On Monday 24 February British-born positive reinforcement dog trainer David Reid will launch the animal rescue awareness project ‘One Man’s Rescue’ in Cyprus.
He will spend four videoed nights and five days in a dog cage at Aradippou Dog Shelter to raise awareness of what rescue dogs go through physically and emotionally when placed in a shelter environment.
Living in a cage can be soul-wrenching for any being and 60-year-old David, who lives in Achna in the Famagusta district, will share a cage with senior and disabled dogs who have been in the shelter for years – and will take the opportunity to work with them as a trainer to start helping them overcome their fears, preparing them for life on the outside when forever homes are found.
“I want to show people how it is to live in a cage for extended periods of time through the point of view of the dogs, spread awareness and rehome some of the older dogs who have been in the shelter for years,” says Reid.
“I am going to experience exactly what the dogs are thinking and feeling during their day in a cage, and what does it do to your mental health.”
The initiative is in partnership with the ELAFI Animal Welfare Awards.
During his stay at the shelter David will only use a sleeping bag, eat field exercise food donated by friends in the British Military, be ‘let out’ while the cage is cleaned, and use his phone once a day to report his experiences to ELAFI founder Anna Georghallides – who will write daily updates on the project’s blog.
The process will be filmed 24/7 and then made into a short film to promote the initiative and share the outcome after the end of the campaign.
“Yeah, I know. I am crazy,” Reid says, but adds he is determined to show “there is more to dogs than just four legs and a head”.
“It’s going to be fun” he says. “I am excited.”