Helping Abandoned Dogs in Greece

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07/10/2015

In September 2015 Vet Hugo Richardson and Veterinary Nurse Alley  Brereton travelled to Andravida – Kyllini in South Western Greece, to  help with the abandoned dog crisis there.  They had been asked to  help by local vet Panagiota Tsagkou, who runs a clinic in Lechaina. Panagiotta had been overwhelmed by the number of abandoned  animals left at her clinic, brought by dog loving locals who knew that she would treat them for free. 

By the middle of 2015 Panagiotta had reached breaking point and was unable to help any more.  There was no financial assistance from the local municipality and her earnings from the clinic were not enough to cover for her family and for free treatment for the abandoned dogs.

Hugo and Alley recruited two other volunteers, vet Stephen Warren and veterinary nurse Staci Finn, to accompany them and assist Panagiota in a neutering programme for these dogs.  The aim was to increase the chances of them being re-homed once they were neutered as well as trying to stem the ever increasing abandoned dog population.  In the 7 days they operated, Hugo and Stephen neutered 67 dogs, a tally that would have taken Panagiota 2 ½ years to do by herself. 

The BBC and the Daily Telegraph sent journalists to cover the story, you can view their reports via the highlighted links above.  Hugo, Stephen, Alley and Staci also featured on Greek television and in local and national Greek newspapers, this has helped highlight the problems and brought awareness to this crisis. The team met with the regional mayor and his deputies and were thanked for their help in bringing attention to this important cause. 

6721 Everybody operating.jpeg

This neutering clinic was made possible by very generous donations from the London Vet Clinic clients. The money raised allowed Hugo and Alley to take with them three full surgical kits plus the materials necessary to neuter all of these animals.  Once in Greece they were able to buy medications necessary to treat the many skin and parasitic problems that most of the dogs presented with.

Panagiota was so pleased with the success of the neutering clinic and has asked if it is possible for them to return with an even bigger team next year.  An excerpt below from an email sent to Bruce: 

Dear Bruce 

All these years my father used to say that Greece has no friends abroad, only exploiters. Four guys from the UK made him change his mind at 85 years of age. Greece does have friends. 

There are no words to explain what a wonderful experience it has been for me to work with Hugo and Alley. After fifteen years alone in the fight for stray animals, they came from so far away to give me the courage and strength to carry on.

Finally I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for all you and the guys that came over here did for us.  I hope that this was just the first step in an ongoing cooperation and you should know that the light at the end of this tunnel is still far away. 

Yours sincerely 

Panagiota

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