The team at Four Oaks Legal Services are all dog lovers. Stuart has a beautiful Saluki called “Ben”; Joanna has a larger than life Great Dane called “Oz” (who weighs in at a whopping 10.5 stone!) and Beckie already had “Louie”, a cheeky Fox Terrier Cross. However, Beckie decided to recently adopt a dog from a Greek rescue shelter “Compassion for Greek Paws”. The shelter, set up by Birmingham born Amanda Deligianni, is based in Thessalonika and is run by Amanda purely on donations, receiving no outside support from the Greek government or other agencies. Amanda takes in stray animals and looks to re-home them, particularly into the UK.
There is a real stray dog problem in Greece. It was estimated by the BBC last year that there were close to a million stray dogs wandering the country. This huge number is, in part, due to the economic crisis the country is facing and, also due to the fact, that there are no government funded neutering programs for the stray dogs. The programs that are in place are often funded by small shelters and charities like Compassion for Greek Paws and sadly make little impact on the overall problem. Therefore, the stray dog numbers continue to rise.
The downside to this very real problem is that many people in Greece see the stray dogs as pests and they are treated as such. Amanda comes across many sad cases and in recent weeks found a number of pups tied up in a bag at the side of the road in the mountains near her home and a stray dog who she was feeding was poisoned by someone in the local village.
Earlier in the year, Amanda received a “delivery” of five unwanted pups at the shelter. They were left in a pen with another dog when the shelter was closed. When Amanda found them, sadly two of the five pups had already passed away. The surviving pups were in various states of health, but one tiny pup, who was no larger than the size of Amanda’s hand, was fighting for her life, being severely dehydrated. Amanda rushed the little pup to the local vet and the vet fought valiantly to save her. Twice, Amanda received a call from the vet to say he didn’t think the little pup was strong enough to make it through the night. The tiny pup fought hard and fortunately did make it through the night. The little pup was named “Thumbelina” due to her diminutive stature.
Beckie heard about Thumbelina’s plight in early September and decided to offer the little dog a “furever” home. Thumbelina arrived from Greece at the end of October and joined Beckie’s family in the last few weeks. A happy ending for one pup at least!
Beckie said “Thumbelina is a lovely, affectionate, well-adjusted puppy. She is full of fun and we are lucky that she has joined our family, where she is fitting in well”.
If you would like to see, or support, the work that Amanda and Compassion for Greek Paws does, please visit her Facebook page