A trip to Rhodes allowed me the opportunity to visit a very busy shelter caring for 200 dogs.
The majority of these cross-breed mixes had been brought to the site by people who could no longer care for them or had been purposely removed from the streets.
Having visited Rhodes on a number of occasions, I was amazed to watch packs of stray dogs arriving and then waiting patiently at street crossings. The signal to cross being the humans reacting to the ‘green man’ light … with the stray dogs close behind!
Not so on this visit.
I was told by a local vet that the volume of traffic and tourists mean that the practice of capture, neuter, tag and release is no longer acceptable. Instead, the dogs are held at the shelter or in foster homes until suitable homes can be found. Neutering and chipping are done before adoption, as is an interview.
A contract is signed allowing shelter staff to visit or call on the dog at any time in the future to check on its welfare. The majority of dogs at the shelter, however, find themselves living abroad.
On the day I visited the shelter, 3 small dogs were getting ready for a trip to Norway.
Locals too explained that other organisations transport dogs (including to Germany, Canada and the UK) but as I also saw pet shops and puppies being advertised (although international adoption is a highly admirable operation and I was over the moon for the individual dogs involved) I wondered how the practice would affect the cause of the stray dog problem in Rhodes?