Tag Archives: Athens

Blind Cats: Can They Have A Normal Life?

Can blind cats have a normal life? Yes! The answer is most definitely yes. The brain rewires itself to boost the remaining senses, and especially if they are born blind, they can even trick you into believing that they might not actually suffer 100% sight loss. Blind cats suffer a lot of discrimination and having one adopted is never an easy task, but once you get to meet one blind kitten, you’ll soon realize that it can be as playful, funny and happy as any other healthy feline friend. In fact the way they manage to overcome their problem makes most blind kittens appear smarter than the rest. Continue reading Blind Cats: Can They Have A Normal Life?

Neglected Dog Abandoned On A Mountain Finds Her Dream Home

It was after midnight back in July 2014. I was volunteering in Ilioupolis animal Welfare Union  back then, and that night we were chatting with some fellow volunteers when one of them posted about a German Shepherd just abandoned up on the mountain. According to the guard working the night shift in the municipality’s garage, a car appeared out of nowhere, dropped off a neglected dog and just left. The guard called a volunteer and she notified the rest of us. Continue reading Neglected Dog Abandoned On A Mountain Finds Her Dream Home

Abandoned Matted Dog Hides Something Even Worse

Abandoned matted and left to survive on the streets on his own, Combo had even something even worse done to him. He was spotted by a woman, Sophia, wandering alone in a suburb of Athens, Greece in terrible condition. How this tiny baby wasn’t rescued sooner isn’t even worth discussing. Sophia contacted Save a Greek Stray, and the next day Combo was taken to the shelter.

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Combo on the the day he was spotted by Sophia, living and surviving on his own on the streets

He looked so confused. He just kept watching his rescuers take care of him, and in his huge eyes you could see nothing but awe and fear. I’ve never met a dog so cooperative and submissive as him. He never made a sound, never reacted to anything that was being done to him. He just stood there while he received a haircut and a bath, as if he was stuffed toy, as if he has never been treated gently before.

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At the shelter’s informary, before the haircut and the bath.

Apart from the matted hair and all the dirt he was carrying in his tiny, suffering body, the dozens of tick draining him, the wounds and his terrible skin condition, what we discovered while shaving his neck was far worse. Two stitches on the back of his neck, right where the microchip once used to be. Nobody can actually tell when it was removed, and for what reason – whether it was done by the previous owners, before abandoning him to survive on his own, or by the people who stole him and had to remove the microchip so that he wouldn’t be traced. But one thing is for certain, it was done by someone who knew how to do it.

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The black silk stitches on his neck – what was left from the removed microchip

When you are involved in animal welfare in Greece, there’s nothing that can ever amaze you. Neglect, abuse, abandonment, emaciation, dogs found shot in the head, hang in trees or drowned deliberately in the sea, plastic bags with newborn kittens of puppies recovered from garbage bins… you name it. But Combo’s story was a first -at least for me.

I just felt stupid. We try our best to educate people about their pet’s wellbeing, and micro chipping is one of the main campaigns of all animal welfare organizations. But what’s the point? What’s the point when anyone can just take a knife, dig up through the animal’s neck and remove it? Should we even mention what happened to Combo, or will we be giving some sick people the idea of doing it too?

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It took a few weeks for Combo to trust and realize that there’s nothing to be afraid of. He spent about a month just laying there in his kennel, looking. Looking at us take care of him every day. He would just eat and go back to sleep. He was so submissive and calm that we started wondering how he would turn out to be once he gained back his confidence.

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A month after his rescue, he wouldn’t leave the hug

And against all odds, Combo turned out to be the ultimate sweetheart. Once you open his kennel door, he will jump right into your arms and stay there forever. He never leaves a hug, and unless you put him down yourself, he will just stay there forever. He’s already started taking small walks around the shelter, and is so human centered that he will follow you around, wherever you go, as he was trained to do so. He’s the sweetest boy I’ve ever met and I just can’t have enough of him.

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Combo has yet to recover, until he’s ready for his forever home. He’s responding to treatment very well, gaining weight and confidence and has left behind all that hurt in the past. His beautiful reddish will grow back, and we’ll make sure that he gets to spend the rest of his life as he deserves.

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If you are interested in Combo’s progrees, you can follow the Save a Greek Stray facebook page. His photo album is being weekly updated.

Lazy Rescue Dog Simply Won’t Get Up. Never

Lazy rescue dog is just a title. A well deserved title when it comes to Mrs T. The video also depicts 100% what you’ll get if you adopt Mrs T But still it’s not enough. The last couple of posts were a bit sad, and since I’m a positive person and there’s even a category in the blog named: “Funniest rescue Pets”, I really need to share with you my experience with this particular dog. Continue reading Lazy Rescue Dog Simply Won’t Get Up. Never

Dog Adoption And Common Misundersandings

Dog adoption. It sounds nice, but for most of us it’s a headache. Choosing the right family is one big challenge and we face it every day. Many people didn’t really like this video. I’m guessing they were offended, so I think I should make some things clear. First of all, we almost never talk to people this way – at least I don’t. Do we have these thoughts? Yes we do. But if things are going to change some day, we are the ones who need to help the public see things in a different perspective, so we try our best to be polite. Continue reading Dog Adoption And Common Misundersandings

Woman Rescuer Makes Her Home a Shelter For The Unwanted

 

All of us were introduced to the animal welfare world in different ways. I, for example, had no idea about what was really going on. One day I found an abandoned dog right outside my house, took him home and the rest came pretty easy. I never had to worry about what my first step would be, what I should do or how I should handle it. I posted his photo on the facebook page of the charity in my area, and the next day he was vaccinated and scheduled to be checked out and then neutered. Continue reading Woman Rescuer Makes Her Home a Shelter For The Unwanted

Stray Cats In Distress – Why We TNR

Stray cats surviving on the city streets are more or less like convicts on death row – eventually something will put them down. I might be a car, a storm drain, a poisoned dinner some old lady placed next to the garbage bin. It might even be the actual garbage bin that will serve as their death bed, as it is quite common that while they’re looking for food, the truck passes by to collect the garbage and the guy simply doesn’t notice them – or even if he does, he simply couldn’t care less. For a male cat, it could a fight with another male, and for a female one…oh, I don’t even know where to begin. You see, the females have the privilege of giving birth too, and when giving birth on the street, the things that can go wrong are just too many – and this is the main reason why females are always a priority when we TNR. Continue reading Stray Cats In Distress – Why We TNR

Three Legged Dog Finds Her Dream Home

Three legged dogs suffer more discrimination than most dogs, I guess. Finding a home for one of them is a task that requires patience – a lot of patience.  I don’t really know what actually prevents people from considering adopting one, but I’m pretty sure embarrassment is an issue. Having to answer the question: “Oh, what happened to it?” a dozen times per day for years every time you walk your best friend must be annoying. Having to explain to friends and family that you new pet will have three legs must be a drawback. Why should you be the one who adopts the dog that nobody wants? Why should you pick up after other people’s trash? Why not walk around proudly with a fluffy, healthy, gorgeous dog? Why have to deal with pity and embarrassment for years to come? Continue reading Three Legged Dog Finds Her Dream Home

Happiest Three Legged Dog Ever – Lessons From Yasmin

Anything I could ever write about Yasmin would be an understatement. Any attempt to describe who she is and what it feels like to have her around running and jumping all happy would be an understatement. I don’t really know what it takes to make someone who hasn’t met her understand what Yasmin really means to all of us who know her and get to spend time with her, but I’ll give it a try.

Yasmin when she arrived at the shelter
Yasmin when she arrived at the shelter

Continue reading Happiest Three Legged Dog Ever – Lessons From Yasmin

TNR – When you Realize that Honeymoon is Over

I grew up among stray cats. Everybody in Greece did. They are everywhere. I grew up thinking that the cats belong in every neighborhood, that they belong in the streets, that they can feed themselves and that’s it. Cats –unlike dogs- have this thing that make you believe they can take care of themselves and just don’t need you. So that’s what I believed as a kid. And every time I saw a little kitten on the street I was told the same lie almost every kid is told. That the kitten is fine and that its mum is coming to get it any time soon. And I believed it. Like many kids still do. Continue reading TNR – When you Realize that Honeymoon is Over