What have you done
for a stray animal today?
Text by Elizabeth Koubena, Aegina resident
In 1996 packs of dogs were running around Aegina town so the mayor gathered some 40 of them and put them in the former prison/ orphanage and asked some local foreign women to look after them, at their own expense. Dogs were fed with donations of vegetables, rice and chicken and volunteers cooked and cleaned every day. Then an official Greek charity was formed in order to apply for funding for a neutering program. That was when we started looking after the strays of Aegina.
If you have been living in Aegina for some years, you will have seen the improvement that has been made since then. The present group – Animal Protection Aegina Agistri
– was formed in 2005, built on the foundation of two earlier groups. It is run by volunteers with a small staff maintaining the dog shelter (120+ dogs) and volunteers also run an Information Centre in Aegina town since 2002.
The volunteers may have changed over the years, but the commitment to help stray animals has not. The result is that thousands of cats and dogs – yes thousands – have been rescued, neutered, homed and/or offered medical treatment since 1996. This is an astounding achievement when you consider that the animal welfare group raise all their own income and receive no funding from the municipality or state government (even though the law states that the responsibility for stray animals belongs to the municipality).
Have you asked for help from Animal Protection?
Have you neutered your pet with them in their neutering programme? Have you picked up stray animals and neutered them as well? (If you have, thank you.)
Have you asked for help in other ways? Have you phoned them to pick up an injured animal? a bothersome animal? an unwanted animal? or unwanted puppies?
If you have ever asked Animal Protection for help, have you offered support in return for their help?
OR have you avoided calling them and left a box of puppies beside a rubbish bin, or abandoned your dog far from your home or left a dog on a chain without food or water to die. This may sound harsh but that's the reality. People on Aegina have done this and many of the dogs received by Animal Protection were found in this way, some in absolutely appalling conditions.
We know there are caring animal lovers on the island who do care enough to feed the strays, neuter them, and look after their pets in a responsible way. We know there are silent supporters of Animal Protection who perhaps don't have an animal but who drop in to the Information Centre and support their bazaars and donate money and approve of what the group does. Animal Protection needs to hear from these people a little more. Words of encouragement and offers of support help them deal with the unfair and sometimes impossible demands of others.
What are their needs?
First and foremost, donations of money to help them carry on their work.
You can donate at the Information Centre or direct to their bank account (see information on the right).
You can become a Friend of Animal Protection for € 50 a year.
You can virtually adopt a sick or elderly animal for € 150 a year.
You can offer a foster temporary home for an animal.
You can offer a permanent home for an animal.
You can volunteer to work at one of their events.
You can support their events, especially the Christmas Bazaar.
Animal Protection is a charity that works hard to help animals but they can only do so much and they are not obligated to handle all the problems of stray animals on the islands; individuals must do their share as well. The reality is that we are all citizens of Aegina and Agistri and share in the responsibility of stray animals.
Are you doing your share?
What have you done for a stray animal today?
About Animal Protection Aegina & Agistri - text by Animal Protection as published on their flyer
More about Animal Protection Aegina & Agistri - article written by Souzana Rapheal
Aegina & Agistri flyer
Animal Protection Aegina & Agistri poster