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Locked by Love

I met Lia Campriani in 2012 when I brought two stray dogs I found in Rome to her shelter. Since then, an image has never left me, one where Lia was lying on a bed surrounded by 40 dogs. I often thought about her and wanted to return.


I returned to the shelter in March 2022, hoping to be able to tell her story. In her youth, Lia was an Italian show jumping champion and her life has been connected to horses since childhood. Since 2009, the family home and farm-hotel, Agrilia, in the Italian region of Umbria, has become a shelter for stray dogs. It hosts 130 dogs, more or less- Most of them live in groups in the garden and in the premises of the house and old and sick dogs live with Lia. She is 74 years old and she lives alone. There are no family members left and she divorced her husband a long time ago. The shelter has one assistant, and volunteers occasionally come.


Funds for the maintenance of the shelter are received by the Agrilia association as donations. The state does not help private shelters. Dogs are brought here from all over Italy, especially from the south, where you can often meet packs of stray dogs. Volunteers pick up animals from the roads or take them from state shelters where conditions are unacceptable.


Every year, around 50,000 dogs end up on the street in Italy and are at risk of dying as a result of abuse or accidents.

The phenomenon of abandonment concerns the whole year with significant peaks especially in the summer, close to the summer holidays.

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