An Interior Ministry official on Monday sought to assuage fears that the recent introduction of stricter guidelines for the licensing and operation of stray cat and dog shelters will lead to the closure of dozens of nongovernmental facilities across the country.
“We won’t be opening the doors of facilities hosting animals and turning them out into the streets. Animals will not be relocated. And shelters that are found to be unsuitable will only be prevented from taking in new animals,” the ministry’s special secretary for the protection of companion animals, Marianthi Dimopoulou, told Kathimerini.
Fewer than half of the country’s 332 municipal authorities have applied for funding from the latest package of nearly €8.2 million for stray shelters. Such reluctance to tackle a problem that in many parts of the country is out of control means the onus has fallen mostly on the shoulders of volunteer groups working on shoestring budgets.