rescue

Rescue In That Terrible Place We Call Home

First of all I need to apologize. Most of you who follow my Youtube channel and the blog know that I’m all about positivity. I never post anything that may prevent you from sleeping at night, unless the animal has already been rescued and is now safe. I am simply against making viewers and followers feel sick, posting any material that might spoil the rest of their day. So I just suck it in, and share the bright side of animal rescue – the one where the dogs have recovered and their suffering is buried in the past.

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Hand and left to die outside the owner’s house in Salamina, Greece

The main reason I rarely scroll down my Facebook wall is that I simply can’t handle it. The dogs in desperate need of help are just too many, the images of horror and abuse are just much for anyone to handle, so I simply choose not to do it. I prefer updating the shelter’s Facebook page, posting photos of my happy rescued dogs and staying positive.

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Stray dog shot in the head in Chalkidiki, Greece

Today I made a mistake. I started browsing and got sick once again. When you’re involved in animal welfare in Greece, you are friends with every rescuer and follow every charities Facebook page. We try our best to support each other in any way, so out Facebook wall is not a fun place to be at.

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Puppies left to survive on their own in Thiva, Greece

Within just a few minutes, you can bump into posts of abandoned puppies in the middle of nowhere, dogs hang and left to suffer an agonizing death, animals hit by cars suffering devastating injuries and waiting for someone to pick them up or simply put them out of their misery and much more.

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One of the two strays that were shot to death in Corintho, Greece

You feel helpless. Who should you help first? Which incident should you choose to share? Where to donate? Who to help? Greece is one ugly place to live in, when you’re an animal lover. It’s just too ugly. When choosing to help, you might even end up loathing the animal you save, because you know that it’s the lucky one, and if it hadn’t been for this dog taking up your space and time, you could have saved the emaciated, dying dog crying for help through a Facebook post.

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One of the numerous mothers, left to feed for their little ones in the middle of nowhere, in Patras, Greece.

So this is a random selection of posts on my Facebook wall from today. That’s right. All the posts were shared today or maybe yesterday. In the meantime, our homes are packed with more animals than we can afford to foster, the shelters are full, we spend our time driving animals to the vet, socializing a fearful puppy, updating our rescue animals on our Facebook pages, receiving hundreds of calls and answering tones of messages from people who cry for help for dogs and cats dying on the street, found abandoned and looking for a chance to have their stories shared at least once.

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Xanthi, Greece. Stray dogs collected in order to be abandoned in the mountains to die.

It’s too much. With absolutely no help from the government or any other official channels, we have to be the rescuers, he informers, the police and the parents to all those souls trapped in a country with no tomorrow – a country absolutely and ridiculously stuck in the Middle Ages when it comes to the perception of the wellbeing of man’s best friend.

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Recently abandoned on the streets and hit by a car, in Lepanto, Greece

I’m sorry. I’m sorry if you’re an admirer of the Greek civilization, if you love the awesome islands and the beautiful weather – I know I do. But after a few years of being involved in rescue, I’m practically afraid to travel around Greece. I’m afraid I’ll bump into a chained dog in the middle of nowhere or a starved puppy following me around. And among all the horror and the pain, my vacation will be ruined and I’ll have to play God, choosing which one deserves to be saved and which one will remain crying for help through a Facebook post, while others will keep taking its place in shelter’s tiny cage.

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Orion, latest rescue of The Ghosts of Aspropyrgos – one of the suburbs of Athens you don’t even want to step foot in.

Pelion is one of Greece’s most wonderful places. I made the mistake of spending a weekend there two years ago. I couldn’t choose which one to bring home with me and which one to leave behind, so this video is a reminder of why I won’t be going back there ever ever again.

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6 thoughts on “Rescue In That Terrible Place We Call Home”

  1. I feel your pain and share your sense of helplessness. Abandonment is cruel but how do we explain the senseless savage brutality these innocent dogs suffer at the hands of barbarians. Humans are supposed to be intelligent, civilised, evolved beings but I am embarrassed by the actions of my countrymen. Yes, we have similar cases in Portugal as you do in Greece, and Spain is no better. It’s heartbreaking and soul crushing but we need to believe that our small acts of mercy can and will make a difference. It’s the only way we can carry on fighting for their precious lives. Big hug from me and our brood of rescues.

    1. Thanks! I know the situation in Greece and Porugal is very much the same. I just hope I get to see some changes one day.

  2. Valia we all know we can not save them all unfortunately. But we, rescuers, do our best. And what a joy when an animal we help, becomes a healthy, happy pet again and we find a perfect home. That what keeps us going. And help animals as much as we can. Things will get better in our country. There are so many animal welfare organizations nowadays. And so many individual rescuers. And many supporters from all over the world. 30 years ago when SPAZ was born and we started spaying and neutering whatever we had the money to pay for, almost everyone was screaming and shouting we go against nature. Look at the difference now! Keep going Valia mou! Continue showing people all over the world what Greek rescuers do. It’s a huge help for all animals ❤️

  3. I shared these facts with all my facebook friends here and abroad. And as I said, after 20 years of being an animal welfare activist in Greece, I felt as if someone read my own thoughts and wrote them down. I completely share your opinion and I also don’t want to travel anymore around our beautiful country knowing what I’m going to see. And I don’t believe anything will change any time soon.

    1. I don’t believe anything will change either. But at least we can try to make a difference. Meh…

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