Titch's Story

For me, the realisation of the sad plight of Greek stray animals came about on a holiday to Corfu with my young son some 14 years ago. As soon as we arrived in our resort I began to notice the numbers of dogs that were hanging around the beach and the shops – and the more I saw the more there seemed to be. I couldn’t help but be shocked at their condition either, many were very thin and clearly sick. One little blonde scruff hung around our apartment and I began to feed her every day, wormed her and treated her for the thousands of ticks all over her. She followed us everywhere we went and I called her Kali, ‘Good’ in Greek. As the end of my holiday approached I just didn’t know what to do, how could I go and leave her behind with no-one to care for her? I asked everyone if they knew how I could rescue her, if there was a shelter on the island that could help me but no-one was interested, they shrugged their shoulders and seemed to think I was strange for worrying about a dirty stray dog. When I left I gave a sympathetic receptionist a huge pile of dog food and she promised she would feed Kali for me every day.

After I returned to the UK I was determined to get Kali home with me. I researched all I could about the stray dogs and cats in Greece and was horrified with everything I found out – the numbers, the methods of ‘control’, the fate that awaited them. I’d had no idea of all that went on. I contacted Greek Animal Rescue, where I was put into contact with Diane, who had also brought a stray from Corfu. Diane told me about the quarantine procedure for importing a stray dog – this was before the Pet Passport Scheme was in existence - and put me in contact with the vet on the island. The vet was prepared to drive to the resort and collect Kali if the receptionist would catch her and keep her for him. I booked the quarantine kennel place for her. I researched flights and found the airlines which could fly her into the UK. Everything was planned…but on the day that the vet was due to pick her up the receptionist called me to tell me for the first time ever Kali did not come for her food.

For a week I worried and fretted and called the receptionist daily but Kali did not come. I was about to give up hope when suddenly Kali came back……but now she was feeding puppies. So I had a terrible dilemma. If I took her now then the puppies would die. If I left her then every day she was on the street she risked poisoning or being run over. But I couldn’t take her from her pups knowing that it would mean their certain death and as the receptionist had promised to continue feeding her I had to take the risk. Kali came back every day for her food but the receptionist reported that she was becoming very thin. A friend was travelling to Corfu on holiday so he went to look for Kali and her puppies for me. For three days he followed Kali after she had eaten but her route took her through a wire fence into wasteland and by the time he had walked round to get into the area she had disappeared. He combed the entire area but could not find any trace of her.

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