Tuesday, 05 December 2023
You can help make sure that winter isn't so cold for these dogs You can help make sure that winter isn't so cold for these dogs

You can help give these five Dubrovnik dogs a brighter future

Written by  Nov 07, 2018

Every journey starts with a first step, and now five dogs from the Dubrovnik Animal Shelter are hoping that with your help that first step will be a giant leap.

Aretha, Princess, Maxi, Luka & now a very recent addition, Ms Lola, are five loving dogs who through no fault of their own have found themselves in the Žarkovica animal shelter. These five dogs have a lot in common. They are all loving and caring animals, but that can almost be taken for granted. They are all getting on in years. They all currently reside in the animal shelter and they all would certainly struggle to survive the long, cold winter up on top of the mountain overlooking Dubrovnik. They are hoping for a brighter future. And most importantly they all have a lifeline. And you can all help make this happen.

A special public funding action, entitled “Free These 4 Oldies Before Winter!” was started last week in order to raise funds to transport these four and now a + 1 furry friend away from the biting Dubrovnik northerly winds and into a warm and safe surrounding in the UK.

The worthy project is the brainchild of a group of volunteers who are throwing themselves into saving these dogs with open hearts and care.

“We've just had our third visit volunteering at the animal shelter in Dubrovnik where over the last fifteen years just one woman, Sandra Sambrailo and her two helpers have been looking after over 300 dogs on a mountainside,” comments one such volunteer Annie Curran from the UK.

Adding that “Weather conditions are brutal in the wintertime as the shelter has no electricity, running water or sanitation. The terrain is rough and the dogs live in makeshift wooden kennels that help shelter them from the biting winds and freezing temperatures. We're really hoping to raise enough funds to pay for their transportation to the UK before the worst of the winter hits the mountainside and also to cover any potential immediate veterinary costs on their arrival in the UK.”

Annie is one of a small group of volunteers, including Tina Duk, Claire Scannell, Kerry Jones and Steve Enstone, who are fighting for these elderly dogs’s survival. Behind the scenes these volunteers have been working day and night to make this journey to the UK possible. Care and responsibility are the keywords as this would be the dog’s first road-trip of such magnitude. A specialised DEFRA registered courier service from the UK, Animal Couriers Pet Transport Services, has been selected to carry out the task and have confirmed collection for the 21st November 2018.

The group are planning to raise £2,000 to cover the costs of transporting and caring for these Dubrovnik dogs on route to the UK. Hopefully if they manage to raise more funds, then that will help towards providing living expenses & potential veterinary care on arrival for Maxi, as he only has a foster home so far with no shelter back up funds. A public funding website is up and running and they are already well on their way to reach their target. You can help them not only reach this target but exceed it. Go to the website now and donate, however small or large, because every little helps to give these dogs a safe and warm future.

“Žarkovica shelter Dubrovnik needs so much help, but they especially need some happy endings. Getting these fluffy little creatures off the mountain and into a home would brighten the day of Sandra and her dedicated workers and volunteers,” concluded Annie.

Meet the five furry friends

Aretha and Princess are firm friends. They have both lived together all their lives, they have slept together, played together and walked together, and they are absolutely bonded. These well-loved pets were reluctantly given to the self-funded Žarkovica shelter after their elderly owner moved to a nursing home and was unable to care for them. She really wants the two to stay together and Annie Curran has offered to foster them both in her own home in the UK until they move to a permanent home in the New Year. They are both inside dogs and have got used to been loved and stroked, life for them in the shelter is a million miles away from what they are used to.

aretha and princess

Aretha and Princess

Maxi is an elegant older gentleman, the wise old dog of the quartet. He is around ten years old and again the harsh Dubrovnik winter would be impossible for this proud old dog. He was rescued from this very shelter when he was just two years old, and now 10 years later has been returned because the family are moving away and not taking him with them. And finally Luka is a small and loving cross breed who has been offered a permanent home already. All the dogs really need is a safe, warm and cosy bed and lots of love… not so much to ask.

princess and luka

Maxi and Luka 

Last but certainly not least is Lola a Labrador cross who is the fifth member now jumping on board with the other four fur balls. Sadly Lola’s flight plans to her forever home in the UK fell through literally at the Dubrovnik airport just last week. Her new mother Rose MacDonald who met Lola while volunteering at the shelter was devastated, so this first ever specialised road trip could be an even happier ending if more animal loving readers donate.

lola dog shelter


“There are so many causes, so much need, but sometimes a particular cause or a particular dog catches our attention. Everyone who met these little dogs and heard their stories has been hoping to get them into homes before winter comes to the mountain” - Kerry A. Jones.

To help and donate just follow this link...thank you for your support 



The Voice of Dubrovnik


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