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  Nr. 20 - October 1999
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Animal Talk

by Vivienne Simitzis, October 1999
Now the summer season is over, Paros slowly closes its doors to the tourists, and summer residents both Greek and foreign leave for the winter. This is when the welfare of all the stray cats and dogs falls into the hands of the remaining few animal carers on Paros.

By the number of phone calls received of late and conversations Frith and I have had with people in the street, many are trying to find homes for animals they adopted this summer, and also many are looking for someone to care for their pets over the winter.

If you have the opportunity, encourage the remaining tourists to adopt a healthy stray cat or dog/kitten or puppy. Two kittens have new homes in Holland and Germany this month while one young dog goes to Italy. You will need the assistance of PAWS to organise this as we know exactly what is required - the agricultural vet may not.

A vet visit from ‘Friends of the Cat’ took place 8-12 September - 3ó days at the Yacht Club in Livadia and one day at the Kakapetra home of Eleanora Knoss. 53 cats were sterilised (26 male/27female), plus 15 consultations and two dog emergencies.

As Eleanora has many strays joining her for breakfast and dinner, I advised her that the best preventative medical help she could give them before leaving for winter would be to spay/neuter all the cats and vaccinate them. Not only did Eleanora do this, but she kindly offered accommodation for Colin the U.K. vet for his stay. For people with large numbers of cats outside their homes it is best to work one day from your home, provided a room with electricity, water, suitable light and a fridge can be provided. I would like to hear from anyone in Lefkes who would give us a place to work for two days. I am told there is a big stray population in Lefkes - many needing help - please call me!

From 23rd to 29th September, Tassos from the Philozoiki vets arrived to concentrate on sterilising dogs. I will give you details of his visit in November. The reason we did not advertise these two vet visits is that we were already fully booked! So, if you don’t want to miss out next vet visit, call and book in advance.

As some readers are aware, Frith and I return to Australia in November, so PAWS will need other active volunteers to learn basic first aid, giving antibiotic injections and vaccines in particular, as well as assisting the vets in surgery and the stray feeding programme. I will be collecting all the donation boxes in and around Paroikia in early November. All the money collected will go only on purchasing food for the seven months the island is deserted and the stray population is at its peak after summer. Please give generously this month to our donations box as it will cost well over 200,000 drs to feed the cats and dogs over winter, not to mention the added cost of treating sick animals . Another way to help the animals is to become a financial member. Forms are available at Polos Tours, Paroikia or by calling u, or join via the internet (see our www page).

I am finding great difficulty in raising enough money for the re-vaccination of the sterilised cat colonies due for their annual Fel-o-Vax. I need over 30 vaccines (many kittens need two doses to be fully protected).

Is there anyone out there who would like to help me? I need about 54,000 drs to achieve my goal. PAWS also needs a kind-hearted person willing to pay 15,000 drs for Bruce (the 3-legged cat) to have a blood (teter) test. Call Frith (52808). Bruce is being cared for by Desiree until November when he will be reunited with his Swedish adoptees. Many thanks.
Often I am told that my stories should be translated into Greek so that more people can be educated about pet care/sterilisation etc. Is there anyone willing to take on this task? I can then have them copied and distributed to local homes and businesses.

For now, I have compiled a list of facts and myths from the vet regarding the sterilisation of cats and dogs. Those of you who speak Greek might find it helpful to have this information when trying to convince someone to sterilise their animals.

Fact-Neutering (spaying) female dogs eliminates uterine infection or cancer and reduces the risk of breast cancer - which is a frequent killer.

Fact-Spayed females do not have cyclical heats which are uncomfortable for her and inconvenient for you.

Fact-Neutering (castration) of male dogs eradicates testicular cancer or infection as well as prostrate problems.

Fact-Neutered males have less desire to roam - reducing his chances of being killed or injured whether by accident or otherwise.

Do not let myths sway you from the decision to have your pet or adopted strays sterilised.

Fact- There is no medical or scientific evidence to show that females should have a litter before spaying. Indeed, if a female has a season or litter, there is an increased risk of mammary tumours later in life. Males and females go on heat from about six months of age.

Fact- Spayed females do not come into season so do not call to attract males. They are not at risk of ovarian infections or tumours (which we see a lot of in our surgery).

Myth - neutered animals get fat. Fact - Like humans they get fat only if they overeat and don’t get enough exercise!

Myth- Cats and dogs become senile. Fact-Spaying produces a calm pet whether or not reproduction has taken place. They make better pets when not driven by hormones. Unaltered animals often exhibit more behaviour and temperament problems than those that have been sterilised.

Myth - Surgery is painful and dangerous.

Fact - They feel nothing since they have anaesthetic. As with any surgery precautions are taken but they usually recuperate completely within a few days.

Fact-The vicious circle - adoptees want their pet to have ‘only one litter’ and promise to find good homes. Those who adopt the babies may also want ‘just one litter’ and over-population continues!

Fact- Remember every kitten or puppy you allow to be born takes a home away from an animal already alive. Give a home instead to a stray animal.

Fact - in nature the weak, sick and old do not survive, nature’s way of controlling population. Veterinary care provides our pets with longer lives than they would experience in ‘nature’. By domesticating animals we have taken away nature’s population controls. Failing to sterilise pets is failing to substitute our own population control - resulting in thousands of homeless animals on the streets of Greece every year.

Myth-‘I Can’t Afford It’.

Fact-PAWS provides low cost spay/neuter fees. This is much cheaper than feeding a pregnant mother and a litter of puppies or kittens.

Myth- It is cruel to interfere with a pet’s natural urges.

Fact- Animals don’t have a sexual identity like humans therefore they don’t have emotional crises when neutered.

Fact - It is even more cruel to allow unwanted puppies or kittens to be born.

Myth- My dog won’t be protective.

Fact-Sterilising doesn’t affect a dog’s natural instinct to protect its home and family.


I hope to organise a meeting for PAWS members and concerned citizens before I leave in November. We need active volunteers to cover what has been done by Frith and myself. Perhaps you would like to assist us with vet visits, fundraising, catching strays, first aid etc? Please write to me c/o Post Office, Paroikia 84400.

THANK YOU: Denis & Jenny, Denis Apartments (22466), for donating a room for Philozoiki vet; Frith and newcomers Len & Marilyn Rooks for assisting in the surgery and providing transportation for the vet; Helen & Alex, Aktaia Beach Bar, for donating refreshments for the vet and volunteers who worked at Livadia; Lefteris Polos, for the room at the Yacht Club for our surgery; Kristal of Kastro Bazaar, for helping a Dutch couple adopt a kitten from her shop.

APOLOGIES: Our Internet page did not have my stories due to my heavy workload. However, it is now up and running including the adoption page. Also, apologies to Markis from Dream Gallery Paroikia (24153) who did not receive my thank you letter in June for his art donation to PAWS.

ANIMAL WELFARE CONTACT INFO

PAWS (Paros Animal Welfare Society)
website: www.parosweb.com/paws
email: paws@parosweb.com
National Bank of Greece a/c 455/74887423
Marilyn Metaxa - Tel: 51637
Vivienne Simitzis - Tel: 0944-708458
Frith Wrench - Tel: 52808
Marlies Lade - Tel: 22495
Dimitris Vasilakis - Naxos Vet
Tel: 0285-23533 (surgery), 0285-23681 (home), 0944-278947 (mobile). Diagnosis by phone, send medicines by next boat, payment to bank a/c. Speaks English/ French.
GAWF (Head Office)
Greek Animal Welfare Fund
1-2 Castle Lane, London SW1E 6DN
Tel: +44-171-828-9736
Fax: +44-171-630-9816
email: 04715.3306@compuserve.com
Denis Ostler - Chairman
Carol McBeth - Tel: 0944-240222
(GAWF veterinary nurse in Athens)
Friends of the Cat
(Greek Cat Welfare Society)
15a Amassias Street,Pangrati, 116 35 Athens
Tel: 01-7258-497
website: catfriend.home.ml.org
Mrs Servaki-Blackstone – President
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