Congratuations to Dan for putting aside his fear of heights
and doing a sponsored bungee jump for the charity today. He
recently adopted Strolchi a handsome dog from Aegina. WELL
Visit to Greece October 2013
Yet again, a visit mixed with hope and total despair.
Hope, in that there were more dogs being taken out on leads and
we witnessed more animals being taken to the vets for
sterilisation but total despair at the sheer volume of abandoned
dogs, cats, kittens and puppies.........................
There were tiny kittens trying to reach into the bins for food
and when we distributed food after dark they had to compete with
the adults cats, certainly a survival game in the worst possible
way. The shelters that we support were all overflowing
with dogs and puppies, some with twice as many animals as
‘usual’ and the wonderful Greek people trying to care for them
were at their wits end on how to exist from one day to the next.
We do our best to help but only with your support.
Some good news at last! Here is little Teddy at our
dog walk today. The poster shows what he looked like when he
arrived from Greece a year ago, look at him now! Well done to
his mum Jackie!
Many of you will remember this shocking photo of poor
Dionysis who was chained and emaciated. He was taken to
the dog shelter in March 2012 and arrived in the UK earlier this
year. He attended our dog walk today and looks amazing!
Thanks to our wonderful supporters we have been able to
supply some much needed new kennels for some of the dogs of
Pyrgos so at least they will have some shelter for the winter
3 MORE DOGS POISONED – THIS TIME WE ARE SHAMING POROS
The welfare group in Poros work so hard to try and give
the strays of their island a chance of a reasonable life.
This poor soul had been on the street for nearly a year.
He was sterilised, micro chipped and vaccinated and was
certainly harmless. Then, this week someone decided to
poison him and 2 of his friends. The Deputy Mayor was
particularly uninterested, unhelpful and rude. The police
chief was more sympathetic but still nothing will be done as
there were no witnesses. When will this ever stop!
Please think long and hard before you decide to holiday in
Please take a look at this film which will give you a good
idea of why we need your support! Thank you for Sarah Cooper
for producing it for us.
This poor dog was wandering the streets
of Aegina for several weeks but was so sick and scared that no one
could catch him.
In due course, his illness caused him
temporary blindness and this made it easier to take him into care.
As you can see, his transformation is
amazing and, although he probably won't have a long life, he is
happy, loved and well fed.
GIOVANNI 1 July 2000-1 July 2013
It is with very great sadness that we
must say 'Goodbye' to our most wonderful dog 'Giovanni'. So many of
the charity friends and supporters knew his wonderful personality
and that fantastic 'hound dog' face.
He was an amazing dog who was born in the
Wildlife Centre in Aegina but soon realised it wasn't a good place
He was a street dog in Aegina for many years
and was lovingly cared for there by Gaby.
He arrived in the UK to live with us in
January 2007 and we have been privileged to share his last 6.5
His character was amazing, he would do
what he wanted, when he wanted, and he was definitely 'the boss'.
We loved him dearly and are already smiling
when we remember the antics he got up to.
It is a very sad day for us, his 13th
birthday, but he is now pain free and we hope he is dreaming of
chasing the rabbits - a favourite occupation.
Rest in peace our dear boy, Lyn and Mark
JULY 2013 - SHOCKED TOURISTS
Sadly this is always the time of the
year that we receive desperate requests for help from tourists who
are traumatised by the sight of the stray animals in Greece.
They all say that their holiday was ruined
and they will never go back, I hope they don't.
This is part of an email received yesterday:
'I went to use the ATM in Agios Ioannis and I found a dog, at
I fed her a tin of cat food which is all
A chain and padlock around her neck but
She struggles to see, skin and bone, has had
The people said their neighbour left her 6 month's
She is friendly but in a state!!!
Worst I have seen, even in pictures. She
came to me, resting her head on my hand, wagging what's left of her
hips and when any of the locals gestured to her she flinched and
NO locals want to help, even our hotel, Manthos Blue,
Manager won't help.
No one wants the dog near as she is so dirty
and neglected I expect.
We fly home tomorrow, thank God.'
We will try to track her down but it
won't be easy as she is just one of thousands in the same situation
Tourist Rescues Stray From Rhodes -
A couple of month's ago we received a
call from a distraught tourist in Rhodes who was determined to offer
a home to a little stray she had found.
We managed to put her in touch with a
local welfare group on the island and they helped with her
At last the day came when little Sandy
arrived and was finally taken home.
This just proves that dreams can come true!
I realise now from reading
your website that you are probably tired of concerned people
contacting you re the dog problem there in Greece
I am just back from a week
in Tsilivi. I was so saddened and disturbed. any sun, beaches
etc now fade into total insignificance (I spent the week
fretting over these animals,! and unfortunately I am so sorry to
say but I will never return to Greece and any of my animal lover
friends I will say would be shocked and disturbed to go- up from
Tsilivi up to Tragagi 2 lovely dogs tied to trees outside house on
road one a little black/brown guy and a furry larger white dog-tied
in the heat, then on another road down from Tragaki 2 black dogs
tied up on a disused looking building - a primary school with
coloured railings is in this area, I appreciate you cannot check
I have never come home from
a holiday so distressed and feel so sad for these animals. I applaud
your work, but it is amazing to think of tourism and this all side
by side, how can the Greek people be so cruel? I really got
such an eye opener on my Greek Holiday, the people of Greece have so
let themselves down by their shockingly cruel nature on display all
round the islands. I am sorry to appear so wound up but i am
literally back this morning and it is all planted in my memory of
Zante, I would love to hear that the issue is improving but from
your website the stories appear equally disturbing, and this is not
to even mention the miserably thin stray cats jumping in and out of
Kind regards and so much
good wishes with your efforts
This poor dog was wrongly accused of killing a
chicken and she paid the ultimate price.
She lived with an elderly couple in Zakynthos and a neighbor
shot her dead whilst she was still feeding her pups.
Although this barbaric act has been published in local
newspapers, probably no further action will be taken as the
authorities are not interested.
I have emailed the Greek Embassy in London several times in
the past fortnight to complain about this and the poisoned dogs but
they don't even have the courtesy to respond
DOGS POISONED IN HALKIDIKI
These dogs are just two of TWELVE dogs poisoned
in one area last week. They had been looked after for the past five years by a colleague,
they were all sterilized, vaccinated, fed regularly and were no
trouble at all. THIS ACT IS ILLEGAL IN GREECE, but no one cares and
the authorities try to turn a blind eye.
We are contacting the Greek Embassy in London to complain so
please, if you can, email them your distain also.
Unless we shout about it nothing will change.
Greece gives a whole new meaning to 'street cleaning'
and tourists should be aware of what goes on
At the beginning of this year, 6 tiny pups were bundled into a crate
in Aegina and tossed into a wooded ravine on a cold, wet night.
Fortunately, their squeals were heard and, after several
hours of searching, they were all found and taken into care.
Here are 3 of them and they are all fine and looking for
'Did these 2 Greek Dogs win the Lottery?'
'No, Dennis and Ruby just found a great home in the UK!
What's Happening In Greece.
Old Bill was taken to a vet near Athens and the owner never came
back for him. Hence, he was
left in a cage for weeks. He
is very arthritic and just needs a bit of love.
ANOTHER POOR SOUL FOUND WANDERING IN AEGINA.
Two dogs were thrown onto the streets in Aegina last summer and one
was lucky enough to be taken into care by colleagues after a couple
of months and has now made a full recovery.
However, his brother was not so lucky and was lost for more
than 6 months. He was
captured in the middle of March
2013 (still with the string attached to his
neck) and reunited with his brother, they were very happy to see
each other. Let's hope he makes a recovery also.
We recently organized and funded another cat
neutering campaign but the volunteers' car broke down.
They didn't give up, they used their bikes instead!
For the very first time in Greece, a man has
been sentenced and fined for instigating (and not perpetrating)
animal abuse. On 1 Oct,
a dog owner was sentenced in court to one year imprisonment (
suspended for 3 yrs) and a fine of 5000 Euros, for ordering a worker
to chain his dog to his car and drag it until 'it melted away'.
Perhaps this shows a glimmer of hope for animal welfare in Greece as
many people reported the incident.
As a result, the court case was heard and the dog has
Three years ago my wife and I retired to a
wonderful spot in Greece. We have been shocked to find lots of pups
discarded wet and hungry in dustbins. So far we have taken in about
15. The locals think we are crazy interfering with the normal way of
Yesterday some kind soul fed poisoned food to our dogs, four had to
be taken to the vet, hopefully they will recover. This type of thing
needs to be given much more attention in the media. Greece needs
tourists but this type of thing will put them off coming here.
The law in Greece 4039/2012 states that a dog
'MUST LIVE IN A HEALTHY ENVIRONMENT ADAPTED TO HIS NEEDS'.
When visiting Greece it is inevitable that you will see dogs
on a very short chain, usually with no shelter, food or water so
PLEASE COMPLAIN TO THE POLICE as this is illegal and you are within
your rights to try and do something about it.
The misery of chained dogs is poignantly described in this
prose written by a Greek animal lover so please don't ignore them.
CREATURES OF THE METRE
Here I am I
am not sure where that is, but I am not alone,
There are many of us,
If I could
count, then I could tell you how many, but I don’t know how and I
But one thing
I know is that this is a good place,
I am warm I am
free to run, to roll, to cuddle up and sleep with the others here
happy times, of this I am sure.
Then, one day
I was taken from there, away from the others, I was afraid.
I was not very
big, how big I do not know.
I was taken to
a place, a rope was placed around my neck and the other end to a
I do not know
how long the rope is because I don’t know these things,
But I do know
that when I jump, it just pulls me back in mid-air.
My neck lunges
backward and my feet leave the floor.
I do this
every time someone passes by, I hope that one day someone will
realize that I am not happy on my rope.
I do not know
what my purpose is, here beneath the tree
I have to do
my daily business where I am and sometimes it is beneath my feet
where I sleep.
I am not the
only Creature of the Metre.
I talk all
night to the other Creatures of the Metre that also have a small
space of freedom.
others join in, Creatures without Borders, as we Creatures of the
Metre call them.
strange stories of how they go for runs in the big forest, swim in
the huge water called the sea, they even say they ride in cars.
They say they
are not on a rope but free, that man loves them,
Now that I
know what love is, I do not understand such things, but we Creatures
of the Metre do not believe these tales from the Creatures without
How could they be true?
But, every day as I try to catch the eye of man, I would pray if I
know how, that one day I will become a Creature without Borders.
One night while driving home from a back road we saw a starving
puppy in the corner of a neighbour's driveway. The next day we left
for a trip. One week later I took a walk and saw the puppy still
there. I brought him food and water. He was too weak to walk but
managed. The next two days we fed her and she began to get stronger
and even began wagging her tail when she saw us. The neighbours
caught us feeding her and told us they had called the 'demo' to
collect her. They never came. They gave my fiancé' the number and we
called the next day.
An animal control man picked up the dog the next day and told us she
would be examined, vaccinated, and sterilized. We called the next
day and were told she was healthy and was too young to be sterilized
so they would keep her until she was.
A week later we called and asked to see the dog and was told later
that we could not because she was not "an exhibit". We were assured
she was doing fine. A few days later we called again to ask to see
the dog because we wanted to take her with us. We were referred to
the Dimarxio for any information and a "program".
We went and spoke to a woman on the 3rd floor who told us the dogs
are kept in Perithori outside of Tripoli for adoption. I made a
comment that I was concerned about animals because I'm an foreigner
and not Greek citizen. She apparently took offence and told me the
stray dog problem is due to British citizens buying dogs for
protection and abandon them. I told her I didn't believe her. She
became agitated and stated the EU passed a law that will require all
sheltered animals be released, that Greeks will have to release the
dogs into the streets. They don't want to do it but will have to. I
told her I thought that sounded odd but she assured me it was true.
My fiance' took me by the hand and led me out before I could send
her and her entire family to hell.
We called the number she gave us and was told by the same man, Mr.
Mariolas, that we could not visit the compound where the dogs were.
He asked us what kind of dog we wanted, guard dog, shepherd dog etc.
We told him we were interested in a house dog. He said he had two
young white puppies that had not been sterilized and he would bring
them to us. He refused to have us go see the dogs or tell us where
they were kept. He told us he would get the dogs and bring them to a
location and he would tell us where when he called us later that
day. He never called. We called that evening and again the next day
but no one answered.
According to my fiance' every time he called it was the same man who
answered the phone, Mr. Mariolas, 694-549-0250.
I'm leaving Tues with a resolved determination to help and spread
We were on holiday in Rhodes island in this July
and we are horrified how much there were cats and dogs without
home!!! Terrible!!! I have never seen that kind of situation before.
I will never travel to Greece again, I just can't. My heart is
broken. Can I do something to help those poor animals, I live in
Finland? I'm so happy here in Finland we don't have strays at all.
Please tell me what can I do, I'm sure all help is welcome.
DOG SHELTER IN CORFU
This disgusting shelter is supported by the
Municipality of Kerkyra - they just want to get the dogs off the
streets so the tourists don't see them!
The local authorities don't care as long as the tourists are happy.
Help us to close it down.
More information on
We have never seen such a
tortured little dog. Only a 5 kilo little boy.
Your eyes blind with dry blood on them. Your
body hairless and full of wounds. Your nails so huge that got into
your flesh... You must have not walked for years. You were abandoned
long before they left you tied in a cardboard next to a tree being
eaten alive by ants.
We took you immediately to the vet. Kalazaar (leismania)
and mange were the initial diagnosis. You devoured your food until
your last breath. Your photos on the Internet touched so many
people. Many people offered fostering and donated money for your
treatment, even a British Organization kindly offered to re-home you
in England where you would find your own loving family.
Ten days ago a Greek lady
offered you a home here in Athens and she has been expecting you
with her hug open widely. You would finally meet love, petting,
safety. As soon as you would come back from the vet, where you were
also diagnosed with hypothyroidism, she would take you home.
But you did not know. And your heart tortured by
such a neglect and suffering chose to fly away. You will be safe and
painless in dog's heavens now. We cannot believe how sudden you left
us, you have not prepared us. We will remember you with love and we
hope you felt our care as long as you lived near us.
Farewell our Dear Tom.''
Kiki Karathanassi, Friends of Animals Shelter
This poor, very neglected little dog was found
by a volunteer in Aegina recently.
She was taken to the dog shelter, shaved and cared for.
She now looks totally different without her parasite
infested, matted coat.
This is a photo of a really badly matted dog and another photo of
her shaved - she now has a loving home in the UK.
This was Dionysis when his owners were reported
for neglect in Aegina earlier this year.
Permission was gained to take him and he was cut free and
taken to the local dog shelter where he has been well cared for and
is now fully recovered.
Doesn't look like the same dog!
are routinely dumped in dustbins and these were found last week in
Skiathos. The bin bag was
securely tied but they were very much alive
in Skiathos last week, this poor soul was found at a feeding
station. She is totally
blind having either been hit by a car (although there are no other
injuries) or kicked in the face.
All currently in care with Skiathos Cat Rescue
The ‘owners’ of these poor animals have been identified on
and will hopefully face prosecution for animal neglect.
However, these photos could have been taken anywhere in
as this type of abuse is common place.
Dogs in Trikala have new kennels but not enough for everyone.
If you would like to donate one for another lucky dog then
£80 will cover the cost.
VICTIMS OF THE GREEK FINANCIAL CRISIS
There has been plenty of publicity about
this over the past few months but there has been no mention of
the innocent victims - the animals.
Here are some photos showing the level of neglect, abuse
and abandonment - all taken in the last few weeks.
LATEST VICTIMS OF THE EURO DEBT CRISIS
In the hills just outside the busy port
town of Rafina about twenty miles north east of Athens, Vasilis
Papandoniou has been running a successful rescue centre that
accommodates something in the order of one hundred and fifty
dogs. They range from mutts of all shapes and sizes to pedigree
Alsatians and Labradors. All these dogs have had the great
fortune to have been rescued from the streets of Rafina by
Vasilis and his small car.
In addition to his day job with the local authority Vasilis 49,
has volunteered his services to run the centre entirely on his
own, devoting hours of his free time.
Until last week the Rafina Council has provided funds for
the dogs feed in addition to vet nary costs. Without notice or
warning the axe has now fallen on this happy canine community.
No more money = NO MORE FOOD.
Vasilis, who has devoted most of his life to the care of dogs,
is devastated and stricken with panic. All his appeals to the
Rafina authorities have fallen on deaf ears.
"I'm desperate" says Vasilis, "It is not the fault of the local
authority, it's the whole economic mess.....every time I see the
dogs looking up at me, I can't think that they may all be
starving very soon."
Current food supplies are due to run out in the middle of
September. The food comes as a dry mix in twenty kilo sacks.
Each sack costs 11.75 Euros and the hungry dogs munch their way
through approximately eighty kilos a day.
George Christopoulos, the Mayor of Rafina confesses " It's true,
money is drying up all round and what was laid aside for the
dogs' food has run out until the beginning of next year when
there will be a new budget. We will then be joining up with our neighboring
local authority at Pikermi cutting administration costs. This
will provide more for local needs but for now my hands are tied.
There is nothing I can do for the dogs."
Friends and private individuals who know of ,Vasilis' brave work
with the dogs are all doing something to chip in, but this is in
no way enough. Vasilis is now appealing worldwide. At present,
most of the dogs are in good shape, neutered, vaccinated and
waiting to be adopted but food is the main priority for now.
' Friends of the Strays of Greece' have learnt of the dogs'
plight and are offering to channel any donations marked (Rafina
Strays) directly to providing the urgently needed food.
From: PHILIP WALKER. ATHENS
As a result of Strays of Greece fundraising dog walk recently,
we were able to organise a delivery of 2000 kilos of food to
this dog shelter.
Thank you to all concerned.
Unbelievable but 'normal' in Greece
This is how so many 'owned' Greek
dogs are kept.
Chained in squalid conditions, starved
Sadly, this is not unusual.
The option is that the dog stays on the streets
and waits to be poisoned or shot - not much of a choice is it?
This one only had clean water because the kind
person who took the photo gave it to her with some food.
MORE POISONINGS IN ATHENS
10 February 2011 someone spread a large quantity of poisoned
meat throughout the National Gardens in Athens. This area is 'home' to hundreds of cats
and many dogs that are dumped when their, so called, owners no
longer want them.
The animals are sterilised, fed and generally
cared for by various voluntary groups and the animals pose no
threat to people. To her despair, one volunteer this
morning found the poison and 3 dogs were dead and numerous cats
Someone must know who carried out this despicable
act and we would be very keen to prosecute this person for this
illegal action. Any information will be dealt with
confidentially. We cannot ignore this practice.
DOGS KEPT ON CHAINS
This barbaric way of life is still
common in Greece.
Thousands of dogs are still kept
chained up all their lives.
This one managed to escape and was rescued by people who
The chain was imbedded so deeply into his neck
that he needed surgery to remove it (in the photo the chain is
on the operating table).
Whilst we have seen this on many occasions, this is
clearly the worst example we have experienced.
The dog was probably chained as a puppy but no
one bothered with him when he grew big - the chain stayed the
Unbelievable but, sadly, true.
This dog is now making a
full recovery but thousands more are not so lucky.
There is another picture
that is disturbing and if you would like to see it please
click on this text.
In September and October
we organised welfare visits to Greece.
As a result, more than 200 animals received
essential veterinary treatment.
Here are photos of some of the animals we
PROTEST AGAINST ANIMAL POISONING IN GREECE
On Saturday 26 June at 8pm, protests
against dog and cat poisoning were held concurrently all over
We received reports from many supporters
saying how well their particular protest march went.
The photo was taken in Aegina and
meetings were held with the local authorities and the police
during the following week in order to discuss the problem
Let's hope that this is the first very
important step for the law against poisoning to actually be
imposed and not ignored.
An Example of what we receive on a daily basis.
little dog was found on Friday.
The house in Athens was empty - everyone had
moved out but they didn't take the little dog. Just left
him chained up to die on the end of a chain.
Fortunately, a kind person heard him whimpering
and a colleague climbed the wall and rescued him.
He was, as you can see, badly matted and starving
but is now doing well
Latest Victims of Poisoning in Halkidiki
Although the practice of poisoning animals is meant to be
illegal in Greece, the authorities are not interested in
following up such incidents – so the pain and suffering
Last week, these 3 dogs were found immediately their plight
became evident and they were saved by a local group.
Death by poisoning is horrific and unnecessary and we urge
people to report those responsible for such appalling acts
Last week we received this
horrific photograph from a colleague in Crete. She had
organised some of the local stray cats to be sterilised.
The day after her operation, this poor soul was poisoned and
died a long and painful death. What is the point of
such barbaric actions? We must report people who do
this. It is unnecessary and illegal.
Subject: STRAY DOGS IN ZANTE - URGENT PLEASE HELP!!!
have just returned from Zante – the stray dog situation there
was very very upsetting to us and I was wondering if you could
advise of a Centre/shelter or Organisation that I could contact
to try and help these poor dogs out please. They are the most
wonderful friendly dogs, none of them are spayed so all
reproducing obviously making the situation worse and worse. The
Hotel we were in was The Caravel in Zante and they are living
just down the road from this entrance in a wooden hut, the
tourists feed them at the moment, but we caught one of the
Restaurant owners kicking one of the dogs, and they are all out
in the road, it is an accident waiting to happen – some are
limping and all are thin – it is heart breaking, they still have
the good nature to come up to you with their tail wagging
hopeful of something to eat. There is a one year old amongst
them who has already had a litter of pups, the situation is so
dreadful to watch – could you please advise who I could contact
to see if I can help these poor dogs please – IS THERE AN
ORGANISATION IN GREECE TO HELP THESE POOR WONDERFUL KIND DOGS –
IT IS TOTALLY UNACCEPTABLE THEY ARE KIND LOVING DOGS LOOKING FOR
A HOME – PLEASE PLEASE HELP!
Many thanks Suzanne Darby
to get a drink from the stand of an umbrella stand, and
we saw this dog being kicked by the waiter of the Indian
restaurant next to where this dog is lying – we went
absolutely mad with him – he may have been poisoned!.