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Help the Dogs and Cats of Greece

Disturbing News From Greece

greece_dogs_ida.jpgGreece, a country convulsed with politics and economic collapse.

Add to this immigration, striving for a better life, social and cultural differentiation.

What does this mean to Greek dogs and cats?

Our Greek activist friends of Mondo Cane Animal Welfare Society, based in Patmos, Greece, reported to IDA a growing concern about the eating of stray dogs in Athens.

Although Greek legislation includes provisions against animal cruelty and abuse, and treating cats and dogs as food is punishable by law, Greece’s calamitous financial turmoil has caused the newly emigrated to resort to what they know to stave off starvation: eating dogs. Instead of the promise of success, many immigrants cannot provide even the most basic of needs to their families. Arriving from cultures where eating dogs and cats is practiced, if not entirely accepted, capturing stray dogs and cats to eat doesn’t seem that remote an idea to them, despite being illegal.

The stray dog population of Greece is enormous - as soon as you land at the airport in Athens, dogs are everywhere you look - roaming the tarmac, the streets, the town squares, as though they were canine citizens out for a leisurely stroll, were it not for the fact that their plight is so tragic.

The majority of shelters in Greece are managed by local municipalities, which, according to Greek animal advocates, routinely round up dogs and gas them as a means of "population control." During the 2004 Summer Olympics in Greece, stories about the gassings of thousands of dogs went viral, causing outrage around the world. And though it is vehemently denied, the gassings continue. Local populations avoid reporting stray dogs to the authorities, believing they have a better chance of survival living on the streets, feeding on garbage and getting by from the kindness of animal lovers.

On a recent blog, there was a story about a municipal worker in downtown Athens pinning down a stray dog with a loop, also called a “dog strangler,” causing the dog to bleed from the mouth. Passersby were stunned by the excessively violent act, which is, unfortunately, an all-too common sight.  Several months ago, there was also a well-publicized gruesome incident of poisoning, in the city of Athens, in the gardens of Zappelo - the very center of Greek culture - where in plain view, dozens of dogs, cats, and even pigeons died torturous deaths.

And lately the news has been flooded with reports of strays disappearing from various neighborhoods, with eyewitness accounts of dogs being captured by immigrants, who have been seen chasing dogs. Guardians are concerned to walk the streets of Athens, even with their dogs on a leash, or leaving their dogs tied outside of a store to run a quick errand, which is very customary, because of the alarming number of recent abductions. It has also been reported that in some instances animal activists were able to take photos of people selling dogs on the street, including dog meat and dog parts, and even provided the authorities with horrific images of skinned dogs being displayed for sale and roasting on spits. It is now common knowledge that there is a bakery owned by an immigrant who is cooking and prepping dog parts for sale. Unfortunately, by the time the authorities arrive, the evidence is gone.

Mondo Cane is in the process of building a veterinary clinic and no-kill shelter, in the hope it becomes a prototype in Greece and in other European countries. The organization is calling for assistance from around the world to help support the creation of no-kill shelters and spay and neuter campaigns to resolve the tragically massive problem of stray dogs.

A Dog Rape Case

Mondo Cane Animal Welfare Society also brought to our attention a sickening case of animal abuse: on August 10, 2013, a 53-year-old man from Poland, residing in Greece, abducted a female dog, raped her, and returned her in critical condition to the area where he found her. The dog was taken in and cared for by Save a Greek Stray, which treated the internal injuries and nursed her back to health. She was given the name Olympia (from the neighborhood where she was seized) and is now looking for a loving family to adopt her. The man was identified and arrested, thanks to eyewitnesses able to provide his description and identify the vehicle used in Olympia’s capture. The perpetrator was brought to court on August 14, confessed to his crime and was sentenced to one year in jail, which can be traded for a penalty of 5 Euros per day, plus a 20,000.00 Euro fine.

Since the case and sentence are due to be reviewed by the Athens court very soon, Mondo Cane is pursuing legal representation on behalf of Olympia, to ensure that the sentence be upheld and not traded for a lesser charge or community service. Mondo Cane is also collecting signatures to ask the court not to reduce the sentence in any way but to implement it according to the law. The petition will be presented in court by the organization’s lawyer.

Research concerning the netherworld of sexual abuse of animals revealed a more common reality than we ever expected. Zoophilia has been legal in Germany since 1969, and, although it was banned on December, 2012, “animal brothels” are thriving, with a community of over 100,000 zoophilics in Germany alone. Although bestiality is banned in many European countries, including the Netherlands, France, and Switzerland, the law was changed in the UK in 2003, which reduced the maximum sentence from life in prison to a sentence of two years. This ghastly act, however, is permissible in Belgium, Denmark, and Sweden, though Stockholm is considering a change in its legislation.

What you can do: 

 

1) Let your voices be heard in speaking out against the cold-blooded killing of strays and ensuring justice is served in the dog rape case in Olympia!

Please use the form below to send a letter to officials in Greece to stop the killings of strays now, adopt no-kill shelters throughout Greece, and uphold the sentence for the animal abuser in the case of Olympia!

Please personalize your letter to increase your impact and submit the sample letter below to send your comments to:

  • CITY OF ATHENS MAYOR'S OFFICE

Note: the term "Decision Maker" in the salutation below will automatically be replaced by the name and title of the recipient.

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Dear [Decision Maker],

Sincerely,
[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[City, State ZIP]