Evie’s endeavours for animals in need

Update posted by Evie Soldatos On Apr 16, 2018

Greetings from my little cat sanctuary!

Thankfully the difficult conditions of winter are behind us now although there is still likely to be some rain before summer sets in properly. We have had soooo much rain this winter and this has not helped those felines unfortunate enough to pick up cat flu.

In this last month there have been more new arrivals, the first a black cat I have called Sooty, who turned up with such a clogged nose and runny eyes he was barely able to breathe. Skinny, hungry and desperate to be helped he offered no resistance to handling and care. The first morning after he arrived it was off to the vet where he had several injections but avoided admission because he willing to eat and drink. We were packed off with 10 days worth of antibiotics to be taken twice daily and instructions to buy some cortisone from the chemist also to be had twice a day; I am thrilled with his improvement and recovery and he now also no longer lingers far from here... Once again I can't help but think that he was someone's cat; not the least bit wild and ready to move inside and live with me... something I sadly cannot keep doing.

Another newbie is a very sad looking ginger and while cat which I've called Gerry - he is the grottiest, skinniest, saddest looking creature to arrive her for a long time. He has the classic look of a bin cat; dirty and with a black rough little nose from nosing around in the bins for whatever can be found. He too is desperate for affection and should ideally go to the vet too as he has patches of fur missing around his tail and on the crown of his head - possible mange but not the way I have usually seen it. For now he is eating a little but not the amounts you would imagine a hungry cat should and he is taking some time to improve although I'm confident he is slowly.

I had my own little mishap that impacted on my ability to doing anything more than feed the cats this last month when I fell down the stairs in my home and sustained a deep gash in my head which required stitches that still haven't come out and of course pain and stiffness all over my body given I fell from the top of the stairs down to the concrete tiled floor on the lower level. I am grateful to friends who came to my rescue and cared for both me and the cats while I was in hospital and I have been recovering slowly.

I really do need to get back to the vet with a number of cats that need follow up and attention, not to mention the de sexing that so many of my hoard need - mostly males which the free council service will not do. Sadly I suspect that it is too late for a couple of the young females that live here as spring was brought in with at least one of them being in heat even though they are so tiny and being ganged up on by some of the older more aggressive males. I will be very surprised if they are not already pregnant. I feel so tortured by this since those kittens have been living here most of their lives but their mother managed, in the time she cared for them to infuse them with a wildness that make them not amenable to handling. Even when I feed the gang these little girls stay well back until I have put the food down before coming forward. I am ashamed to say I have probably left trying to catch them a bit too late. So I watch and a I wait to see if the kitten population explodes again....

In the meantime Spring means the wildlife surges; swallows making nests in the weirdest places, geckos, moths, mosquitoes and snakes.... Just 2 days ago I found Sooty chomping down in the garden on a young snake and he was quite possessive of his catch. He get the award for first snake of the season!!!

Take care til next time my wonderful supporters; we will continue to solder on as best we can here grateful as ever for your encouragement, emotional, financial and practical support :-)

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Update posted by Evie Soldatos On Mar 01, 2018

The planet is certainly in a state of weather confusion; the blossoms have been on the trees here in Greece for weeks already and it's still officially been mid winter. On the whole, winter on Lefkada has been relatively mild although we have had enough rain to fill the dams we don't have and that is a good thing even considering the drenchings we've all had. In its last gasp winter has delivered us a cold snap that hit us this week but we are still fortunate here as the rest of Europe is under snow. So the cats have had a reprieve in that regard and those that have milled around me have been regularly fed as well.

As always, it has been a challenge to keep delivering the twice daily feeds to the hoard. I am forever grateful to my supporters especially those in my local community who have given what they can when they can. Bags of cat biscuits and tins of wet food have been gratefully received by me and then of course the felines. As I've said before I can never have enough food and it's always on the shopping list. When I am penniless even the local supermarket is supportive letting me go into hock to get what's needed although this is far from ideal; he knows I'm good for it.

I am still avoiding the vet clinic until I have funds to pay the outstanding account and this is a source of stress and embarrassment to me as well as a barrier to getting attention to the cats that need it. I still have at least 3 cats old enough to be desexed and a couple that need other veterinary attention. I live in hope that all that will be sorted in time. In the meantime the care continues as we all wait for warmer days and the promise of more pickings in the bins and at the tavernas that will soon be milling with tourists and locals alike.

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Update posted by Evie Soldatos On Jan 26, 2018

It's been hard to know where to start in giving an update.... So much has happened since I got back from Australia over 3 months ago. The end of the European summer brings its own set of challenges for animals as the litters of kittens and puppies born as the weather cools and conditions become harder set in and survival rates drop.

There have been the unsurprising but still unexpected departures and new arrivals during this time. Not long after I got home one of lthe early summer's kittens which had seemingly been doing well and settled into life as one of the mob here, died. I found it one morning in the vegetable patch, unmarked and with no clue to what caused its death. The question of poisoning always emerges in these cirucmstances. I had only posted a photo of this one's lovely little face the day before I scooped its lifeless body up out of the garden.

just as quickly as I said goodbye to one, another arrived - a young tabby with a smelly wound; we called her Tabitha. She was grateful for help and responded well to care. It became quickly obvious that she needed veterinary attention. Just as quickly as she came she too was gone, succumbing to a blood infection caused by her wound which we concluded had been due to either being struck by a car or being kicked or otherwise hurt by a human. She spent a day and night in the vet clinic, was given fluids, antibotic treatment and warmth but was too far gone to rally. We were left to be comforted by the knowledge that she died in caring hands with more dignity than a death by the side of the road or in a bin would have offered.

Just a few days later while hanging my washing out I hear my neighbour's son tell his father "I think it thinks I am its mother". Of course my ears prick up and knowing these neighbours would most definitely not care for any homeless creature, I called to them to pass whatever it was over the fence to me, which they did. And so it came to pass that a wee kitten only a few weeks old, which I later called Titch, came to live here at my little cat sanctuary.. Titch became ill overnight on his first night, so he too ended up in the vet clinic and I was warned that he was very young, severly dehydrated, cold and it was quite likely he wouldn't make it either. Much to the surprise of the clinc staff by the next morning after overnight treatment, young Titch had fought his way back to viability and I was told to come and collect him before any of the really scik cats there infected him with something. Titch as a delicate young one has needed a lot of individual care and love as very young kittens that do not have the benefit of being properly mothered have much lower survival rates. So it has come to pass that I am Titch's mother and he is never far from me.

About the same time that Titch arrived another new face appeared that too has ended up being a permanent resident. This cat, a beautiful orange tabby which I have called Gin has clearly come from a domestic situation and has been a pampered pet. He resisted all attempts to get him to move on and he is desperate to get into the house whenever he can; he loves sleeping on the bed. Most likely he has belonged to someone here who has moved on and he has been left behind. I cannot understand how anyone can do this..... The other cats here were not at all sure about Gin and he has had a hard time here initially but he has not caved in and now he too is one of the extended cat community.

After Gin another Tabby kitten which had been getting fed at a house higher up in the village migrated down to our place after the residents at the house moved on after the summer. This one which I call Tab-tab has quickly bonded with both Titch and Gin and is well at home here too. along with 2 of Misty's 4 kittens which I've called Cal and Co as they are calico in colouring.

So the nett position here is one of a permanently expanded bunch which means I am currently feeding around 20 cats twice daily. Needless to say this is a costly endeavour but one to which my commitment is ongoing. I continue to value all the support I get in its many forms; moral support, gifts of cat food and the modest donations of money that come my way. I continue to run a tab at the vet and currently have animals in need of vet care which I am not accessing for them until I can make further payment on the vet bill. Any donation no matter how small makes a different to me and the cats I care for. I have added some new photos on this site that show some of the current crew so check them out :-)

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Update posted by Evie Soldatos On Sep 28, 2017

A long overdue update to let folks know that cat central is still plugging away! Armed with a new computer I am back in action with working tools to keep in touch after having had a trip back to Australia to visit family and get out of the stifling Greek summer heat.

Getting away would not be an option if it was not possible to make solid arrangements for the feline family. We are blessed indeed that my brother and I played tag team and he arrived as I left and took over the cat care. Through the hottest part of the summer my brother fed and watered the ever expanding crew supported by the funds from this site and his own contribution for which I am extremely grateful. Our visitors treated them with extra scraps from their dinners and I know this would have gone down very well with them!

I have arrived back to a very warm greeting from all the inner circle and was thrilled to discover that 'Red' one of the kittens that has grown up in the garden which was less amenable to handling is now enjoying petting and is over his reticence of handling. My brother has worked some magic there, for I had resigned myself to the notion that Red would never accept handling. What he doesn't realise is that this now puts him in line for neutering along with Bubble and Squeak two of last year's other kittens; something I will get onto as soon as I recover fully from the long haul back from Australia.

Theo, Cleo and Chrysoula are all looking leaner but very happy to see me also and making up for lost time in terms of cuddles :-) I am feeling that Chrysoula in particular may need to get onto wet food as she has lost quite a bit of condition; the teeth she had extracted last year has clearly made it more difficult for her to eat. Another of last year's kittens 'Tiny' is also around but continues to be shunned by the others for reasons I don't really understand; he is such a sweet cat. The cat which had 5 kittens when I left and had brought them up to our garden for safety and feeding is still around; alas I only seem to have one of her kittens here. I am still hoping I will see more.

Summer is just another form of challenging for the cats of Greece, for while there is more food around because of tourism and extra rubbish, there is also a lot more traffic on the road. This makes the roads much more dangerous as visitors and locals alike buzz around far too quickly; this time will be sure to have had its casualties and I am surely yet to discover which feline faces are missing.

The next steps in cat care will be to play catch up with worming and flea spotting all the inner circle as this would have been just too much to ask of my brother, followed by getting the young males neutered one by one as I can cobble together the funds. Unfortunately the public sterilisation programme here only desexes the femaies :-(

Once again I express my ongoing gratitude for the support I get from my supporters here and in my local community. Everything helps! I will take some new photos of the gang and post them in the coming weeks so you can see how wonderful they all are :-)

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Update posted by Evie Soldatos On Jun 16, 2017

The snow and miserable conditions of the early part of this year are now fading into memory and are being replaced by increasingly hot and dry conditions. This being said we had a cold front pass through only a week ago that brought summer rain and hail!!!! Totally weird for Greece. The cats I support are looking more determinedly for the fresh the water I leave out every day and drinking deeply; I am now thinking I may have to leave more watering points around the garden for them.

Once again kitten season is upon us and at least a couple of the untamed cats in my crew have had kittens. One day they are here with swollen bellies for their feed and the next they appear with their bellies collapsed and their teats on show... This is always worrying for me. How many kittens have they had? Are they OK? When will they bring them to me? I would so like to relieve them of this burden and have them de-sexed but they are totally resistant to handling even though they have a measure of trust in me. One of the piebald cats (there are two) appears to have had 2 kittens (at least that have survived) and as I drove down the road a few days ago she was crossing with them - one safely across and the other being carried in her mouth by the scruff of its little neck. I couldn't help but think to myself that she was in the process of bringing them up to my garden although I haven't seen the little ones yet even though mum is a regular at the feed bowl. One eyed tabby has also been pregnant and isn't any more but I've not sighted her with any kittens at this stage.

My inner circle has expanded to 7 core cats due to the determination of 2 of the young cats that have basically spent their whole lives around my garden but have not been amenable to handling, pushing their way in. Tiny and Red are related to Bubble and Squeak (who I have raised since their mother Queenie brought them to me as very young ones) and they play together in the garden. The rest of the core gang are of course Chrysoula, Theo and Cleo who, bless them, have come to accept the expanded gang despite some initial impatience and jealousy. In fact they have been quite protective of Bubble and Squeak who despite being much improved are still showing signs of the cat flu they have battled for some months. I am told it will never completely leave them. Bubble is a particularly tiny male whose growth has probably been stunted because of the ongoing flu. They are however dear little fellows who are affectionate and calm and enjoy their days playing in the garden or relaxing in the sunshine or shade depending on the prevailing conditions :-)

In the interests of fostering more independence and encouraging the cats away from the house I have started feeding them down on the lower terrace under the orange and olive trees. This is working well and has helped reduce the cat traffic around the house which to be honest had gotten out of control. There are always cats in my garden and a large number of them are just passing through for food. I have to be vigilant about the house as they will scoot in boldly any chance they get in search of anything edible despite there almost always being cat biscuits in the bowls outside.

Once again I am extremely grateful for ongoing support. I neglected to mention in my last update that on my visit to Norway over the festive season, I received a donation of a cat cage from Titti and 50 euros toward food for which I was extremely grateful. My dear friend Nikki recently visited and donated a 20kg bag of cat food and my neighbour Victoria has been regularly donating cat food, inspired by the knowledge that her own cat Misty is eating here now too having been terrorised away from their home by their new dog Theo (much to Victoria's dismay).

I will be travelling again soon.... I must go back to Australia to visit my children and will leave the cats for a number of months, however my brother will be here and will put food out and I know I can call on local supporters if need be for help too. I am however on a mission to stockpile some food for my absence as I don't expect my brother to foot the feed bill. I am also planning to have Bubble and Squeak de-sexed and this will have to be paid for. Unfortunately, for reasons I do not understand the free de-sexing programmes here only extend to females.

All and any donations, no matter how small are gratefully received; at this stage I am still dipping into my shallow pockets to keep up, however the cats NEVER go without food, even if it means I have to go into hock with the local supermarket who are very understanding.

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Update posted by Evie Soldatos On Apr 25, 2017

It's been a little while since my last update; truth be told it's been hard for me to know where to start.

The beautiful kittens in my profile picture sadly succumbed to the cat flu despite my efforts to save them. They had both been started antibiotics and I ended up having to syringe feed them fluids as they were becoming dehydrated and had lost interest in eating :-( They just seemed to fade in front of me as I held them and tried to keep them going. It was a terrible night; the night before I left for a few weeks for the Christmas season. I buried the little ones in my garden in the early hours of the morning just an hour before my transport arrived. It was a sad day indeed.

For the cats I left behind while I was away I made several cubby houses outside under cover complete with waterproofing, pillows and rugs and cosy boxes to climb into. I was truly blessed to have a dear friend come up to my home every day for the time I was gone to feed and visit with the cats who she said all usually reported into her. Thanks to the support you give me I was able to leave 60kg of dry food and some tinned food for my friend to feed with and she sent videos and photos to me to keep my anxiety about them in check. My cat crew survived the worst of the winter while I was away during which time it snowed!!!

Since my return the other 2 kittens I have been caring for in the 'inner circle' (Bubble and Squeak) have both developed symptoms of the cat flu, most likely transmitted from the 2 that died. I am watching them closely and may need to get them antibiotics if things progress to infection; the smaller of the pair is certainly more delicate.

The older cats are doing fine but missing the wet food which I now don't buy as the cost is prohibitive to feed so many of them. I am only buying a kitten pate for the small sickly kitten to help build it up and I have to feed it separately which can be tricky.

We said goodbye to one of the long term middle circle crew - RIP Matthau - named after Walter Matthau and thinking of his role in Grumpy Old Men. He came through reasonably often and ate and was revered by the younger cats who kept their distance. Sadly he was hit by a car and found dead by the side of the road that goes in front of my house.

A new member of the group is 'Misty' who was a much loved cat of a friend who lives in the neighbourhood who unfortunately was not liked by the family's new dog and that's putting it mildly! Despite their efforts to accommodate her she has been living at large like so many others but has found her way here to this cat friendly place much to the delight of her former family who are now contributing to the cat biscuit supplies :-)

In addition to whatever else the cats need, at the moment I am going through around 60kg of cat biscuits a month which currently cost me 20 euros a bag. At my last purchase a few days ago the local supermarket informs me that the factory they come from has been gutted by a serious fire so we are not sure what impact that is going to have on supply... will be staying tuned for that as other alternatives have been much more expensive.

We are well into spring now in Greece and summer is definitely in the air. On the one hand it's lovely and we don't have to worry about the cold so much nicer outside for the cats. On the other hand I am dreading kitten season!

Thanks again for supporting my efforts to do what I can for these dear creatures.



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Update posted by Evie Soldatos On Dec 05, 2016

As the weather gets colder there are more cats coming around regularly in search of food. It is hard to police who is eating what and at the end of the day if they are hungry they should eat, although some of the cats that come by here do not look like they lack regular food. I find myself wondering if, like hobbits they are after second or third breakfast...

The kittens are coming along slowly, despite mostly eating well and drinking too they seem to be taking forever to put on some condition. That of course could be my impatience for them to get bigger and stronger and be better equipped to cope outside in the wide world of cats here. The two tabbies still have mild symptoms of cat flu with runny eyes and the odd sneeze although this is not severe, I suspect it is getting in the way of their thriving. They are constantly seeking contact and cuddles and would spend most of their times perched on me like little parrots if I would let them..

The two white and ginger kittens are strikingly different in their progress. Squeak has gone out into the big wide world, appears confident and gets up to goodness knows what during the day, but comes back to snuggle up with Bubble at night. When back Squeak also demands extensive tummy rubs and cuddles too! Bubble I am more concerned about... for the last couple of days Bubble has been really whiny and clingy and I don't know if this is in response to Squeak disappearing for longer stretches, or perhaps having caught dose of the flu from the tabbies or something else altogether. I am monitoring Bubble for the time being, who sticks around close to home with Edmund and Hillary (the tabbies, so named for their love of climbing me).

As for forever homes for these guys, nothing seems on the horizon at the moment :-(

My more pressing concern is having to leave the gang for the holidays; something that was pre arranged. I have been lucky enough to have a local friend offer to come up every day and put food out which is fabulous. I have arranged food for her to put out and also had an offer from the lovely man at the supermarket that if it runs out while I am still away, she can come and get what she needs and I can pay him when I get back. He's a lovely guy but he also does well out of the cat lady ,-p

The older cats will cope outside I know... it is the kittens that concern me. Today I have constructed a cat cave in a sheltered spot in the outdoor area complete with plastic sheeting, tarpaulin, wind break, old pillows and the familiar red blankets the kittens have been using which I had bought on Air Asia flights a few years back. Tonight will be the kittens first night outside together; it has to be done some time...

Wish us luck!!
Thanks again for all your wonderful encouragement and support.

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Update posted by Evie Soldatos On Nov 23, 2016

For the most part the cats I help are congenial; if they don't want to get close they don't, they sneak up and have their food when I'm at a safe distance and the cats they want to avoid aren't around. There is a kind of order to this....

However in the last few days a rather aggressive and bullish, large, young ginger male has been storming in on our little haven and disturbing the peace. He is bold and lawless.... has no qualms about barging into the house through the slightest opening that appears and greedily scoffing whatever he might find. He stalks, growls and has attacked the kittens so I have to watch like a hawk.

He is not frightened of me at all although oddly enough he tolerates me picking him up by the scruff of the neck and ejecting him. So.... I have an idea that I could catch him and get him neutered which would be great in it itself given we don't want him harassing the females in heat which he most certainly will do but also because it should calm him down at least a bit. Trouble is I don't have a cat cage....

When I took the latest kitten arrivals to the vet I used the vacuum cleaner box and this has turned into their bed. The livelier kitten did however manage to get out of the box inside the car so that caused a bit of anxiety and mild mayhem until I retrieved it.

So.... I am looking for support to cobble together funds for a cat cage to have on hand to be able to transport animals to the vet for routine treatment and de-sexing whenever I get hold of fertile animals. The beauty of getting to care for kittens is that we build a relationship that allows me to handle them which makes getting them into a cage much easier so all that vet care including sterilisation can happen at the appropriate time with less fuss.

I am thoroughly committed to getting as many animals as I can de-sexed so will very much appreciate support getting a cage that I can have on hand for opportunistic catches as well as the routine.

Meantime the kittens are doing very well despite mild flu like symptoms such as the occasional sneeze and the odd discharge from an eye. I have been wiping their eyes daily with a face washer in warm water and they are now so much clearer than when they first came to me. The kittens are all lively and playful and come for cuddles of their own volition; all good signs though demanding!!! The next step for them will be inoculations but that will be hard for the older kittens until I can get a cage.

Now to find them homes!!!

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Update posted by Evie Soldatos On Nov 16, 2016

Thank you to everyone who is supporting me; I am overwhelmed by your goodwill encouragement and practical assistance!

Just as I was waiting for my pension to arrive so I could buy more cat food and wondering how unsustainable my situation here is with caring for all these animals I find myself with support. This means the world to me and of course the animals (chiefly cats at the moment) that routinely come by for meals or are being fostered by me right now.

The current cast of characters includes what I have come to call my 'inner circle' of 3 cats - Chryssoula, Theo and Cleo. All 3 were found their way to me alone from I'm not sure where but they appeared on my doorstep and have made a home with me.

There is a large 'middle ring' of cats, frequently with their kittens that base themselves in and around my garden which rely on me for food and relative safety. Queenie, whose 3 kittens (now grown cats) from last year are amongst this group as well as 3 tabbies - one that has lost an eye, one with a damaged leg which I've called Skipper another that seems to have managed to stay in one piece. Then there's a multicoloured patched cat with her kittens - I think there's 3 of them altogether. Also regulars are 2 ginger males, one a mature cat the other not long out of kittenhood.

Then there are the interlopers... those that come by for a feed but tend to wander more widely and I don't necessarily see them everyday but as the bad weather sets in and the tourists leave they become more needy such as Myklepuss, Matthau (because he is a grumpy old man and scares the others).

And then there are those I am actively fostering. 2 beautiful white and ginger kittens from Queenie's litter this year that have become quite tame and attached despite the fact she raised them until they were weaned. They are about 3 months old I expect and have called them Bubble and Squeak; I am hoping to find them forever homes; they would make wonderful companions. Lastly there are 2 very young tabby kittens that someone abandoned at my home anonymously. They are between 4 and 6 weeks of age as estimated by the vet and have latched onto me as though their life depends on it - I guess it does.... I have no idea what their gender is but I am inclined to call them Edmund and Hillary because of their love of climbing... there is no way I can sit without them scaling my legs and getting up onto me...

Honestly I think I've lost count of the cats and kittens I am supporting but it's probably better that way. For now I know I need to go get another 20kg sack of cat food and some tinned food for those with less teeth and the younger ones to get some condition on them. I am so grateful that I can go do this knowing I am being backed up by people who care as I do about animals in need :-)

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Loving the name....but love what you do more. Wish I was close enough to do more to help but this is an awesome Idea that I think will be supported by many. I have donated a regular amount as I thought that would be more beneficial in the long run....I have no doubt there will always be a need. xx

Caroline Gotch

Backed with €5.00 On Jul 15, 2018

Recurring Donation!

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Titti Lindgren

Backed On Jun 24, 2018 Amount Hidden

Recurring Donation!

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Loving the name....but love what you do more. Wish I was close enough to do more to help but this is an awesome Idea that I think will be supported by many. I have donated a regular amount as I thought that would be more beneficial in the long run....I have no doubt there will always be a need. xx

Caroline Gotch

Backed with €5.00 On Jun 15, 2018

Recurring Donation!

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Titti Lindgren

Backed On May 24, 2018 Amount Hidden

Recurring Donation!

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Loving the name....but love what you do more. Wish I was close enough to do more to help but this is an awesome Idea that I think will be supported by many. I have donated a regular amount as I thought that would be more beneficial in the long run....I have no doubt there will always be a need. xx

Caroline Gotch

Backed with €5.00 On May 15, 2018

Recurring Donation!

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Great job Evie, love you xxx

Christine Chester

Backed with €30.00 On Apr 28, 2018

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Go Evie (and Spiro)!

Suzanne Byrne

Backed with €30.00 On Apr 25, 2018

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Titti Lindgren

Backed On Apr 24, 2018 Amount Hidden

Recurring Donation!

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A small contribution towards Gerry's vet bill

MaryAnne Furst

Backed with €35.00 On Apr 19, 2018

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Loving the name....but love what you do more. Wish I was close enough to do more to help but this is an awesome Idea that I think will be supported by many. I have donated a regular amount as I thought that would be more beneficial in the long run....I have no doubt there will always be a need. xx

Caroline Gotch

Backed with €5.00 On Apr 15, 2018

Recurring Donation!

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