Make a regular donation and receive a newsletter showcasing the work we do twice a year
- Fund raise in your own way in your time – Events, Stalls, Quiz evenings, boot sales, dog walks, street or station collections.
- We will provide you with leaflets, posters and collection boxes
- We also have merchandise that you can sell for us
We have a number of animal shelters that we support. We can put you in touch with them and you can go out to Greece and help at a shelter. These shelters are not GAR shelters but they are run by local charities and animal welfare volunteers that GAR support and work with
- The Greek government directive that instructs the police to investigate a complaint of animal cruelty and answer in writing, detailing the action taken. Take a copy with you to show the police if you want to report a case of cruelty. Make sure you take both the Greek and English versions. You can download a Greek version of the letter HERE and the English version HERE
- A Slip Lead in case you want to take a dog for treatment
- Bravecto preferable for flea, tick and mange control as it lasts three months.
- Milbemax or Drontal (Use these named products not supermarket off the shelf products) - Treats Worms, Dirofilaria (heartworm Milbemax only)
- Advantix spot on. (This is considered better than Advocate. Don’t bring supermarket off the shelf products) - Protects against Sand flies that transmit Leishmaniosis which can be fatal is left untreated
The above flea and tick treatment is probably the only time the street dog has been flea and tick free in its life.
The local council is responsible by law for stray animals. Most do not undertake this responsibility effectively and it falls to animal welfare organisations to pick up and care for strays. These groups of volunteers may be able to help you but remember that with the huge number of stray animals in Greece, they are stretched to the limits and are just not able to help every animal
Advice on what to do and what not to do
- Do feed them away from hotels and restaurants – they will be hungry! If the dogs/cats know they will be fed, they will hang around, which is something hotel owners and staff do not appreciate. The dogs/cats risk being hit, poisoned, or even driven into the mountains where they are left to starve. This is NO exaggeration!
- Do leave while they’re eating. If you feed dogs/cats don’t hang around.
- Do give them medication if required – See FAQ Medication
- Do report any animal abuse – See FAQ reporting abuse to Greek Authorities
- Do be polite but persistent with members of the public and the police. Warning: Swearing and bad language is an offence in Greece and you can be arrested for using it, so no matter how you feel, be polite.
- Do bear in mind that standards of animal welfare in Greece are not the same as the UK. The police are unlikely to react to animals you see chained or living outside in makeshift kennels. Your complaint must involve abuse or gross neglect.
- Don’t encourage animals back to your hotel or restaurant with food. Many People hate this and may even poison animals who habitually come to their premises.
- Don’t bring a dog or cat into your apartment. It is unfair to allow a stray to become attached to you because the day will come when you have to leave and will have to put them back on the street. In other words, just when they’re made to feel loved and secure, they’re abandoned … double betrayal!
- Don’t let the animals become too attached to you, as they will miss the affection you give them after you leave
- Don’t let the animals you have befriended follow you around. It may seem flattering, but when you leave, they will once again have to fend for themselves
- Don’t go to the police to report every stray animal you see. The police are not responsible for strays and are only required to respond in cases of mistreatment or abuse.
You can provide basic medication to street animals but you should check to see if there is already an animal welfare group operating in the area (On the internet or Facebook) as over medication can be dangerous.
Because of the climate in Greece, ticks are a massive problem. If a dog is extremely heavily infected they can die from blood loss, severe anaemia and resulting breathing and heart problems. They also transmit diseases that can be fatal. Below are some popular medications
Bravecto – available from vets and many pet shops. This is a strong drug which must not be over dosed. It would be best to check with a local Animal Welfare group before offering it to a street animal to ensure it has not already been treated. Treats
- Ticks which can spread Ehrlichia and Babesia
- Mange (both Sarcoptic and Demodectic) which is evidenced by fur loss
Milbemax or Drontal - available from pet shops and some pharmacies. Treats
- Dirofilaria (heartworm) Milbemax only
Advantix Spot on treatment – available from pet shops or pharmacies. Protects against
- Fleas and Ticks in addition to Sand flies which transmit Leishmaniasis which is fatal is left untreated
There are laws protecting animals but they are rarely enforced. However, a recent directive from the Greek Government instructs the police to respond immediately to all complaints of animal abuse and to enforce the law where abuse or cruelty is proven.
You can read the directive HERE
If you see an obvious case of cruelty, abuse or neglect, report it! You can do this in several ways:
- Report the incident to the nearest police station, giving your name and contact details when you make the complaint. Make sure you have accurate details of where the incident occurred or where the animal is located. Take photos and provide them as evidence of your complaint.
- Show the police a copy (in Greek) of the government directive that instructs them to investigate your complaint and answer in writing, detailing the action taken. You can download a Greek version of the letter HERE and the English version HERE.
- Complete the tourist complaint form which can be found HERE and send it to the following e-mail addresses. Please send photos if available.
Minister of Agriculture – Makis Voridis: email@example.com
Deputy Minister of Agriculture – Kostas Skrekas: firstname.lastname@example.org
Deputy Minister of Agriculture – Foteini Arabatzi: email@example.com
Ministry Vet responsible for animal welfare – Spyros Doudounakis: firstname.lastname@example.org
Greek Animal Rescue: email@example.com
Please send a copy to the Panhellenic Animal Welfare Federation: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Complete a postal complaint form which can be found HERE and send it to the following address:
Hellenic Ministry of Rural Development and Food
101 76, Greece
The Ministry of Agriculture also have an email contact form in English which can be found HERE
If you are upset by the plight of animals, don’t ignore it, thinking that there’s nothing you can do to make a difference …. make a fuss … be vocal!!
For many of the abused, abandoned and neglected animals in Greece there is little you can do to help
If you find an injured animal, simply search the web for “vet near me” to give you details of where a vet can be found or if there’s an animal welfare organisation you could contact. However, taxi drivers are only obliged to transport animals if they are in a suitable container and they are not allowed on public transport (buses etc).
An animal with non life threatening injuries
You can take an animal to a vet for short term treatment and then release it back onto the street.
Broken or damaged limbs will often heal with no additional intervention. Accepting that this may not be a perfect situation, the alternative is to take the dog off the street and treat it. If the treatment takes several weeks, it is very difficult to release the dog back to the streets as it is used to being fed. So you can either adopt it and bring it home or it will spend the rest of its life locked in a dog compound which is not a pleasant experience for any animal.
An animal with serious injuries
A seriously injured animal presents a dilemma. It may be kindest to euthanize the animal but many Greek vets will not do this. The alternative may be a significant cost to nursing it back to health with uncertain results. If the treatment takes several weeks, it is very difficult to release the animal back to the streets as it is used to being fed. So you can either adopt it and bring it home or it will spend the rest of its life locked in a compound which is not a pleasant experience for any animal.
Greek Animal Rescue is a small UK registered charity run by four people who also have full time jobs, supported by a handful of volunteers. There are no rescue facilities either in Greece of the UK.
Our principal aim is to neuter as many street animals as possible to reduce the over population at source. We have connections to a number of Animal Welfare Volunteers in Greece but we have no one there working for the charity.
As such, Greek Animal Rescue are not in a position to take responsibility for individual animals from the street but we can put you in touch with a local organisation that may be able to help.
There are over a million dogs and cats living on the streets of Greece many of whom live a tough but manageable life scavenging for food.
Greek Animal Rescue have regrettably had to suspend all new rehoming activities to the UK due to a lack of resource to provide effective back up facilities. We still have a few dogs that we are committed to care for but for the foreseeable future there will be no new dogs brought into our rehoming process.
We are still happy to provide advice to people who want to bring a dog back from Greece themselves but we are not in a position to provide UK back up for this
Under Greek animal welfare law, all street animals are under the care of the municipality who are responsible for their welfare. Clearly this is not a high priority for most municipalities
Consequently you should get permission from the municipality before you take an animal off the streets and bring it home. Stealing animals is an offense and you could be arrested for this. To be safe you should:
- Check with a vet to see if the animal is microchipped and therefore belongs to either an individual or the local municipality.
- Take the vet’s advice regarding the municipality’s stray programme
The animal must be microchipped, vaccinated and a Pet Passport issued. Owned animals can travel with their owners into the UK under the Pet Passport scheme
Greek Animal Rescue is a small UK registered charity run by four people who also have full time jobs, supported by a handful of volunteers and some dedicated fundraisers. No one takes a salary, there is no office rental and there are no premises either in Greece of the UK.
Our principal aim is to neuter as many street animals as possible to reduce the over population at source. We have connections to a number of Animal Welfare Volunteers in Greece but we have no one there working for the charity. We do also have connections with animal transport firms and some vets so we can give you some options.
To begin the process we will need a non refundable deposit of £300 to cover initial costs. This will not cover all transportation costs though.
The advice given below is made in good faith but may change significantly after Britain exits the EU
More information can be found on the DEFRA website:
PETS allows for you to move your own pet around Europe with a passport. In order to do this the animal will need various vaccinations and a microchip. See “how do I get a pet passport”.
You can fly with small animals on Aegean from Athens to Brussels or Paris and drive them home from there which is more economical than flying them direct to the UK
The alternative is road transport from Athens to south east England. We can put you in touch with road transport firms who travel monthly from Greece.
The overall cost that you may expect to pay to have a vaccinated, passported pet boarded and transported to SE England is in the region of £500 depending on the size of the animal and your location in Greece.
In summary you will need:
- A Vet in Greece for the vaccinations and pet passport
- Commercial kennels for short term boarding and transport to Athens (there are a limited number of other Greek airports that can offer a service to Brussels or Paris)
- Either Road transport from Athens to London or
- Fly with your new pet to Paris or Brussels and then drive home
- You will need to pay for veterinary costs, boarding and road transport direct. If you chose air transport and transfer to London, please let us know and we may be able to facilitate and let you have a cost for this.
If you decide to go ahead, please let us know and we may be able to help with some of the organisational aspects of the logistics. Our email is email@example.com
Vets are able to provide pet passports as they will also do all the blood tests, vaccinations and microchip.
The process will cost €50 - €100 and takes about 28 days
- Microchip to identify your new pet [recorded on p7]
- Blood tests for Mediterranean diseases
- Rabies vaccination at least 21 days before travel [recorded on p9]
- Anti-Echino worm treatment [recorded on p16]
Must be: At least 24 hours before entry into the UK
But not more than 120 hours before entry into the UK
- Other vaccinations [recorded on p22]
Greek Animal Rescue recommend:
- Clinical Examination [recorded on p26]
The vet will sign this on the same day the worm treatment is done to verify the animal is fit to travel
Please do not think that all street animals are dirty, diseased and contagious. They may be a bit grubby but there are simple steps to protect them from most diseases
This is a disease spread by sand-flies. Leishmaniasis is caused by a deficiency in the dog’s immune system but Leishmaniasis itself does not cause susceptibility to infection.
It IS transmitted to other animals in Greece but this doesn’t happen in the UK because the sandfly which transmits Leishmaniasis isn’t present
It is treatable but not curable.
This is spread through ticks and not between animals. It is treatable using antibiotics but if left untreated will attack the bone marrow and blood cells causing anaemia. It can kill a dog after suffering nasty, painful symptoms such as fever, swollen painful joints, renal failure and blindness.
Babesia is a tick borne disease that can be fatal if not detected and treated
Mange is a skin disease caused by the Sarcoptes scabiei mite which burrows through the skin causing irritation. The mite can move easily between hosts so it is highly contagious between animals and humans. It is treatable over a period of a few weeks.
Demodectic Mange (demodicosis) is an inflammatory disease in dogs caused by the Demodex mite. When the number of mites inhabiting the hair follicles and skin of a dog rapidly increase, it can lead to skin lesions, skin infections and hair loss (alopecia).
Demodex is caused by poor immune system. The mite is present on all dogs but in general doesn’t cause problems. Symptoms show when the immune system is in poor condition or under developed so it can be seen in puppies and they usually grow out of it. When adult dogs have demodex it’s caused by a genetic deficiency in their immune system.
It is treatable over a period of a few weeks.
Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection which can be transmitted to humans and other animals. It is transmitted by contact with the urine of infected animals e.g rats. For example dogs drinking water in ditches or drains that rats have been living and urinating in. It spreads throughout the entire body; liver, kidneys, central nervous system, eyes, and reproductive system. A dog with a good immune system can fight this infection but infection of the liver or kidneys can be fatal for animals. Younger animals with less developed immune systems are at the highest risk for severe complications.
Symptoms may include:
- Sudden fever and illness
- Sore muscles, reluctance to move
- Lack of appetite
- Increased thirst and urination, may be indicative renal (kidney) failure.
- Vomiting, possibly with blood
- Diarrhoea - with or without blood in stool.
The canine parvovirus (CPV) infection is a highly contagious viral illness that affects dogs. The majority of cases are seen in puppies that are between six weeks and six months old. The incidence of canine parvovirus infections has been reduced radically by early vaccination in young puppies.
- Severe, bloody diarrhoea
- Severe weight loss
Parvovirus is spread either by direct contact with an infected dog, or indirectly through contact with an infected dog’s stool. So when a healthy dog sniffs an infected dog’s stool (or anus), that dog can contract the disease. Since the disease is a viral infection, there is no real cure for it. It is therefore likely to be fatal for many street or shelter animals
Canine distemper is a contagious and serious viral illness with no known cure. Young, unvaccinated puppies and non-immunized older dogs tend to be more susceptible to the disease.
The virus is spread through the air and by direct or indirect contact with an infected animal. It initially attacks a dog’s tonsils and lymph nodes and replicates itself there for about one week. It then attacks the respiratory, intestinal and nervous systems.
The major symptoms include
- High fever (≥103.5 ° F, or 39.7° C),
- Reddened eyes
- A watery discharge from the nose and eyes.
- Lethargy and usually anorexic.
- Persistent coughing, vomiting, and diarrhoea may also occur.
In dogs or animals with weak immune systems, death may result two to five weeks
There are no antiviral drugs that are effective in treating the disease.
Because of the climate in Greece, ticks are a massive problem. If a dog is extremely heavily infected they can die from blood loss, severe anaemia and resulting breathing and heart problems. They also transmit diseases that can be fatal. Ehrlichiosis is most common in Greek street animals which, left untreated, can kill a dog after suffering nasty, painful symptoms such as fever, swollen painful joints renal failure and blindness. Babesia is another tick borne disease that can also be fatal if not detected and treated.