Mabel was a Greek stray who we first encountered when we went to Greece in Oct 2010. She was living among a pack of very timid, feral dogs that we were trying to catch in order to neuter and spay them, but simply couldn’t get near. Eventually we managed to catch the pack, including Mabel, using a humane trap. They were all terrified so our intention was to perform the procedures and as quickly as possible return them to the mountains where we had found them, as although they were stray dogs, they were living there fine and were all in relatively good health. When it was Mabel's turn to be spayed the vet could not find a uterus. There was a strong chance this meant that she had previously been an owned dog who had been turned onto the streets.

After a couple of days we could see Mabel's incision had healed and it was time to put her back on the street. There was no room at the shelter; unfortunately as the number of strays over in Greece is at an all-time high, only the ones who aren't coping with life on the streets or have accidents are taken in. Titch and I took her and the rest of her pack back to the mountains to release them. The first couple of dogs we released simply ran and never looked back, but when we let Mabel out she ran a little way but then stopped and turned around. Step by step she slinked her way back to us. Although she was scared, like so many of these dogs, she also desperately craved love and attention. We sat on the ground feeding her and stroking her for around 20 minutes, sobbing our hearts out. We knew it wasn't fair of us to try and put another dog on Julie @Halkidiki Animal Rescue who already had a waiting list (as she always does) of dogs waiting to come in. Added to this is the fact that she also feeds all the stray cats and dogs that she can't take in, we simply couldn't add another dog to her woes. The hardest part of any sterilising campaign is that there simply isn't space to be able to offer all the dogs a safe place off the street, and that most of the dogs have to be released again into the area that they live in. To make the task of putting the dogs back on the street more bearable there's an unwritten rule that they are not given names - it would be so much harder to do if you allowed yourself to become too close to them.

We apologised to Mabel, telling her we would love to take her home and look after her but we just couldn't, and that if things changed and the chance came we would ask Julie to pick her up and get her ready for us. .




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Above Titch stroking Mabel while we sobbed our hearts out asking her to forgive us as we had to leave her

Registered Office: 32 Cobden Road, Worthing, West Sussex BN114BD

For general enquiries, correspondence, membership etc. please contact: Linda Manley-Bird, 32 Cobden Road, Worthing, Sussex BN11 4BD

Saving Greek Animals is the slogon of Caring for the Animals Trust, registered charity number 1091152