Under the Greek law (Article 16, Law 4039/2012 & Article 1, Law 1197/1981) any of the following acts is considered animal abuse:

Active animal abuse: Poisoning, hanging, drowning, crushing, mutilation, cutting of ears and/or tail, abandonment, neglect, illegal trade and sexual abuse

Passive animal abuse: Animals that are constantly being exposed to weather conditions (heat, cold, rain, etc.) on balconies, roof terraces, yards, fields, etc., with no proper, dry and comfortable housing, animals that are constantly chained, that receive improper or no food and/or water, that are not vaccinated and/or  de-wormed on a regular basis, who lack veterinary care, daily exercise and daily walks.

If you are an eye-witness of any such abuse, please be aware of the following:

  1. Immediately call the police (Phone number: 100) so that they can come and record the incident.
  2. Taking pictures of the animal is strongly advised. In cases of passive abuse, pictures of the animal’s daily living conditions are also needed, preferably with a date stamp which can certify the length of the abuse. Please note that taking pictures of the interior of a house, the residents of the premises or any sign that can reveal the specific address are prohibited.
  3. Police officers that arrive on the scene cannot press any charges. Their responsibility is to record the incident and your testimony and also arrest the perpetrator should you be willing to press charges. In cases of active abuse, having more witnesses to confirm the abuse is highly advisable.
  4. To press charges, you must go to the nearest police station or any other police station (either case is totally legal) as soon as possible, at any time during the day, clearly stating the whole situation so that a case file on active/passive animal abuse can be formed against the perpetrator.
  5. Since animal abuse is considered a self-contained offense, it is crucial to report it as soon as you witness it. This way the police have the right to arrest the suspect within the next 48 hours. After this deadline, the suspect cannot be arrested until the trial is completed and they have been found guilty.
  6. It is very important to know that the offense is considered ex-officio and no monetary fee is required.