About Us​

My name is Sandy (full name Alexandra Britton) and I am the owner of the property and the shelter. I am English, born in the UK but I have lived in Greece since 1979. Over these years I have rescued and rehomed many dogs. I have always fought for animal rights as much as I could in the circumstances, even 30 to 40 years ago when animals virtually had no rights.

Now, at long last, the law is on the side of the animals and it’s possible to really have some effect and chase up those who are abusing or neglecting animals.

Although I am, nowadays, a little ‘long in the tooth’, this sanctuary is a part of my final effort towards rescuing and helping as many animals as I possibly can!

To Introduce Myself

My name is Sandy (Alexandra Britton ), I am English, born in the UK, but left in 1979, aged 33, to come and live here in Greece.

Because I fell in love with Greece visually, and being of an artistic bent, was totally bewitched by the beauty of this country.

I worked as a tourist representative for an English tour company.

5 years… until  1986,  when I opened, together with three other partners, a Tourist Office in Batsi, Andros. This was successful until 1996 when tourism declined due to the lack of an international airport on Andros.

I opened my own art shop in Batsi until the year 2000, and then, due to economic difficulties, left to work in tourism in Pelion, in central Greece.

In 2007 I inherited some money and bought this house in the beautiful mountain village of Arni, Andros…I called it ‘Magic Mountain’!

I transformed the property and also uncovered the Stone House which was buried! ( yes buried!) and which is now for rent via Airbnb along with the Magic Room which is situated in the lower part of my house.

Part of the plan to transform the property was to make suitable areas for rescued animals. This has entailed a lot of work, but has always been worth it when you see the animals happy and with a smile on their faces!

I also joined the local animal rescue group which has enabled me to achieve more rescues and to have some say in local politics and the aims of local animal lovers.

This has led to a cooperation with the animal rescuers who run the local Animal Welfare Society of Andros in Chora. Since there is unfortunately only mediocre support from the council for this official association, the cooperation is even more important.

Project & Mission

Providing Happiness and Health to Rescued Animals

Andros Animal Shelter in Greece is a home for rescued, stray or abused animals, some of whom were found on the streets, some rescued from owners who neglected them, some permanently tied or living in cages in filthy conditions and some who were actually dumped at the gate! Once they arrive here at Andros Animal Shelter our aim is to put a smile on their faces and give them the happiness and health that all animals deserve! We have a large property called 'Magic Mountain' which is 9000 square metres. At the time of writing this, there are thirty dogs, around twenty cats and a horse, five donkeys and three mules in residence!

A Haven for Rescued Animals and a Sanctuary for Animal Lovers

The dogs have a huge area in which they are free to run and play, and they all sleep in their own baskets, inside the house, at night time. The cats roam free and some semi-wild in the woods and fields around the property, but also have places to sleep with baskets, blankets and food if they wish. The horse, donkeys and mules are free also to roam over the whole property, and to interact with guests who visit Magic Mountain through Airbnb. Once the animals arrive here at the shelter, they are checked over by our local vet and then slowly integrated into the pack. There are some dogs who have been here for years which are not put up for adoption and will stay within the Magic Mountain family, but the aim is to get most of the new dogs adopted. Last year we managed to re home around 70 dogs.

Supporting Andros Animal Shelter's Mission through Rentals

One of the ways that we raise money towards the costs of running the shelter is by renting out two accommodations.   These are the Stone House and the Magic Room. They both fall into the cheaper price range, one being the lower and remaining part of a very old house (the Stone House) and the other the old grape press area of the house where I live (the Magic Room). They both have their own bathroom and kitchens and they are both delightful properties to stay in! 

Magic Mountain family

Some dogs at Magic Mountain are not available for adoption because they are old, sick or feel so comfortable in the group to have found a permanent home here. In addition, 5 donkeys, 3 mules and a horse currently live at Magic Mountain. We would be delighted if you would like to sponsor one of these animals.

Piglet ♀

Mixed breed

Born 2013

Piglet, otherwise known as Miss Piggy, shot to fame in ‘New Lives in the Wild’ as she became Ben Fogle’s favourite (not surprising!). She steals everyone’s heart with her plucky attitude to life and in spite of her walking difficulties, bounces down steps at the same speed as the other dogs!

Hugo ♂

Basset mix

Born 2015

Hugo came from the Council Shelter in Hora where he had lived for 5 years, remaining unadopted because of the illness that he has which is leishmaniasis (known as Kalazaar in Greece). Hugo is a much-loved member of our shelter now and has lived a happy life here ever since. His disease continues to be monitored and treated.

Jeremy ♂

Mixed breed

Born 2015

Jeremy was rescued from a stream bed and ended up in the Council Shelter in Chora where he got into a fight and then was brought here. In the beginning he did not let himself be touched. Slowly he has become less suspicious, although still easily breaks into ominous growling. Jeremy has made his mark, with a character that, although difficult, is at the same time irresistible.

Rosie ♀

Mixed breed

Born 2012

Rosie was thrown over the gate, emaciated to the bone. After Sandy had fed her up, she is very attached to her and is most unhappy when Sandy is not around. Luckily she also likes other people and enjoys their attention. For some reason she is not very popular with the other dogs, although she has no problems with them on her own.

Dick ♂

Basset mix

Born 2010

Dick was used for hunting all his life until he was rescued from his neglectful owner after he collapsed while hunting. Despite this, he loves people, being petted and is also fine with most other dogs. Only Charly and Spot are not his friends.

Johnny ♂

Mixed breed

Born 2010

Johnny belonged to a farmer down the road and decided to change homes himself, much to the displeasure of his former owner. He is a friendly cuddlebug, always looking for attention and cuddles. He gets along well with the other dogs, but he doesn’t like to be disturbed while napping in his basket.

Jenny ♀

Mixed breed

Born 2018

Jenny was at the shelter in Chora. When two puppies were taken out of there, we saw that she had become their surrogate mum, so we took her to Magic Mountain as well. She is very attached to Sandy and is therefore allowed to stay at Magic Mountain. Unfortunately, she and Babitsa do not like each other at all and have to be separated.

Claude ♂

Mixed breed

Born 2014

Claude was one of 4 puppies taken from a person in need. He and his sister became unplanned parents to 4 puppies: Boris, Giannis, Babitsa and Meggie. While his 3 siblings were adopted by volunteers over time, Claude stayed. He is very intelligent and has a strong character and everyone loves to take him for walks.

Babitsa ♀

Mixed breed

Born 2015

Babitsa was born at Magic Mountain and is very attached to her sister Meggie. Although she grew up here, she is very shy with people. With the other dogs, however, she has a big mouth, is bossy with her sister and with Jenny, unfortunately, she doesn’t get along at all anymore.

Meggie ♀

Mixed breed

Born 2015

Meggie is Claude’s daughter and grew up at Magic Mountain. She is a lovely soul, very sweet, easy going, always friendly. Sometimes she steals food but apart from that she never causes any problems.

Giannis ♂

Mixed breed

Born 2015

Giannis is the brother of Babitsa, Meggie and Boris and like the others was born and raised here. Unfortunately, he has developed more like Babitsa than Meggie and is rather shy with people. He prefers to stay a bit in the background. He has a friendly character, however, new dogs and especially males are first passionately chased around the property until he accepts them.

Boris ♂

Mixed breed

Born 2015

With Boris, perhaps the incest of his parents is noticeable, because he doesn’t seem as physically strong, is quickly exhausted on walks and he is a bit cross-eyed. Apart from that, however, walks with him are very pleasant and he is a sweatheart. But, he also always approaches new dogs for quite some time as well.

Spot ♂

Mixed breed

Born 2020

Spot was dumped as a puppy in the shelter in Chora, more specifically, they had tried to squeeze him through the fence where he got stuck until he was found. Presumably this has caused lasting damage, as it is impossible to touch his neck. He is a split personality, one minute he is attention seeking and needy, the next second he panics and crawls into a corner growling.

Max ♂

Terrier mix

Born 2011

Max is Millie’s brother and had to spend the first 10 months of his life with her in a chicken coop. Unlike her, he has coped well with the time, approaches all volunteers and asks to be petted. He is very food protective but apart from that he is a nice little guy.

Millie ♀

Terrier mix

Born 2011

Millie is Max’s sister and grew up with him in a chicken coop until they were 10 months old. While he has coped well with the time, it has left its mark on her and she always stays in the background. She is in the middle of the pack and doesn’t run away when people walk past her, but she doesn’t go up to anybody.

Billy ♂

Mixed breed

Born 2012

Billy was abandoned at the gate as a puppy. He is actually nice with everyone, likes people, likes to be cuddled and is very food orientated. If you were to ask him, he would say he is the semi boss of the shelter.

Hoofed members of the family

Marco ♂

Donkey

Born ≈ 2009

Marco was the first donkey at Magic Mountain. He was bought free from traders, as otherwise he would probably have been abused to become a working donkey or to carry tourists or, if not sold at all, (because of his tooth issue) slaughtered. 

Sila ♀

Mule

Born ≈ 1997

Sila was a work mule for many years, carrying building materials over rough terrain. When she was 16 years old, her owner became ill and could no longer use her. So she came to Magic Mountain as a partner for Marco. She is difficult to handle when you want something from her, otherwise she is a lovely girl.

Esmeralda ♀

Donkey

Born ? but she’s old!

Esmeralda is a sad example of what happens when ignorant people get a young donkey and load its back with heavy weight far too soon. With a deformed spine, she was discovered in Chora by an animal welfare activist and bought free. When he could no longer afford her upkeep, she came to Magic Mountain.

Mildred ♀

Donkey

Born between 2007 – 2011

Mildred was found tied up in a field with her son Jimmy, without water or food. The owner was a animal trader who does not mistreat his animals but obviously does not have much interest in them.
Mildred is a bit grumpy and although she doesn’t bite or kick, it can happen that she pushes you out of the way.

Jimmy ♂

Donkey

Born ≈ 2018

Jimmy came to Magic Mountain with mum Mildred and has developed into the friendliest and most sociable of the hoofed ones. Unfortunately, he is probably also very popular with the hoofed ladies, because until his neutering he was able to sire 4 children.

Freddy ♀

Donkey

Born 13.11.2020

Freddy is Mildred and Jimmy’s daughter and a curious little thing who can’t wait to examine shopping bags more closely or push them off the wall. Some might say she’s annoying, but she’s just a young donkey who has never known boundaries.

Bonnie ♀

Horse

Born ≈ 2005

Bonnie was simply dumped on the street when her owner could no longer ride her. We know about her past that she was also once in the hands of a well-known animal trader on the island who is known for cruelty. Bonnie is difficult to handle and not necessarily friendly. But as long as you keep your distance and don’t want anything from her, everything is fine. She is a wonderful mother to Prince and Duke.

Prince ♂

Mule

Born 07.04.2022

Prince is the fiery son of Jimmy and Bonnie. He is full of energy and hard to stop. His first official act on Mother Earth was to wedge out against Sandy’s car. He is not quite as difficult as his mum, but could do with a little training. Otherwise, he sticks his curious nose everywhere and is relatively undistanced. 

Duke ♂

Mule

Born 17.04.2023

Duke is the surprising second son of Jimmy and Bonnie, as Jimmy got neutered after Prince’ birth, but obviously a little too late. He seems to have a slightly calmer character than his brother and loves his naps. But he also enjoys some playtime with the older one.

In Memory Of

Ruby ♂

Mixed breed

Born 2010, Died 07.06.2023

Ruby belonged to neighbours who did not want to take him with them in the winter, when they left the island. He was Johnnys brother and a smiley, wonderful character, who loved to be with volunteers and was always up for some cuddles. 

Ben ♂

Mixed breed

Born end of 04.23, Died 09.06.23

Ben was born at Magic Mountain as the son of Suki and the brother of Boubou and Bessie. He was a very friendly little adventurer. Sadly he was born with a severe hydrocephalus which was causing so much pressure on his brain, that we had to let him go.