The Innocent Victims Of A Country Burnt To Ashes

Greece made headlines all around the world again, like every summer. How sad is it that every time something Greek goes viral, it’s about a tragedy of some sort. Never something positive, something good, something hopeful – apart from the advertisements in tourist agencies that beach resorts that are in a parallel universe obviously.

The fires that are burning the country to ashes are not new. Fires burn forests, people and animals every single summer. It’s just the way it is. Right in the heart of the summer, once the wind picks up, Greece starts to burn. We know it’s going to happen, and we do nothing about it.

Fires burn forests, people and animals every single summer


Yesterday the sky above Athens was yellow, and the atmosphere was thick and heavy. And as the sun was burning hot behind the yellow clouds, it had a reddish color that made you feel like this is it, doomsday.


When it comes to fires, there is no prevention. We just let it happen. There is nothing that protects the forests, especially on days like yesterday, that have been screaming “disaster” for weeks in weather forecasts. Some groups of volunteers take shifts in mountains around, but there’s little they can do.

in Greece, it’s not about who does good, but about who does lesser damage

And the government? Oh the government proudly announced after the fires last summer, when again we mourned countless innocent lives, that the disaster was smaller than the ones during the fires of the previous government. Because in Greece, it’s not about who does good, but about who does lesser damage. Whatever.


This year, again, dogs were left behind, chained in yards to burn alive. Vet clinics are packed with animals arriving in a state of shock, with burned paws and broken spirits, volunteers are trying to help as many as they possibly can, and the wildlife? Oh well, what’s left of the wildlife will be taken in by ANIMA, an organization of volunteers, since the Greek government cannot even protect that, let alone pets.

This year, again, dogs were left behind, chained in yards to burn alive

Charities have been posting pleas, asking people not to leave their pets behind, facebook groups dedicated to lost and found dogs and cats are popping up, some vets offer their services for free, and the rest of us are just watching. We are watching it happen all over again, until the enthusiasm runs out and then we’ll be off to the beaches again. Until the next summer.


Every year there are prize winning photos of stray dogs among the flames, brave firemen carrying animals away from the disaster, and images that provide the much needed shock and awe of the year. I always wonder what happened to this or that dog whose photo I could never forget. Did it survive? Did it get rehomed? Was it returned to the streets? Is it alive today or was it poisoned or ran over or starved?

We are watching it happen all over again

The viral photo of this year’s fires is the header image. The fire in Mati reached the beach, people and animals seeked shelter in the sea, and this dog made it to that rock, it laid there and waited. Luckily, her family found her and she is now safe.


Some of the people commenting below one of the zillion shares of the photo, accuse the woman who posted of not being interested in the human suffering/ “People are dying and you cry about the animals?”. And she apologizes to some. “I’m sorry, I didn’t know that there were human victims when I took that photo”. You see, we are more important. We made a world to suit us and only us, we set it on fire every summer, and then we mourn about ourselves.

The real victims are the ones that don’t have a voice

We are not victims. Individually, we do fall victims, we suffer, suffocate and die. But as a whole? No, we are not the victims, we are the offenders. The real victims are the ones that don’t have a voice. The ones wandering alone and confused, with burned paws and furs, and a huge “why” written all over their innocent, terrified eyes.


If you are not in Greece, the only way you can help is donate. For stray and pet dogs and cats you can click here, and for wildlife here.  Volunteers are swamped, so please do not message or email the charities, unless it’s an emergency.


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