Crimes against animals in Greece are so frequent, that if I had to post about what happens here every day, I would just be spamming. But there is one particular area here in Greece, where horror stories keep popping up, and it is just too much.
In the beautiful city of Nafpactos and the surrounding areas, no dog is safe. Never. Animal abuse thrives there, ranging from dogs being hang, shot, ran over deliberately and even shoved in plastic bags and drowned in the river or the sea – once again, I am not exaggerating.
The brutality and frequency of the crimes in that particular area has caught the attention of Penny Marathon, and the charity has launched a big campaign, urging people to email the Mayor’s office and demand that justice is served.
In response to the mass email call out that penny Marathon urged its supporters to participate in, the Mayor of Nafpactos, Panagiotis Loukopoulos released a statement on march 15, 2017, claiming that “The municipality of Nafpactia denounces bluntly the consecutive cases of poisoning and abusing of stray and domestic animals…(bla bla bla)” – you can read the entire ridiculous apology here.
Well, denouncing crimes against animals with a statement basically means nothing, but at least our first message went through. Penny Marathon continues to put pressure on the local authorities, asking for more than just an “oops, sorry”, so here is a new email to send, as an answer to the Mayor’s statement:
EMAIL SUBJECT: Letter to mayor: request for further information
Dear Mr Loukopoulos,
I acknowledge that I have seen your statement of 15/3/17 and follow up today with a series of questions.
These questions have to do with the systemic abuse, neglect and murder of stray animals in your municipality. I am seeking information on broader issues that I believe members of the public are entitled to ask for in the interest of accountability and transparency.
Before I do, I would like to point out the recent series of abuse incidents against strays that I am aware of (undoubtedly, there are many others undiscovered).
18/3/17 a deceased puppy is discovered in a sack on Plataniti Beach, Nafpaktos.
16/3/17 a senior dog (around 10 years old) is found in a ditch in Nafpaktos. It’s likely he was once owned by someone (he had a collar). It’s most likely he was hit by a car and then thrown into a ditch to die. He was rescued by volunteers of Animal Welfare Volunteers Nafpaktos. He is battling to stay alive. We can arrange for you to see him (volunteers are paying for his expenses).
6/3/17 a deceased dog (poisoned) is found impaled upside down to a pole in Anavriti, Nafpaktos. A handwritten sign above his head warns of nearby poison traps.
29/1/17 a dog is rescued from Morno River, Nafpaktos, by a member of Animal Welfare Volunteers Nafpaktos. He was found in a sack. His legs were bound together and a noose was tied around his neck to some reeds. In your statement you refer to him being deceased and that the police is looking into the case. I believe it is essential to point out to you (and for the sake of the police case that you reference in your statement) that this dog is alive, thanks to the animal welfare volunteers of your region and financial support provided by members of the international community. Perhaps you or the police would like to visit him for the purpose of the investigation (that might be a good starting point)?
Here are my questions:
How many stray companion animals (cats and dogs) does your municipality believe exist currently in Nafpaktos?
Stray animals need medical assistance, spay/neutering, food, vaccinations, adoption, and so forth. Every Greek council is legally obligated to attend to many of these needs. What is your council’s annual budget for strays and where can taxpayers access this information?
Where can people access information on how this funding is being spent each year (for example, an annual report or website)?
How does the council attend to the feeding needs of the animals? Please explain how food is distributed every day. For example, there is a daily feeding program every day from 10am to 12pm.
How does your council help Animal Welfare Volunteers of Nafpaktos?
How much funding does your council provide to the work of these volunteers?
Does your municipality run a shelter? If so, please provide details. If not, why not?
Does your municipality run a spay and neutering program? If so, please provide details of the last program. For example, how many animals were spayed and neutered by your council last year. If it doesn’t run a program, why not?
Who should people contact at the council if they find a stray animal that needs help (for example, abandoned puppies, injured animals, starving animals, dead animals or one that is in heat and needs to be spayed immediately)? What process do you use to (1) log these cases and/or (2) relay them to the police for investigation?
As you would agree, it is not the responsibility of the Animal Welfare Volunteers of Nafpaktos and yet they are flooded with calls every day. It is the council’s responsibility and, as such, a telephone number and contact person needs to be provided to attend to these requests (1) during business hours and (2) after hours.
How does the council facilitate adoptions? Please provide details of your adoption campaigns.
I look forward to receiving your reply.
[name], [city], [country]
Alternatively, you can call the council on +30 2634360100 and ask to speak to Mr Loukopoulos (the Mayor), or the person responsible for stray animals or call the local police, as it says in the statement, on +30 2634360121.
*In case the Mayor has blocked incoming emails, you can visit the Municipality’s website here, and contact them through their social media or an alternative email address , if provided.