NEWS

Dog pounds are not the solution

The 2003 law on domestic pets also provided for municipal programs in which dogs would be collected, immunized, spayed and neutered and then released back at the place at which they had been picked up. Very few municipalities, however, have set up such programs. «Before the Olympics, it seemed that local authorities would be making the effort, but that effort eventually petered out after a few months,» said Kanouris. «Just because a few municipalities revived these efforts before the local elections does not mean that they will keep their promises.» Athens is the only municipality that has achieved some success in this direction. So far, 1,567 stray dogs have been immunized, spayed and neutered; 1,122 sick animals have been treated; 1,061 strays have been given identity microchips; and 265 strays have been placed in homes. «There are many people who would like a quick solution by putting these dogs to sleep or locking them up in pounds,» said Kanellopoulou. «We have made a conscious decision to find a solution for the future by spaying and neutering animals, raising awareness among pet owners and encouraging people to adopt strays. However, no efforts will be of any use without treating the existing stray animals and raising public awareness. Ten dog pounds wouldn’t be enough if one animal is abandoned every day.»