I have a huge heart when it comes to animals. I always have. I can’t stand to see or read about an animal suffering. In fact, I can’t stand it to the point that unless I can personally do something about it I tend to limit my exposure to the horrors that exist in the world. Otherwise I would be reduced to a very sad and angry person. Often one person can do only so much for animals. They are either limited by time or money or both. I’ve personally rescued three cats from freezing and starvation. Three might not sound like a lot, but when it comes to vet bills, it’s almost more than I can handle financially. There are many volunteer groups that pool their resources and count on the assistance of others in the community for fostering and funds. This is obviously a more viable option than going it alone, but although they can rescue more animals, they still often run into a problem of limited resources. Luckily in Canada animal welfare is a priority in the minds of many people. Certainly we don’t have a perfect track record, but I believe there is less mistreatment and disregard for animals than in other places in the world.
Years ago, in 1997, I made my first trip to Greece. I was very excited to be going and couldn’t wait to soak up the culture and the history. Upon arrival, though, it didn’t take me long to realize that there was a huge stray animal problem. In fact, over the last 15 years, Greece has become notorious for their mistreatment of animals. Remember the Olympics fiasco where it was decided that mass poisonings would help to “clean up” Athens? Anyway, I was to stay in Greece nearly a month that trip and after about 10 days I was shell shocked and ready to go home. I had seen enough abuse, carelessness, and death to last me a lifetime. There was a silver lining in all that though. I learned that I had a kindred spirit in my sister-in-law, Tina. Back then she had taken in a few stray cats and was feeding and caring for a group of street dogs to ensure their survival as well as she could. Living in a small apartment in Athens, though, limited her ability to do much more than that. Several years later she moved down to the outskirts of a village in the Peloponnesos and this is where she began a much larger effort in animal welfare. With a large, fenced in yard, she was able to take in, and better protect her rescues.
Tina also has a much stronger stomach than I. She has seen more horrors than I would know how to handle. Several of the dogs she brought from Athens when she moved were tossed poisoned meat in their own yard by cruel neighbours. She’s rescued kittens from trash cans, puppies from the side of the road, and stray dogs hit by a car and left to die on a sidewalk. After much time spent rescuing alone, Tina looked for other like minded people in her community and happily found that they existed. Tina joined together with a group of people based in the village of Trifilia called the Trifilia Volunteer Animal Rescue. Out of the goodness of their hearts they use what resources they can to help as many animals as they can and they also try to educate others in the humane and responsible treatment of animals, a knowledge that still seems to be sorely lacking in Greece.They are not supported by sponsors or their municipality and rely solely on the kindness and generosity of others to help them in their work.
This brings me to the reason for this post. Recently, Tina and TVAR came across Charlie…
He is approximately one year old and was hit by a car and left on the sidewalk in front of houses whimpering in the cold rain for more than a day before we were notified. When I went to the scene, he made a futile attempt to get up but could go no where. He was transported to the vet where upon his first examination it did not appear that his spine has been damaged which is what we were afraid of. He appears to have had a blow to the head and has a hematoma over his right eye. His reactions are poor but that could be because of the shock and the exposure to the rain and cold for so many hours. After a few other exams his hemoticrite is low and there are some signs of possible internal bleeding. (TVAR)
Tina contacted me this morning and asked if I could help with Charlie. How could I refuse? I decided to donate and to put the word out through Facebook and my blog – the only two ways I know to effectively reach a larger group of people. I know that for many of us, we’re a little stretched at this time of year, but any amount no matter how small would help to reach a goal of $645 US (500 Euros) for Charlies medical needs. Please go to the following link to read more about the effort to save Charlie and if you wish to donate, you can by clicking on “Chip in” and going through Paypal.
Thank you for reading and caring. Happy Holidays.