Strays in Nafpactos (Lepanto for the world – it’s when Miguel de Cervantes lost his arm in a battle) are on death row. All Greek strays are on death row.
In Greek animal welfare, you rarely see post about dogs having 24 to live, because the shelters are pro life. So every adoption album of a rescue dog come with a description of its character, background and health state and that’s it. We keep our rescues safe and sound until they find their forever homes.
the most common way of population control is poisoned food
The strays are a different story. They are literally on death row – and the most common way of population control is poisoned food (usually rat poison or smashed glasses) left on the street for them to consume and die of.
The strays in Nafpactos have a very short lifespan. If you ever travel there and see a cute stray dog on the street (you definitely will), take a good look at it, say your goodbyes and try to remember its face. It won’t be there in a few months. It definitely won’t.
The strays in Nafpactos have a very short lifespan
This is what happens to me twice a year, when I visit some family members that live there. I walk my three dogs on the beach, with my heart in my stomach. Apart from the fact that I am in constant fear of what they might grab from the streets, and I terrorize them every time their muzzle touches the ground, I bump into new strays every time.
Some follow us, some bark at us, some just ignore us. I try avoiding them, but I can’t really take my eyes of them. I never photograph them. I just take a good look at them, and promise to never forget their faces. When I leave, I know that I am never going to see them again. And I never do.
The last time I was there, I remember this one small, black and tan female hound. She reminded me of Kallie. My dogs were not really fond of her, and she was not fond of either. She would greet us every time we passed by “her home” (the corner on the street), wagging her tail and barking at the same time. And then she’d leave.
She was protecting that corner. It was hers. maybe she was even protecting the people living nearby. They were her pack. The same people who left poisoned food out for her last night, are the people she believed she belonged to. Today I saw a photo of her dead body, lying there, on the beach that was her home.
Do you realize how devastating and how cruel of a reality this is? What it means for us rescuing? We try so hard to do our best, to educate, to inspire compassion and awareness, but what we are really doing is building castles in the sand – a wave comes along and destroys everything. And all we can do is pick up the pieces of what’s left of our courage, and start building the castle again. And again. And again.