Traumatizing dogs here seems to be a habit. It’s not just the ones hurting, abusing and treating them as trash, but also some of the people pretending to be helping them.
In a country like Greece, where strays are like the stars in the sky (yes, there are that many), TNR, whether we like it or not, is the only solution. Since we can’t save them all, preventing new strays from popping up per hundreds is sometimes our only option.
TNR stands for Trap – Neuter -Return, meaning that you trap (catch) the stray dog or cat, neuter it and RETURN it to its colony a couple of days later, to the neighborhood it knows, to the neighborhood where it lives and feels safe. It is not easy to do it – if you are an animal lover, all you want to do is save them all, but there are no homes available for all those animals, so we go for the next best thing.
Returning a stray and releasing it after the operation is a procedure that takes time, because you want to make sure that it knows its whereabouts, and that it feels safe. We always return them to the same place where we took them from – unless it’s a dangerous place, so that they are traumatized as less as possible, after making sure that they are healthy. We place food for them to find near the spot where we release them and monitor them for a couple of days, to make sure that they cary on with their lives, like they did before.
In Valery’s case, TNR was more like TN? – Trap – Neuter – Let loose where it suits me better, as far away from her colony as possible. A SCARS volunteer found Valery in the outskirts of Athens (let’s call the area “C”). She was recently neutered (recently meaning a couple of days ago), with a huge scar in her belly as if she had been butchered, skinny, hungry, sick and most of all confused, disorientated, lost.
When she was found she had no idea where she was, she did not know where to go, where to sleep, how to find food. She recognized nothing of the area. She looked like she had just landed from outer space. Her registered microchip revealed the truth. She was registered as one of the strays of a suburb of Athens (let’s call it “P”) 50 kilometers from where she was found!
Valery was removed from “P”, where she lived, taken to a clinic to be neutered 50 kilometers away (it’s the cheapest one) and was not returned to her “home”. She was released near the area where she was neutered, about an hour drive from home, because this was the easy choice. Left to survive in a place she had never set foot in before, recently operated on, easy prey to the neighborhoods packs of strays, unable to find food, shelter and comfort. She is not the only one – my Marta was found in the same place and in the same condition a few months before.
Can you relate to that? Can you imagine what it feels like being taken one day from home, operated on and then abandoned in a place you don’t know, sick, starving and in shock? Valery was rescued, she received treatment for ehrlichia, and today she is looking for her forever home. She is a very young dog (about one and a half year old), tender, submissive, gorgeous and BIG!