In general, attitudes to animal welfare differ to those in the UK. This is compounded by a lack of regulation. Neutering is widely considered to be unnatural and, because pets are often allowed to roam at will, the result is numerous litters of unwanted kittens. These kittens are either abandoned or killed. The abandoned animals, if they survive, go on to live in colonies. If left uncontrolled, these stray cat colonies can become quite large.
To date, the Greek Government have been unwilling to deal with the problem even though it is bound to implementing EU animal welfare regulations. This has resulted in the public, in some places, taking the matter into their own hands. Stray animals can be subject to incredibly cruel methods of control at the hands of the general public. Poisoning is very common and leads to a considerable amount of suffering before the animal dies. Neutering is a far more humane and effective means of controlling the stray cat population however it is not considered natural in Greece.
Alongside our work to control the stray cat population through humane neutering, the Greek Cat Welfare Society support charities in Greece who try to educate local communities and we also help to publicise opportunities to lobby the Greek Government.
Please try to photograph the cats and their location. This is SO important. Also take down an accurate description of where you have seen the cats congregating, including details of local shops or hotels, and contact one of the local Greek cat charities with the information. We have a list of charities and contact details on our website contacts page here. They will be able to check whether they are aware of the colony and already have a programme in place. If not, they will contact us or other supporting bodies to discuss the introduction of a neutering programme.
Please contact one of the local Greek cat charities straight away if possible. Please try to photograph the cat(s) and their location. This is SO important. Details about where you saw the cat including local shops, hotels or other landmarks will be useful in helping to pinpoint the location. We have a list of charities and contact details on our website who will know the best course of action to help.
If you see a cat that you would like to bring home whilst you are on holiday, the first point of contact should be the nearest Greek pet rescue charity. If you need help and advice to facilitate moving the cat once you have returned to the UK contact us at email@example.com. However, Greek Cat Welfare Society does not provide financial help, owing to the aggravating effect of importing pets on other UK charities’ already overcrowded re-homing centres and the high cost per animal of re-homing to the UK.
The Greek Cat Welfare Society is run by a small number of dedicated volunteers working from home – no paid staff or offices – and we always welcome offers to help us manage or carry on our work. Please get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to work with us as a volunteer.
If you are a vet or veterinary nurse wanting to volunteer to help us with our neutering programmes please contact us at email@example.com
You can also help us by:
• Becoming a member;
• Donating by cheque, standing order or PayPal;
• Sending us jewellery and other small items for sale, postage stamps etc.; and
• Remembering us in your Will.
Please see our “How can I help?” page for more information.
Greek Cat Welfare Society is a small UK registered charity run by a handful of volunteers some of who also have full time jobs, supported by a handful of volunteers. There are no rescue facilities either in Greece or 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, we 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 Cat Welfare Society are happy to provide advice to people who want to bring a cat back from Greece themselves but we are not in a position to provide UK back up for this.
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
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 if left untreated.
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
More information can be found on the DEFRA website: