Avlaki beach is in Porto Rafti (Eastern Attica), about 35 km from the center of Athens. It is a charming seaside town with a stray dog problem: dozens of dogs and cats live in the streets, abandoned by owners, procreating without control and dying of hunger, abuse and neglect. A shelter and non-profit organization founded in 2010 helps the many roaming dogs and cats living on the streets of Avlaki.
Greece is experiencing a terrible economic situation. With an uncertain future, hundreds of thousands of people (mostly the young) are fleeing the country for better opportunities. Unfortunately it means people have bigger problems to focus on than saving strays and the government does nothing. This problem has been going on for years. No one knows the actual number buy an article I found from 2015 estimates over 1.0 million:
"Among the many problems brought on by the Greek debt crisis is a surging population of stray dogs.
Animal charities say there are now more than a million strays in Greece because people are simply abandoning pets they can no longer afford to keep" BBC, 2015
I saw this first hand in our vacation last June. Dogs and cats everywhere, on the roads, on the tourist spots, the ancient ruins, on the beaches, in packs, eating from piles of garbage, hurt, lost, sad. It broke my heart. There are so many it seems like an impossible task to help them. There are several charity organizations in Greece and from abroad trying to help but none is focusing on Avlaki other than the local shelter. LETS HELP THEM!
Kris, my cousin, and a few people of Avlaki do their best to house as many as possible in the shelter but there isn't enough space! Some people take many dogs or cats home to take care of them until a possible adoption. Their main goal is to find them homes but today they spend most of the few funds they on feeding on the streets, treating the ones that need medical attention and giving them water.
Kris tells me some dogs have been at the shelter for over 2 years with little chance for adoption. They can't bring all the dogs and cats into the shelter so volunteers go out daily to the streets and alleys with food to feed them and look after them. They are focusing on neutering and spaying to slow down the stray population growth. They work with local vets to spay and neuter these strays. Unfortunately mot vets don't offer their services for free (incredible) but they do charge less than their regular fees. They often find them hurt, hit by cars or bikes, abused by people (what's wrong with humanity), alone and scared.
The story I'm about to tell you is the reason why I knew I needed to do something. I couldn't just listen and feel bad. This is why I'm starting this GoFundMe page on behalf of Kris and her friends:
At the end of a caching in Greece, Kris and her husband came to the airport to see us off. It was a Sunday. She couldn't stay long because the shelter was having a bazar sale to collect funds. I emptied my wallet (25 Euros left) and we were off. She told me a few days later they collected a total of 45 Euros... 25 of those were mine. I couldn't believe that so much effort could bring such little money. They need a lot more than that.
So here I am. I'm asking you to share something, a little, a lot. To do more than just feel bad about this and to help these amazing people who trying their best to take care of innocent animals. Give them a reason to keep going, to not give up the fight. Help them.
I appeal to my friends and family, to their friends and family here in Canada, in USA and elsewhere. You might never make it to Avlaki beach, Greece (or you might! its a beautiful place) regardless of how far this place is and how likely you are to see it, these innocent animals need our help and can benefit tremendously from your generosity. Imagine if our help can feed and cure; allow for more space in the shelter; slow the population. But also give the volunteers a needed bust of energy to keep up the good fight.
Thank you for reading. Thank you for sharing. And thank you so much for helping.
This is the non-profit organization
Για προσφορές- δωρεές: ΤΡΑΠΕΖΑ ΠΕΙΡΑΙΩΣ
GR93 0172 0130 0050 1307 1526 499