I had a strangely uncomfortable premonition about last year’s visit to Greece. In the months leading to the trip, the financial crisis in the country worsened, resulting in ever more dogs being abandoned, including small, elderly and pedigree dogs. The number of calls for help received had of course also increased and being on the receiving end of the calls and emails, I began to feel quite exasperated. In some cases we were able to help, but too often not. And the calls were/are not only from Greek animal rescuers, but also from expats (British and other nationalities), some of who had been living in Greece for many years. Unfortunately when they made the decision to
return to their respective countries (mainly for financial reasons) many of them had not thought about the dogs and cats they had acquired over the years, mostly through adoption of strays. Callously some of these poor animals had been/are being simply left behind to fend for themselves after their ‘owners’ leave Greece for good, others try to fi nd homes for them within Greece, but not very successfully.
Of course there are those who would (thankfully!) never abandon their animals and they do whatever is necessary to take them with them. Others turn to internet in search of organisations who would help find homes for them and we receive many such calls for help. Every case is different, but while there are times we can help directly, often we can only give advice, suggest various options, but in most cases try to persuade people to take the animals with them and find homes for them in their respective countries if they are unable to keep them, but to please not leave them behind!! Sometimes it upsets me greatly to deal with people who expect to be helped but show little interest into putting any effort into trying to solve their problem.... in fact they hardly see it as ‘their’ problem.
The apprehension I felt prior to going to Greece remained with me upon my return and is still present. How can it not be when I see the situation getting steadily worse instead of better! My apprehension is shared by all those involved in rescue work ‘on the ground’, because everybody is struggling to keep their heads above water (financially), but the vets are not dropping their ...... then they are complaining that they have no work and accusing foreign vets of working illegally in Greece!! Always pointing a finger of blame at everybody but themselves!! Typical!!