After 15 days under observation at the City of Athens’s shelter for stray dogs in Megara, western Attica, Ruby is back at his usual haunt on Syntagma Square with a clean report from dog behavior experts who say that he displayed no signs of aggression.
Ruby made the press earlier this month when photographs were published of him – along with two other strays named Sakis and Stratos – barking at members of the team of inspectors from Greece’s creditors on May 3 as they entered the Finance Ministry on Syntagma. The reports were followed by a complaint from a citizen who said he had been attacked by the black-and-brown dog, prompting municipal authorities to take him to the Megara shelter for two weeks of observation.
Ruby’s disappearance from Syntagma created a furor of rumors and publications online suggesting that the dog – who is under the protection of the municipality’s department for strays – had been removed from the square because of his behaviour toward the international envoys, an accusation that the City of Athens categorically denies.
“Our four-legged fellow citizen is back on Ermou Street,” the City of Athens tweeted in response to suggestions that his removal was due to political pressure. “The reports circulating are completely inaccurate.”
In a seperate official statement, the City of Athens said “the likeable dog was take to the municipal shelter following a complaint by a citizen that he had been bitten by him on Syntagma Square,” a statement from the municipality’s environment department said.
The complainant had submitted a photograph of the bite mark on his calf, as well as a receipt from the pharmacy where he received a tetanus shot, according to sources.
The statement issued by the City of Athens goes on to say that “the law regarding dogs that are accused of biting people foresees an examination by a veterinarian and observation for a period of 15 days after the incident, after which the dog is evaluated.
“Following the 15-day period and as Ruby did not display any aggressive behavior toward other dogs or to human, the deputy mayor for green spaces and the environment, Angelos Antonopoulos, proposed to the five-member panel reviewing the incident that Ruby be returned to the spot from which he was taken on Syntagma Square. The proposal was unanimously accepted by the panel and Ruby is now back at his usual haunts,” the statement concluded.