Stray dogs are a huge problem in Athens for humans. How should we go about solving it?
Story of Petra, The Stone Stray
In Athens, there’s thousands of stray dogs. In one case a woman found ‘Petra’, the Greek word for stone, and put her picture on Facebook in hopes that someone could help the poor pup. The dog was rescued by Valia Orfanidou, a woman who has aided many dogs in the area.
“I think she’s always been a stray because she looked like she had never been around people,” Orfanidou told The Dodo. “Even dogs in that condition, if they’ve been around people are more friendly. Petra looked like she had never been touched.”
Petra suffered from mange, a condition that results in skin scabs and lesions. She was malnourished and dehydrated. The reason for her stone-like appearance was her severe mange.
She was cared for in the Save a Greek Stray shelter in Oropos, Greece since August of last year and her recovery lasted months.
“The second time it took us one whole hour to walk just a few meters from her cage,” Orfanidou said. “She would make three or four steps, and then stop. I’d pull her slightly and then a few more steps.”
Soon after weeks, Petra became braver and braver. Soon, she became a completely different dog. Totally healthy, and happy thanks to those who cared for her at Save a Greek Stray shelter.
“She started wagging her tail and looked willing to play with us, her toys and the other dogs,” Orfanidou said.
The More Common Reaction To The Stays
Recently, 3000 dogs in Athens were poisoned to death. This article tells a scary recounting of their story traveling in Athens wondering where all the dogs were:
We had gone to dinner in Fokoinos Negri at a psistaria and had a meal of steaks and lambchops and had lots of meaty leftovers. We put them in a bag with the intention of feeding one of the dogs that hang out in front of the apartment buildings on the large pedestrian street that the area is named for. We did not find any dogs. In fact we walked all the way to the Attalos Hotel on Athinas street several kilometers away and still did not see any dogs. I ended up leaving the bones in the bushes in front of the municipal police station in the hopes that some dog might show up and smell it. It was not until I came back to the USA that I heard on NPR that some 3000 dogs had been poisoned. Some people blamed the municipality and others blamed the Athens Olympic Committee.
There is also a more common occurrence where people take it upon themselves to beat the dogs to death themselves. Here is a Greek site that records the events of a slaughter of three dogs by a man. This caused protests in Athens and eventually resulted in the man being beaten himself. The court did not have a hand in protecting the dogs, they did not try the animal beating man.
In 2011 in near Athens, the man lured three dogs with food inside a yard and, with iron beams, proceeded to smash two of the dogs on the head. The third dog had escaped before the door was shut. The other two were victims of brutality. The dogs’ screaming and barking brought people to the yard. The man’s reply to the numerous shouts from witnesses begging him to stop was that he would “do the same to them if they intervened.”. A courageous woman had then called the police. When they arrived, the man had thrown one of the dogs, Rigas, in a garbage bag and was on his way to kill the other dog. The man was arrested and the dogs were sent to be cared for by a veterinarian. Rigas, the dog that had been the most injured died on December 30th. – Source