As with all our Greek projects, Athens is facing the heartbreaking issue of rising numbers of strays being born onto the streets each week, at a pace that far outstrips the remit for rehoming. Whilst spaying and neutering remains the single most effective means of controlling this problem compassionately, many locals are highly mistrustful of the procedure, seeing it as cruel, unnatural or even harmful to the animal.
As a result, thousands of stray dogs inhabit the streets of Athens, surviving off scraps that tourists and animal-loving restaurant owners leave for them. But when the tourists leave, they take this meagre courtesy with them; bars and tavernas shut up for the winter and dogs are left to starve. It is only thanks to the unwavering support and dedication of local animal welfare organisations that the stray population of Athens are given any kind of chance to fight for the the kind of life they deserve.