The stray problem at the island has many reasons and unlike in many countries, the biggest problem is not strays multiplying at the streets. There are more and more puppies born in households and dumped to the streets every day, because of poor financial situations and because of lack of education. These all need to be considered, when we try to find solutions to prevent the rising number of strays as well as trying to get better animal welfare laws.
Ideally we could combine few elements, which would make all the difference:
1. Neutering the strays
Neutering every stray would prevent unwanted puppies being born to the streets, where most of them die in horrible ways. We can only help few because of our limited recourses and the numbers grow especially during summer, when there is more food available. Stray puppies don't have any protection from diseases, which usually leads to epidemics of Parvo and Canine Distemper - both deadly diseases. When we can prevent these puppies from being born, we can reduce the numbers. Same goes for cats too, though with different diseases!
2. Helping families to neuter their dogs
Puppies of strays dogs are only a part of the problem, since most puppies are dumped to the streets by people, who can not afford to have them, or don't care about them. The financial situation remains poor in Greece and most families don't have funds to neuter their pets. If we would have the funds, we could help more families to neuter their pets and make sure unwanted puppies would not be born in households and dumped to the streets.
3. Educating the public
Culture plays a huge role when it comes to the animal welfare and that can be only influenced through education. By providing up to date information and education to the public, we can slowly make a long lasting change, that will benefit the animals. This is not a short project, but a long term one, that will take years. It is still extremely important and we hope that our projects, like co-operating with local schools and having groups of locals coming in for education, will help the locals to understand why every life should be valued.
4. Governments role
There is no doubt that the government should help more and only with their help can the country truly become a good place for animals. This will take time, since the public opinions need to be onboard too. We are constantly talking with the local municipality and other authorities, to make neutering programs and to reinforce the laws, which are already in place when it comes to the wellbeing of animals.