hit in to the rough is the perfect life for him.
Finally a little story of when Stella, Paddy, Minnie, Spot and Apollo came to stay for a long weekend. 5 cute, adorable fur babies that we took from Irene for a few nights. Hilarious, as soon as we sat down for a cuppa or a sandwich there was a little present of liquid or the other for us to pick up. They played long and hard for hours at a time and then almost like flicking a switch, they would cuddle up together, keeping each other warm and sleep, just like babies should.
Did they love food, the theory was 5 little bowls for 5 little dogs........ Didn't quite work out that way because as soon as biscuits hit the floor in the first bowl all five snouts were in there having a feed, just great memories to look back on and treasure forever.
Anne, Martin, Evan & Oliver (The full time doggie in our house)!!!!!!!"
Mans best friend