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Bianca was found in the Psy- chiko area of Athens, frightened and wandering around alone.

Bianca was found in the Psy- chiko area of Athens, frightened and wandering around alone. She became a valuable mem- ber of the family in Cologne who adopted her. The little boy of the family, who is hyperac- tive, has found in Bianca a pa- tient and enduring companion to play with. She proved to be an excellent help in releasing all his excess energy. The little girl of the family, who had been experiencing certain mobility difficulties, managed to climb down the stairs, for the first time at the age of four, with Bian- ca’s aid and support.

time at the age of four, with Bian- ca’s aid and support. . Adesmeftos Typos Saturday

Adesmeftos Typos

Saturday 10 November

Irini Molfessi, President of the Greek Federation of Animal Welfare talks to Adesmeftos Typos

Love with …………a tail!!

They are the tragic figures of every town. Certainly they will have ac- companied you, at least once, to the door of your house, seeking only a little affection or a game. However very few in our country are inter- ested enough to adopt one of the strays who follow daily in our foot- steps, eager to become member of some animal loving family. Their guardian angels during the time that their wandering takes the place of a warm embrace, are the hundreds of members of animal welfare groups who not only ensure their survival, but also search for a secure, perma- nent home for them.


Ala was found next to a garba bin, along with her four brothers and

sisters, at a summer resort on the

island of Aegina. It was pouring

with rain that day. She and Villy,

a female dog who was dumped

within the premises of EKPAZ - the shelter for wildlife, also located in the island of Aegina – have both been adopted by the same family in Cologne and very soon they started

to offer invaluable services to the

local nursing home, as pat dogs.


In Greece, although the law pro- vides for funds to support the multi faceted work that Greek animal welfare organizations undertake, in practice this does not happen and those injections of cash remain locked in bu- reaucratic drawers. The activ- ity (of animal welfare groups) is founded totally on voluntary work and the income that sup- ports the heavy economic load that accompanies saving a stray dog (veterinary services, food, transport etc) comes exclusively from the contributions of Greek

and also foreign animal lovers. Under these conditions, and in accordance with recent studies, it comes as no surprise that ‘every year more than 1 million euros is

spent by foreign animal welfare organisations in our country.’

The biggest portion of this mon- ey is used for sterilisation pro- grammes, improvement of Greek shelters, veterinary care, feeding of strays and also the transport of animals for adoption abroad. In other words it is no exaggera- tion, that in reality, Greek animal welfare groups would not be able to carry out their work without the generous assistance of foreign- ers, particularly if you take into account that the problem of aban- donment of animals in our country is particularly acute in comparison to other European countries.

How is the bridge that saves animals erected?

The policy which is followed by the Greek Animal Welfare Federation and its members, stresses Mrs Irini Molfessi, cen- tres around the full restoration to health of every animal, even in the case of severe injury and as expensive as this may be.

Injured animals on the streets un- fortunately do not constitute the exception. For that reason, prior- ity is given to those who have im- mediate needs. Rescuing differs for each animal, according to the situation and of course, in some circumstances, a rescue involves danger for the volunteer who may be called to collect strays on roads with heavy traffic or to cope with wild and frightened animals. From then on, however, all animals are vaccinated, treated for parasites, microchipped and the adults are sterilised.

for parasites, microchipped and the adults are sterilised. Injured and requiring treatment and a home Afterwards

Injured and requiring treatment and a home

Afterwards the attempt to find a suitable family begins

In the case of serious trauma or ill-

ness, the return to health is often

a lengthy process and diffiucult

for both the animals and the per-

son undertaking the care. Fright- ened and mistreated animals will need the help of specialists in order to gain trust in humans and this process is characterised by

a long period of time and a lot of hard work, although undertaken with a lot of love by the same


Misleading Campaign

The adoption of strays offer a roof and love to thousands of animals that would otherwise wonder on the unfriendly streets of big cities. According to Irini Molfesi, “out- rageous lies have been told about the shipments abroad, sometimes intentionally, but usually due to ignorance of the animal welfare reality in specific countries”. As Mrs Molfesi, president of the Panhellenic Animal Welfare Fed- eration and one of the most active members of the animal rescue community, explains, “sometimes rumors begin from a bad transla- tion, as in the case of the sausages from Belgium, produced with un- suitable raw material in 2004. In

this case, the material which should have been used to make dog food was incorporated into sausages in- tended for human consumption and this was misinterpreted to ‘meat made from dogs’. Furthermore, people intentionally reported that the sausages were made from Greek stray dogs that were supposed to be adopted in the country”. On the other hand, it’s an undeniable truth that every year animal lovers spend thousands of euro for the salvation of animals that our fellow-citizens “made sure“ to abandon in the streets without any legal conse- quences. “Let’s take the strays seriously for once”, concludes Mrs Molfesi.

The adoptions Most importantly, adds

The practice of animal adoption does not, unfor- tunately, constitute a usual adoption in our country. Some of the rescued ani- mals are given to Greek families, but most of them do not have the same op- portunity. In an effort to find a solution, Mrs Molfesi reports, “we had to approach recognised European animal welfare societies and some of them offered to help us. Their members had already vis- ited Greece on holidays and were familiar with the problems of stray animals”. Thus, foster families were found in other European countries, with higher ani- mal welfare awareness, due to larger populations and education. Nowadays, notes Mrs Molfesi, more than 60 registered Greek animal welfare societies choose to send animals for adoption to foreign coun- tries, although the cost is very high. It is calculated that around 6,000 Greek animals are adopted in Eu- rope every year. Why do foreigners adopt animals from Greece? Many inac- curacies have been heard and written on this matter. As Mrs Molfesi explains to Adesmeftos Typos “In the countries with whom we cooperate, it is not a custom to sell dogs and cats in pet shops. Very few puppies are available for adoption, because the majority of house pets are sterilised, so the only alternative is to buy them from the breeders.

Mrs Molfesi, is that the animal welfare conscience in these countries is highly developed. Mixed breed animals are special, one of a kind and have been rescued from the dangers of the streets. Having al- ready visited Greece and come across the problems of strays in our country, foreigners always help to save an animal. However, when their holidays come to an end, the moment of leaving is very upsetting.

The problem with stray animals remains very serious. Their numbers multiply despite the ef- forts of Greek and foreign

animal rescue volunteers. The need for help is un- doubtedly very large and the first thing that has to change is our mentality. We must, at all cost, ac- tivate our human chords and participate actively by offering the most sim- ple and at the same time the most precious com-


a cuddle for

the strays of our country who need it as much as we do

The Nikos Kaiser fam- ily who live in Germany, adopted four dogs from Greece -
The Nikos Kaiser fam-
ily who live in Germany,
adopted four dogs from
Greece - Astor, Bernadette,
Amy and Paula. They
wanted to help animals
that would be very unlike-
ly to be adopted by some-
body else and certainly no
Greek would have given
these animals a home, as
they are not pedigrees or
young and Amy, in partic-
ular, is a dog who cannot
walk. As a puppy, Amy
suffered a serious fracture
and can’t use her right
leg. The family decided to
adopt her because she had
lived in the same enclosure
as Paula and Bernadette
five months earlier, and so
Amy had lost her friends.
ASTOR - before
Astor had been found tied to
the rails of the care station
in Aegina (see photo above)
in September 2005, in piti-
ful condition, dehydrated,
ill and already 5 years old.
After a long and difficult re-
covery which took one year,
he was ready to be adopted
by the Nikos Kaiser fam-
ily who already had 3 dogs
from Aegina, all of whom
required veterinary care.
As if 4 Greek dogs aren’t enough for this wonderful fam-
ily, this year they came to visit us and during a walk on
the lead, poor Astor and Bernadette fell victims to poison.
Fortunately they survived.

How much does it cost to prepare an animal to travel abroad

Adult dog

Haematological tests: 65€ Treatment for parasites (tablets and spray): 20€ Vaccinations: 40€ Sterilisation: 80-120€ Microchip: 40€ Passport: 15€

Total for veterinary services (15% discount for strays):

220 - 225€ Food: 50€ Transport: 370€ Total: 640€ for male and 675€ for female


Treatment for parasites (tablets and spray): 20€ Vaccinations: 6€ Microchip: 40€ Passport: 15€ Total for veterinary services (15% discount) for strays):

135€ - 15% = 115€ Food (3 months): 70€ Transport: 180€

Total: 365€