Fluffy's Good News! 

Dear friends,

Fluffy, our beautiful and truly special blind cat, after staying at our Center for two years and despite being positive in FIV (Feline Immunodeficiency virus), has finally found her own home in Holland!

Mirtos Animal Project, an organization in Holland with which we cooperate, has found a new home where Fluffy will live with 2 dogs. (Her medical condition prevents her from going to a home with healthy cats.) 

Mirtos also found a flight escort for her which is great news. Animal Zone is responsible for paying for her transportation from Amorgos to the airport in Athens (boat and metro tickets), passport fees and health check up (microchipping and flea and tick prevention medicine) and carrying case. All of this will cost approximately 200 euro.

Won't you consider making a donation to help us send Fluffy to her forever home?

Donations can be made here, or if you wish to send money directly to Dr. Vasalakis, our vet, below is his wire transfer information.

Bank: PIRAEUS BANK
Ιban number: GR95 0171 3610 0063 6101 0072 331
SWIFT: PIRBGRAA
Name of the account: Vasalakis Dimitrios - Kontopidi Maria

(Please add a note: For Fluffy/Animal Zone Intl)

We are so happy for Fluffy and are grateful for our friends and supporters who wish her well. Please help if you can. 

Dr. Vasalakis' visit

Dr. Dimitris Vasalakis came to work with Animal Zone International’s Center over the weekend of May 27th and 28th.

Many of the island’s animals came for examination, surgery and vaccines. As well, Dr. Vasalakis examined and treated one of the donkeys in our shelter, forty-one year old Lakis, who has already begun to heal after the good doctors administrations.

Amorgos does not have a permanent veterinarian so these visits from the Dr Vasalakis are vital for the health of our island animals and we cannot say strongly enough how greatly we appreaciate his help.

Come and Suprise Your Taste Buds!

A great chef prepares his dishes on the basis of what he finds at the market each day. So when we asked Chef William Mattiello which wild greens he will use for the risotto, he answers, Those that I will find at the forager’s. And if asked, the forager will answer in turn, Those that nature will make available on the day of the banquet.

Come and let your taste-buds be surprised! This meal will be a full immersion in unbelievable flavors. Rest assured, however: pine-nuts, mallow, green strawberries, chamomile, wild mint, lamb's quarter, purslane, and wild fennel are more than likely to meet you at the Animal Zone Vegetarian Feast to be held at Via Emilia on Sunday, June 25th at 6pm.

We will keep you posted. You’ll be the first to know what’s boiling in Chef’s Mattiello’s crucible.

A double surprise: behind each wild green there is a legend, a myth, a story you'll be happy to learn. Table food will be accompanied by table talks provided by food historian Luigi Ballerini.

From Weeds to Wisdom

Announcing an exotic dinner of edible wild greens, vegetables, berries, and grains conceived by poet and historian of both literature and food Luigi Ballerini, author of A Feast of Weeds, and prepared by Chef William Mattiello based on recipes of the legendary Pugliese coltivatore and cook Ada De Santis.

This benefit for Animal Zone International will pair inventive and sophisticated vegetarian dishes with literary and historical narratives ranging from Homer to Shakespeare.

Sunday, June 25 at 6pm

Via Emilia Restaurant
47 East 21st Street, New York 10010

Tickets: $300 per person ($250 of which is tax deductible); $500 for two. Space is limited; buy your ticket today!

Click the button above to pay by credit card or PayPal, or send a check to: Animal Zone International, P.O. Box 1039, Cooper Station, New York, NY 10003

And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb yielding seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for food.
— Genesis 1, 29

A Rescue of Ducklings

At nine o’clock on Saturday morning my mobile phone rang and I was told of a newborn duckling in trouble on the beach. Immediately I found the duckling and began a search for the rest of her family but to no avail.

I brought the duckling back to our center to nest with the twenty-seven ducklings that we are already caring for and the baby ate well, drank water and recovered her strength quickly.

Later that day I received a call saying that a mother duck with nine ducklings had been spotted on the same spot where our lone duckling had been found. It seemed best to bring the family back to our center. We now have a total of thirty-seven ducklings in our garden and we know that there will surely be more because there are so many cats that roam our beaches, as well as so many seagulls that swoop down on the tiny newborns.

Over the years the ducks of Amorgos beach have been fed by locals and the adults do well but the babies are easy prey for predators. This is why we bring them back our garden, where they are safe and fed and given water until they are large enough to protect themselves. At that point we release them back into the colony.

We need your support and we ask for your donation. Even one euro is valuable to us and to the animals in our care. We are grateful to have so many online friends! Thank you for joining us to care for the animals of the island of Amorgos.

Little Zizi Takes Care of her Brother

Little Zizi, only three weeks old, came to our Center one week ago and, after receiving intensive care, she has begun to eat by herself. She has now transformed into a playful and active kitten.

Yesterday Zizi’s brother was brought to us in serious condition and Zizi has turned out to be the best of nurses. She stays with her brother and licks him and comforts him, and her miraculous care has brought him to the point that we believe this little boy will survive.

The family who had adopted him is looking forward to having him back home and they are seriously thinking of bringing young Zizi along with him. We certainly hope Zizi and her brother can be placed together.

You can see a small video of Zizi's sweet, attentive care here: https://youtu.be/5b2CsBC3zZw

Wild bird rescue

On Saturday March 25th, a bird of the species Botaurus Stellaris was found lying on the ground by a tender-hearted firefighter who brought the wounded bird to us at our center.

We sent the bird to the Alkioni Wild Bird Rescue Center in Paros--https://www.facebook.com/Αλκυόνη-Aegean-Wildlife-Hospital-282833361820028/?ref=page_internal—where it is receiving intensive care.

Hopefully there are no broken bones and the bird will recover, but, of course, we know there might be complications and we hope for the best.

We want to thank Alkioni in Paros for their excellent work and cooperation with our project. They have helped hundreds of birds from Amorgos to recover from injuries and illnesses.

More information for Botaurus Stellaris  can be found here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eurasian_bittern
 

Sterilization program

The sterilization program was completed with great success and we surpassed our goal of neutering thirty to forty stray cats.

Forty two cats, both male and female, were from the areas of Katapola, Aegiali and Saint George Valsamitis. All of them are in good health and they were released back into their areas, although, one was found to have a broken leg and she will remain hospitalized at our Center until the bone has healed.

We want to thank our veterinarian, Doctor Manolis Vorrisis who came from the nearby island of Syros, and, we also want to thank the Municipality of Amorgos who covered the cost of this program and who continue to support us in our project. We thank as well the Pension Angeliki (http://www.angeliki-amorgos.com/gr/), and its owner, Eleftheria Psihogiou, who so kindly hosted Dr. Vorrisis. We also want to thank the volunteers from our local animal welfare association, Filozoiki Merimna of Amorgos and all of the island’s residents who came to help us.
 

The Primary School of Arkesini

On Friday, March 17th, with the cooperation of our local animal welfare society, (Filozoiki Merimna of Amorgos), we visited the primary school of Arkesini to speak with the students about our Animal Zone International project.

We talked with them about the importance of adopting a stray animal rather than buying one from either a puppy or a kitten mill and we also spoke about the suffering of animals that are not treated well. . The students asked many questions and there was a sense of joy in the room as we talked together about these vulnerable members of God’s kingdom and our responsibility in making their time on earth a safe and healthy and peaceful one.

Before we left we agreed to come again in a year and we feel strongly that our work and dedication is having a real affect on the youngest generation of our island.
 

The myths surrounding sterilization

In Greece, and particularly in the rural and island areas of Greece, many people are against the sterilization and feeding of cats because they believe that when a cat is sterilized and well fed it will no longer hunt. The cats in these areas are important elements of keeping the mice population under control, but, unfortunately, this attitude has created colonies of unhealthy and malnourished cats who give birth twice a year to litters of kittens that often do not survive. The truth is that the ancient nature of a cat is to hunt whether hungry or not.

The coordinator of our Center, Litsa Passari, took five kittens at the age of two months to live in her garden. This family of cats has food available twenty-four hours a day, they are sterilized and vaccinated and they are fat and healthy. But, everyday they bring gifts to Litsa—mice that they will play with for hours and finally eat or not—but the mice are definitely no long able to bother Litsa’s neighbors.

Below are photographs of her lovely kittens, sterilized and well-fed, engaged in a thousand-year-old activity—the hunting of small creatures.

Help us help the dogs of AZI

Many of our recent posts are about our cats and our cat projects. Now we would like to tell you about three sweet dogs in our care.

With the help of the Municipality of Amorgos we are preparing a temporary kennel for the dogs who have come to stay with us.

Bob, Akira and Arangon were living in an area far from our Center. Their kennels were in serious need of repairs and so, with the help of the Municipality of Amorgos, we were able to move them closer to our Center and greatly improve their living quarters.

Bob, one of the three dogs in our care. Click on the picture to read his story

Bob, one of the three dogs in our care. Click on the picture to read his story

The Municipality has provided us with an enclosure in Katapola where we have begun to clean the area, expand the fencing, cement the grounds and soon we will spread gravel so that the dogs will stay dry in their shelters and free from mud in the rainy season. Finally, the Municipality will give us trees and plants to help shade the animals during the intense summer heat.

The total cost of this project will be 800 euro and, since we are a non-profit organization, we rely entirely on donations in order to achieve our goals.

Won’t you consider becoming an angel to these dogs in need and make a donation to help keep them safe and healthy. Or, even better, consider taking one of these beautiful creatures, for, they are available for adoption.

We need your support. Please Donate. Even one euro is valuable to us and to the animals in our care. We are so grateful to have many online friends. If each friend gave only five euro we would be able to complete our kennel project and continue our struggle to care for the animals of the island of Amorgos.

VISIT BY DR. VASALAKIS

Dr. Dimitris Vasalakis came to work with Animal Zone International’s Center over the weekend of 4-5 of February.

Many members of our local community brought their animals to the Center for examination and vaccines and even for grooming. Also, Dr. Vasalakis examined, vaccinated and sterilized all of our cats, which meant that he had a very busy and a productive weekend.

Amorgos does not have a permanent veterinarian so these visits from Dr. Vasalakis are vital for the animals and the health of our island and we are grateful for his help.
 

 

Documentary about Aegiali Project cat sterilizations

In Amorgos we care for the health and safety of the island cats and their kittens but no animal in need is ever turned away from our center. The cats and dogs of this rocky island, the mules and horses and donkeys and goats and geese of Amorgos are all given aid and comfort by our extraordinary group of veterinarians and volunteers who even, at times, find themselves caring for a sick rabbit or a wounded hawk. Our Center is a hospital and a temporary place of shelter and recuperation. For some it has even become a permanent home. But there is so much more to do.

Will you help us keep this project alive, not only for these defenseless members of the animal kingdom, but, perhaps, also to serve as a model for other centers throughout Greece and beyond.

Please consider donating: we are in urgent need of help!

 

 

Little Voulitsa

Little Voulitsa was living with her mother, Voula, and her three siblings in an area where there had been serious outbreaks of disease and infection. Her mother Voula was released back into her home area after having been spayed but we felt that we could not allow Voulitsa to return with her mother since the area is extremely dangerous for young kittens.

Voulitsa is now six months old and she remains at our Center but she is available for adoption. If a home cannot be found for her, in spring when the weather is warmer, then Voulitsa will have to go back to her area.

We ask you to open your heart and home for Voulitsa. The life of a stray is a very hard life. Voulitsa needs a true home. She is now a healthy and active and playful kitten who loves to be hugged. What a gem!

Her microchip number is 941000016719360 and below, you will find photographs of the beautiful girl she has grown into.

A Boy and His Bunny Mike

A young boy called us at the Center asking for our help in finding a cure for his desperately ill rabbit, Mike.

Once the rabbit arrived we immediately called our veterinarian Dr. Dimitris Vasalakis. The diagnosis was a skin disease known as psoriasis that had left Mike so weak he could no longer stand or eat. We were told to begin injecting antibiotics and feeding nourishment and vitamins by syringe. 

By morning, after a night spent sleeping quietly on a heating pad, Mike was able to stand, to nibble on carrots and to drink water by himself. It took so little to reclaim the health and life of this small creature—the intensive care that we were able to provide gave the rabbit the strength he needed to begin to heal and he will stay here with us until he is strong enough to return to his home. At that time we will teach the boy how to recognize any symptoms that might possibly reoccur and to care for the rabbit himself.

We have great hopes that Mike will live a long and active life and we are grateful to the boy who cared enough to bring him to us at the Center. If you want to help Mike and others like him, please consider making a donation. Without your help we would not be able to care for animals in an emergency such as this. Thank you!

Bob

Bob was one of the five small puppies who were abandoned last year outside of a field in Amorgos. After many months with us, a local family of shepherds asked to adopt Bob and begin the work of training him to watch over their herds of goats and sheep. Although we told them that Bob loved to chase anything that moved they assured us that they would be able to turn him into a good watchdog.

Unfortunately, Bob was very happy to chase the herd but not to control it, and, so, after two months, Bob came back to us at the Center. He is now a very sweet and smart boy who loves to be with people. He is calm and gentle with children and he is comfortable with other dogs as well as with cats. As long as there are no goats or sheep to chase he is the most easygoing of fellows.

Bob is now living with his sister Akira and his brother Arangon in an enclosure in Amorgos.  Unfortunately, due to the lack of foster homes and volunteers on the island, these young dogs are able to spend only a short time with the people who come each day to care for them and they urgently need homes and human attention.

Bob’s mother was a pure bred Belgian Shepherd Groenendael and his father was a Greek Shepherd mixed breed. He is one year old, weighs 30 kg, is neutered and fully vaccinated, and his microchip number is 941000016719317.

Our great hope is that Bob will find a new and loving family on which to lavish his immense capacity for joyful affection.

Watch a video of him here.

Do you remember Esthel?

Do you remember Esthel?

Esthel came to our Center in June of 2015 when she was only three weeks old. The kitten was discovered by one of our most active volunteers when she was spending a few days on the nearby island of Kouronisi.

Our volunteer heard a kitten crying with no mother in sight and after waiting to see if the mother would return, the kitten was brought by boat to Amorgos where we received her at our Center and began to feed her by hand.

After three months Esthel was adopted by a wonderful woman from Switzerland. Her name is now Nemesis and she has grown into a happy and beautiful adult cat with a loving home and a bright future.

Plume: The story of a special cat

Plume was born in the same building in which our Center is located and for ten years he had a loving family and a best friend in his very own mother. Unfortunately, due to the crisis in Greece, his owner, Francoise, could no longer find work and was forced to move back to her home in Switzerland. For Plume, this was the beginning of a series of tragedies that would change his world forever.

When Francoise left, his own mother died suddenly and Plume was left alone. We, at AZI's center, agreed to care for him. But the peaceful and quiet life that Plume had known did not prepare him for a place filled with so many cats that were in our care.

Plume decided that he was happier spending more time outside in the neighborhood but it soon became apparent that he had developed an infection. Our veterinarian treated him for respiratory disease and gave him antibiotics but when nothing seemed to help we decided to send him to Athens for a second opinion. The discovery of a nasal fistula began a series of three surgeries and five difficult treatments over a long period of time, all of which left Plume in need of a calm sanctuary.

Our dear friend in Holland, Juliette, became interested in Plume’s story and began to search for a home for him, but, because Plume had also been diagnosed with FIV (Feline Immunodeficiency Virus) he would not be able to live among cats who were free of the virus. Juliette and her friends found a shelter for cats in Belgium which seemed ideal for him, Buddy Kat: http://www.buddykat.be/

Nathalie, the wonderful woman from Buddy Kat, fell in love with Plume and agreed to take him into their section for cats living with FIV. First though, he would have to be examined by a veterinarian and treated again for the fistula and so Juliette escorted him from Amorgos to Holland where he stayed with her for two days before being fostered by Nathalie at the Villa Vagebond, http://villa.vagebond.com.

Plume remains at Nathalie's care at the Villa Vagebond as Nathalie fell in love with him. After going through a series of treatments, finally Plume seems to have overcome the problem with fistula.

Plume, in spite of all his problems, is still such a gentle and sweet cat that we hope, despite the fact that he is eleven years old, his time of suffering will soon end. We wish for him a loving home to live out the rest of his days. So many people have become fond of Plume along the way, and we have all done our very best to help him not only survive but thrive.

We wish him well on his journey forward. We hope for our dear Plume an old age of peace and loving understanding.

 

Small Island Big Party

Some of our animal friends’ best friends are human friends.

On November 17th, we were happy to be counted among those friends on an evening when Animal Zone International brought us all together at the Via Emilia Restaurant where Chef William Mattiello was waiting with his Modenese specialties and Maestro Jed Distler had gathered a group of musicians to serenade us with great music ranging from classics to fabulous arrangements of their own tunes.

The evening was one of magic for those of us who had come to celebrate another year of working for the health and the healing and the well-being of the animals of the island of Amorgos. At this time of year there are many galas and benefits, glittering bejeweled affairs in honor of charities and foundations, but this was a special one.

The food and the wine and the music was being shared by a group of people who had become devoted to the idea of helping the most vulnerable among us—and artists and photographers had donated remarkable works for us to bid on, which meant that not only could we go home with one of these works, we had the pleasure of knowing that the money being raised would go straight to Amorgos and the stray cats and kittens and barrel dogs and donkeys and abandoned horses and mules who so desperately needed our help.

There were many other things to bid on, weekends in the country, jewelry, hotel stays on the island itself, and it was clear that a great number of people cared about our project.

Next year, Animal Zone International will once again create a night in which we can come together to celebrate their incredible work and I will be there, sharing in the joy of knowing that the pleasure of our evening will bring safety and comfort to the members of our beloved animal kingdom.

—from the Diary of an Attendee 

Sterilization program completed with great success

Our sterilization program in Amorgos has been completed with great success.

Ninety four cats, sixty three females and thirty one males underwent the procedure in a period of four days. All the cats are in good health and they have been released back into their preferred territories.

Dr. Manolis Vorisis and Dr. Andrianna Papadimitropoulou worked with the help of our volunteer, Hariklia Psaki, for thirteen hours each day in order to carry out this project and, at the same time, some of our local population brought in their dogs for examination and vaccination.

We want to thank the Municipality of Amorgos for their great cooperation and also the Minoa Hotel (http://www.hotelminoa.gr), the Aegialis Hotel & Spa (http://amorgos-aegialis.com/) and the Pension Angeliki (http://www.angeliki-amorgos.com/gr/) for their kind hospitality to our veterinarians. We also want to thank Mike Vekri, owner of the restaurant Asteria, for his grant of tables and chairs.

And most especially, we want to thank our veterinarians  Dr. Manolis Vorisis and Dr. Andrianna Papadimitropoulou who traveled from Athens and Syros to volunteer their services, the writer and editor from Dutch TV, Jaap Poot, for filming this entire process, our volunteers who worked non-stop from morning to night, and, as well, we want to thank the residents of our island who helped to make this happen.