When the first lockdown was announced in Greece back in March, feeding stray animals was not included in the governments list of ‘reasons to leave your home’. With so many colonies of stray cats and dogs all around Greece relying on the people in their neighbourhoods to provide them with food to survive, we knew we were facing a huge problem.
The solution? Convince the decision makers to change to the rules.
So our team in Greece, along with support from the wider animal welfare community, lobbied the Ministry for Civil Protection until, a week into the lockdown, the Deputy Minister issued a stray feeding permit form allowing people to register themselves as volunteers to legally go out and feed the animals in their area. During the first lockdown, the Municipality of Athens alone issued more than 400 feeding permits.
Greece’s second lockdown started last weekend, with the announcement that feeding stray animals would be included on the list of ‘reasons to leave your home’ from the very start, with all feeding permits from the first lockdown remaining valid.
It is up to organisations like ours to affect the change needed to secure a safe future for the animals of Greece. Without us, they will suffer.