Equines

Heracles

Only a few weeks ago, the children of Chora’s kindergarten were grooming and riding dear Heracles but sadly today he is no longer with us.

Heracles was in very good health, living in our equine shelter, and these last years have been joyous ones for this sweet donkey. But Heracles was very old, and, after a long life on the nearby island of Antikeri, a rocky place without permanent residents, Heracles was chosen come to us in order to be a representative of our equines. He was calm and easy-going and his sweet nature made him popular with everyone he met.

We suspect that the great age of Heracles made his passing an easy one, perhaps his heart gave out, and, now, this sweet donkey lives in the neighborhood of the angels.

Animal Action in Amorgos

On June 13 and 14, a total of 54 equines—31 donkeys, 9 mules and 14 horses—were seen and cared for by the Animal Action team in the following areas on Amorgos: Vroutsi,  Kolofana, Langada, Tholaria,  Potamos, Chora and Katapola.

The team also spoke and distributed leaflets for the inhumane and illegal habit of keeping the animals' legs tied together. This practice is severe and can permanently damage the legs. Instead, the team offered advice about a better way to tie a horse, mule or donkey, by using a halter and collar. The residents of Amorgos have embraced the program and they eagerly await the annual visit of the Animal Action team.

During the days of the program one of our lovely donkeys at our equine shelter, Daisy, who was already very old became seriously ill. She could not stand upright so euthanasia was deemed necessary. Daisy was a very social donkey who became the mascot of our shelter. We already miss her a lot.

We want to thank Animal Action for sending their team: Kleopatra Triantafilou, a veterinarian specializing in equines, the farrier Gianni Mprastiano, our volunteers Lea Voegeli and Giorgos Zafiriou who offer us much help, and Panagiotis Psychogios (the Pensione Panos) who hosted the vet. A big round of thank yous also go to the owners of the many animals who participated in the program.

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Announcement: Animal Action

In collaboration with Animal Zone International, the Equine Care team of ANIMAL ACTION  will return to our island this June in order to offer its services to working animals (donkeys, horses, mules) of residents of the island for two days: Wednesday, June 13th and Thursday June 14th. 

To anyone who has donkeys, mules, or horses who need care, please contact Animal Zone International by phone: 22850-71716 and 6974990045 or simply bring the animal to the designated points.

Both a veterinarian specializing in horses and the farrier from ANIMAL ACTION will deworm animals and will take care of hooves and animal teeth for FREE.

WEDNESDAY JUNE 13
AEGIALI
Time: 10:00 a.m. Over Parking Langada
Time: 12:00 p.m. Parking of Tholaria
Time: 13:30 p.m. Parking Ormos Aegiali (next to Lucky Hotel)
Time: 14:15 p.m. Parking of Potamos (Chodrolia)

CHORA
Time: 17:00 p.m. Parking of Chora (to the Health Center)

KATO MERIA
Time: 19:00 p.m. Vroutsi (parking of restaurant Georgalinis)
Time: 20:00 p.m. Kolofana (Agia Paraskevi)

THURSDAY JUNE 14
KATAPOLA
Time: 10:30 a.m. Agrokipio (Next to Exarchopoulos)

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Repair of the equine shelter

On a very windy day in December, a piece of wood was ripped from the roof of the stable at our equine shelter, so the animals were exposed to a period of very bad weather conditions.

Responding to our call for help, Mr. Antonis Despotidis, the owner of an organic farm, “To Perivoli,” offered to repair the damage. We want to thank him for his generosity in helping to give shelter to our equines.

Unfortunately, it now seems that the entire roof of the stable must be replaced and the cost will be 1,000 euros.

Won't you help us? Your generous tax-deductible donation would allow us to replace the roof. Please help Animal Zone International in continuing its important work for the vulnerable animals of Amorgos. These retired and elderly equines deserve to live out their lives in peace and comfort. 

 Help keep these equines comfortable and protected from bad weather. Thank you for your support!

Help keep these equines comfortable and protected from bad weather. Thank you for your support!

Marcos

During a recent visit to Amorgos by GAWF's Animal Action’s team, we were told of an old mule living in Vroutsi, who, because of his age and his ill health and injuries, was no longer useful to his owner. We decided to take Marcos to our shelter in Katapola where he could be examined by Animal Action’s veterinarian, a doctor who specializes in equines, and it was found that the mule had many physical problems which included a hip fracture as well as malnourishment. But after dedicated care by our team and a good diet, Marcos is no longer in pain and he has begun to put on weight.

Until recently we have kept Marcos in a fenced in area so that he could rest and recover his strength but now he has joined the rest of our equines. This is another one of the small miracles of Animal Zone International since, Paola, the matriarch of our equine herd and a mare who does not easily accept new members, seems to have understood that Marcos is very weak and unable to kick and she grows ever more gentle with the old mule.

We, at AZI, are happy to say that we expect Marcos to live out his old age in a state of peace and well being.

Animal Action in Amorgos

Over three days in June, a total of 55 equines—37 donkeys, 10 mules and 8 horses—were seen and cared for by the Animal Action team in the following areas: Vroutsi, Arkesini, Kolofana, Langada, Tholaria, Ormos, Chora and Katapola.

During the program we were informed about an unwanted old mule (40 years old) that the owner no longer wanted. The mule had broken his hip, which fortunately healed, but prohibited the mule from continuing to work. So for his retirement, the mule will come to AZI’s stable and we welcome his addition.
 
The team also examined a two-year-old stallion who was kept with his legs tied together. This practice of tying the legs is seriously detrimental and can permanently damage the legs. Instead, the team offered advice about a better way to tie a horse, using a halter and collar. A halter and collar was bought for the owner, and we hope that he will use it and that the quality of life of the horse will improve.
 
The residents of Amorgos have embraced the program and they eagerly await the annual visit of the Animal Action team.

We want to thank Animal Action for sending the team: Michali Gagani, a veterinarian specializing in equines, the farrier Gianni Mprastiano, our volunteer Lea Voegeli who offer us great help, and Panagiotis Psychogios (the Pensione Panos) who hosted the vet. 

A big round of thank yous also go to the owners of the many animals who participated in the program.

 Animal Action at work in Amorgos, Greece, June 23–25, 2016

Animal Action at work in Amorgos, Greece, June 23–25, 2016

Equine Care

On the flyer below, translated from Greek, and distributed on Amorgos:

In collaboration with Animal Zone International, the Equine Care team of ANIMAL ACTION – GAWF will return to our island this June in order to offer its services to working animals (donkeys, horses, mules) of residents of the island for three days: Thursday, June 23rd, Friday June 24th and Saturday June 25th. 

Whoever has donkeys, mules, or horses who need care, please contact Animal Zone International or simply bring the animal to the designated points. Both a veterinarian specializing in horses and the farrier from ANIMAL ACTION will deworm animals and will take care of hooves and animal teeth for FREE.
                   
THURSDAY JUNE 23—KATO MERIA
Time: 18:30 p.m. Vroutsi (Georgalini Parking)
Time: 20:00 p.m. Arkesini (Cafe)

FRIDAY JUNE 24—AEGIALI
Time: 10:00 a.m. Over Parking Langada
Time: 13:00 p.m. Parking Tholaria
Time: 15:00 p.m. Parking Ormos Aegiali (next to Lucky Hotel)

FRIDAY JUNE 24—CHORA
Time: 18:00 p.m. Parking of Chora (to the Health Center)
     
SATURDAY JUNE 25—KATAPOLA
Time: 10:30 a.m. Agrokipio (Next to Exarchopoulos)

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Welcoming Anna and Maria

 Anna

Anna

 Maria

Maria

We are pleased to welcome two retired donkeys to our shelter. Both come from Chora and are too old for work. Anna arrived Aug 5th and came from a poor farming family. She carried many loads up the mountains in her lifetime and deserves a happy life in retirement. Maria arrived on August 27th and is still adjusting to her new life at our stable. She worked hard has a young donkey but more recently was not working so she has a bit more energy for her age. We hope she will make friends with the others at the stable and enjoy her retirement.

Equine Care

Equine Care

In collaboration with Animal Zone International & Filozoiki Merimna of Amorgos, the Equine Care Team of ANIMAL ACTION–GAWF will be making its annual visit to Amorgos in order to offer free veterinary, hoof and dental services to working animals—donkeys, horses, mules.

This will take place on Friday, June 26 and Saturday, June 27th. Anyone with donkeys, mules, horses that are in need of care can contact Animal Zone International at: 22850-71716 or 6974990045.

Working Weekend Ahead

  The examination room is ready!


The examination room is ready!

While in New York we are madly preparing for the Annual Argos Fall Benefit, back in Amorgos, Litsa is madly preparing for a weekend of spaying and neutering. She will be working with 4 vets and one vet student to spay/neuter cats from all areas of Amorgos as well as some dogs. Getting the cat population under control is a major step toward achieving a healthy cat community and improved environmental conditions for everyone on the island. We wish Litsa and the vets the very best this weekend!

GAWF Delivers Care to Equines on Amorgos

On June 19 & 20, 2013, GAWF (Greek Animal Welfare Fund) made their annual visit to Amorgos. Veterinarian & farrier team Eliza Geskou and Giannis Brastianos treated 32 donkeys, 4 horses and 12 mules. This year many new equines were treated on the island in addition to the animals sheltered at AZI's stable. In general the body conditions of the animals were found to be good. Most needed routine dentistry and farriery care. A few cases of fly-bitten legs were seen and treated and insect-repellent medicine was given to all equines.

It was a successful visit. They could follow up on cases from previous visits in 2012 and 2011, and also treated many new equines in new parts of the island. We were very pleased with the turnout. Thank you, GAWF!

AZI Shelter News

After Paola the mare, and Pepperina the donkey, two new friends have arrived at the Animal Shelter created by AZI in Amorgos: Mona, a mule who is over fifteen years old, and Ntaizy the donkey who is - top this! -  30 years old. At meal times Mona becomes a bit aggressive… she has not been fed properly for many years.  Ntaizy, on the other hand is very calm and likes to be stroked by visitors and even rubs herself against them.  Here you see the four them getting along quite well together and enjoing some peace after so much abuse. It is really wonderful to see animals re-acquire some trust in humans and humans learn how to respect them.

All of them have been a great success, especially, with children, and most of all with Philozoiki founding member Vangelitza, who cannot keep away from them. As the family grows so do the needs to keep well foraged and clean… we need your help!

A Successful Return to Amorgos!

Elisa Geskou, the vet, and Jiannis, the farrier from GAWF (Anglo-Hellenic Animal Welfare Organization) returned to Amorgos at the end of May and stayed 2 days. Their visit was very successful! Last year they treated 17 animals. This year they treated 34!!!

Many farmers responded to the invitation extended by Philozoike to bring their animals to be treated by professionals, especially in the area of Aigiali (the northern tip of the Island) ,where the team was working for the first time. Various cases of skin mange, bacterial skin infection, horseflies (a big problem on the island) and ticks on equines were found and treatment was given. Owners were given advice about how to use insect repellents to keep the flies from bothering the animals.

In our shelter, where we now have 2 donkeys and a horse, they treated our donkey Daisy who was suffering from a skin disease and also seemed to have a very rotten tooth which was pulled. She is now a much happier old donkey. Her skin is healing and she put on some weight: she is finally eating regularly. The hooves of all the sheltered animals were trimmed and they all got an anti-fly medicine.

We are very grateful to all people who made this possible. First of all to Elisa and Jiannis of GAWF for their patience and all helpful counseling. Many thanks are also due to to Maria, the local veterinarian, for her assistance, and Evangelitsa Passari, who will soon be working as the AZI program coordinator in Amorgos. Last but not least wish to thank Nikos Vassalos, Panajotis Psichoios and Vangelis from Eligryson for offering rooms and breakfast!

GAWF members will return to Amorgos next Spring.

For more about this remarkable story, please read Elisa's own diary entry:

AMORGOS (29-30 May 2012)

The team travelled 9 hours on the boat to arrive to Amorgos on Tuesday the 29th, at 02.30 in the morning. We started our work in the north part of the island on the first day and in the central and south on the second day, both days working until dark. We treated 24 donkeys, 7 horses, 7 mules and a baby goat with a skin injury.

A big problem on the island are the flies biting the body of the equines, especially the legs of the donkeys, therefore we showed the owners (that hadn’t met us last year) how to use the insect repellents. Various cases of skin mange, bacterial skin infection, horseflies and ticks on equines were found and treatment was given. A sarcoid was found on a horse and advice on how to treat it if he wants was given to the owner.

Routine dental and farriery treatment was offered to all the animals needing it. Big hooks and overgrown feet were rasped back to normal, relieving the mouths and legs of the animals. A very rotten tooth was extracted at one of the very old donkeys rescued by the local welfare group. Last year we had trimmed the very long feet of a retired donkey in Chora that could barely walk and had given analgesics for long time in order to alleviate the pain coming from the foundered feet. This year, the same donkey arrived to have his long feet trimmed again, but he was a much happier donkey walking without pain.

Amorgos is another island (like Naxos and other neighboring islands) where hobbling is used on animals, in order to keep them confined in one area and not escape. Once again we informed the owners about the dangers of hobbling and tried to advise new ways of tethering an equine; to the old ones that don’t change their habits, we tried to convince them at least to use soft materials and place them on parts of the leg where they can cause less damage.

During the visit, Giannis also had the chance to show ways of training and riding horses to some of the young boys of the island who own pleasure horses and are not able to handle or ride them properly. This is not usually part of the Equine Team’s work, but having a properly trained and ridden horse makes a happier and healthier horse - which is our aim.

Anna from the local welfare group rasped some feet under the guidance of Giannis. The equines that they have rescued need some rasping all through the year, so it was a good opportunity for Anna to learn how to keep them trimmed if needed.

The team had been invited by the local welfare group “Filozoiki Merimna Amorgou” and Anna and Vasilis Apostolakis. Litsa Pasari from the welfare group and Maria Despoti, the local vet, were with us during our work around the island. We would like to thank all the above for the organizing and their hospitality, as well as Ioanna and Nikos Vassalos and also Panagiotis Psychogios, member of the welfare group, for offering us the accommodation.

It was a successful visit following last’s year’s visit, as we managed to treat most of the equines treated last year, plus many more new in other parts of the island, therefore keeping the promise we had made before leaving the island last year.

Piperina

My name is Piperina, not Pepperina or Paperina. The Philozoike people hardly knew how to spell my name, when they asked me to join Paola, the mare, who did not particularly welcome my arrival. Now we are getting along well. She gets most of the apples and carrots, however.

The problem is I am rather old and do not move as fast as she does.  Furthermore I do not see very well… I mean I hardly see at all. But do not tell Paola, please. Also, I tell you, these new friends may leave something to be desired when it comes to naming donkeys, but they take very good care of me. Actually Azi has made it possible for me to be treated with a new medicine and it maybe, it just may be, that I get back some of the sight I lost. Here you can see Doctor Despoti putting some green stuff into my eyes. She is assisted by Vangelitza, one of the earliest most devoted member of Philozoike. Too bad you don’t see much of her in these pictures. When I start seeing again I’ll teach them how to frame a photograph.

"Paolas," I Mean... Horses

The youngest daughter of Reverend Paraskevas, from the main Church in Katapola (Amorgos), has a whole stable of toy horses. She makes sure to parade them all before her father’s guests.

What’s the name of the one with the golden mane? "Paola," she answers. And the pony’s name? "Paola." And the dappled one? "Paola."

Wait a minute, are all your horses named Paola? “Nai, nai, of course. Paola is my name for hyppo. They are all called after the beautiful mare that was rescued from the hands of a local ogre. She now lives at the stable of the Philozoike, where I go visit her with my brothers and sister.”

A few years from now - at the moment she is 3 - she may learn that using a proper name in lieu of a common noun is a reverse case of antonomasia. Another Greek word? Please give me a break, she will say to her teacher. I care little for rhetoric: horses, I mean paolas, is what I care for.

 

Greek Animal Welfare Fund

GAWF is a London-based organization that strives to bring about significant and lasting improvement to the treatment of animals in Greece through a special program offering professional support in effort to help local animals. One of our local volunteers contacted GAWF to come and visit Amorgos and help us to improve the live of the horses, mules and donkeys there. We were pleased when they responded positively with interest in our request.   In cooperation with Elisa Geskou who is a vet working for GAWF as a volunteer, wearranged a visit to Amorgos in the end of May, after their yearly visit to the island of Naxos.

GAWF

They arrived on the May 29th to work on the south part of the island, close to Kamari to help the animals from the surrounding villages.  The following day they were at the port of Katapola where AZI's horse and donkey live at the new stable.  The GAWF vets treated 17 local equines with farriery (hoof care) and dentistry as well as applied treatments to protect the equines from flies (a big problem in the summer months).  One donkey was in such bad need of hoof trimming that he could hardly walk.  Our vet Dr. Despoti assisted, and of courseall of the treatment, advice and medicine was free of charge.

All of the farmers were very satisfied with the visit and we are very pleased with the level of participation.

First Sheltered Place for Animals on the Island

The stable

Great news!!! During the past summer the Mayor of Amorgos graciously accepted our invitation to offer a piece of land as the first shelter for some animals of the island. AZI has sponsored the construction of a new stable on the land.  Designed and constructed by Antonio Marvos, the stable is set on the slope of a lush, green field and has the capacity to house several large animals. Paola the horse and Pepperina the donkey are the two first residents. It is thanks to Evangelio, Katerina, Rita, Theodosi, Anna and Dr. Despoti that Paola has recovered so well and Pepperina, at almost 30 years old, has found a new home to spend her last years in old age. Despite the occasionally kicking around, they are always close together both calling each other when they are separated for a while.

Horse and donkey

This is significant step in the life of the island as it is not common to have fencing and shelter for equines. The preferred method of restraining is to hobble the animals by tying their legs together, to keep them confined. Thus, most importantly this construction marks the beginning to the end of the cycle of neglect and abuse.

Everyone is welcome to visit and learn how to care for the animals. Educational programs at the stable will teach children empathy, compassion and how to care for pets and farm animals. Tourists will find a tranquilrepose here which will promote a more welcoming atmosphere to the island.