A Major Rescue Operation

The nine puppies that constitute the Fluffy Family (as they have become known to those who visited them at the improvised kennel at the Municipal Camping site in Amorgos) can now add a third F, that of "Fortunate," to their denomination, thanks to the indefatigable work of Lamia, Elephteria and Juliette who rescued them from the most unusual, and hard to believe, circumstances. They were all born and forced to live in a minuscule apartment in Katapola, together with their mothers, and father, and brothers (fifteen dogs altogether) plus their masters, of course, and their child.

Despite the most unhealthy conditions for both humans and animals, it was not easy to convince their lawfully inconsiderate owners to let them go. No rational explanation will ever suffice to explain the mad attachment and the irresponsible carelessness  of the family that caused their own dogs so much pain and discomfort.  As we all see, education is urgently needed and AZI is sustaining an education program throughout the island.

Once the puppies were liberated, however, their stories have taken a radical turn for the better:  Spiro went to Poland; Asproula went to Thessaloniki; Theresa (almost blind), Pepito, Iggy Pop and Parizaki went to Holland thanks to Juliette. Bobby Marley and Leo have been “reserved” buy Dutch families while Jimmy Cliff will be fostered by Juliette herself until a proper accommodation can be secured.


AZI and Philozoike Volunteers Curb Hunger

With Juliette, you never know what's on the menu, but it always yummy, and, what counts most, on time. Here you can see her feeding us at lunch time in the Katapola Playground and under the bridge of a stream that dries up in the Summer: A perfect spot fort a well balanced meal al fresco! Some friends who live near the limani -- the pier where the big boats from Piraeus  blow their horn, even in the middle of the night -- have told me that they too have an angel who brings them food. That's good: it means Juliette's example is being followed.


Belly Ache in Katapola

Well this is what happened: this young fellow from one of the car rental places in Katapola, the one at the edge of the village, as you face the open sea, saw me wandering about without anything to eat and took me to his office. Then he went out and bought some can food. I thought I was in heaven. I had not seen so much food in months, actually weeks (I am a very young cat) and ate it all up if there was no tomorrow. After a while, though, I began to feel the effect of my binge.

I won't tell you the kind of pain and the scare it gave. I think it's worse than a tooth ache, though I haven't had any so far, and I should not be making comparisons. Clearly it was the wrong kind of food, except that my savior had no clue. He thought cat food was cat food and that was it. It goes to show that educational programs (and the right kind of food) are urgently needed. But I was lucky, in the end. The Vet came by and gave me a shot that put an end to my misery.

And I heard that AZI is raising funds to buy the kind of food it takes to feed me and the other kittens who might run the risk of being done in by the very people who intend to save us.



Call me Tatum...

The original idea was to name me after the one armed basketball player who joined the Harlem Globetrotters in 1945 and never scored less than 18 points per game… with one arm! His name was actually Boid Buie, but there was a mix up at the office, and I ended up as Tatum, the greatest globetrotter of them all (though he had two arms). Well, behind this story is the fact that I am three legged kitten.

When I was barely able to walk, a motorist ran me over (and didn’t bother to stop, of course). Those who picked me up thought I was going to die, but then Doctor Despoti said let’s give it a shot and she amputated my leg. I survived and I now live in Holland. You never know what can happen to a strong willed cat:

Juliette, a Dutch member of AZI and Philozoike spoke about me to a very nice lady who drives an animal ambulance in Amsterdam (a great place, believe me) and she adopted me. She came to pick me up at the airport, and held me and hugged me. Quite a change, I tell you from the misery of my very first days on earth. Sometimes, of course, I feel a bit nostalgic for my island, hey, but when it comes to food and care, I tell you, there is no comparison. I love it here, and I am going to grow up as dexterous and nimble as both Boid Buie and Tatum put together.



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.

Stamatis's Generosity

Minoa Hotel

Guests: "Fine de la comedia. End of the show. We are checking out tomorrow. We love your cozy hotel, Stamatis, with all its plants that grow as sturdy as baobabs, and the praying mantis, and the view of the harbor, from the terrace, my God what a view! But we have to leave, so if you would please prepare our bill..."

Stamatis: "We enjoyed having you. Please come back to see us next year. By the way, I heard about your involvement with the Philozoiki, and I'd like to make a contribution. One night is on me. That is, I'll write a check to the Philozoiki in the amount you pay me for one night."

Saving a Hawk on Amorgos

A beautiful hawk with a broken wing was found by an elderly couple in their garden. They called Dr. Despoti, who was driving around the island with Paola looking for colonies of stray cats. In less than an hour, the hawk was found, treated, and prepared for a journey to Paros, five hours away. Will it survive the journey? Will it be fit to be treated at the Wild Bird Sanctuary? Good news arrives that evening. The hawk survived the overnight crossing. Two days later the news is even better: the hawk can be cured, its wing will heal. After a period of recovery in Paros, it will be returned to Amorgos where it will be released into the wild.

"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.


Paper Ashtrays

Mr. Roussos is the new Mayor of Amorgos. Like his predecessor, Mr. Fostieris, he is very much in favor of Animal Zone's initiatives. He could not believe his eyes, however, when he realized that we had schlepped 2,000 AZI paper ashtrays all the way to his island. Flabbergasted as he was, he thought it was a great idea and asked for more!

“Whenever you can... We’ll take our butt dropping cigarette smokers by surprise. So many of our visitors, not to speak of the locals, must think of Amorgos as a vast ash-tray: they leave their smoker’s marks everywhere. These ashtrays are great, I will make sure they are distributed throughout. Disposing properly of cigarette butts goes hand in hand with caring for animals. It will be another step toward learning how to respect nature as a whole.”
— Mr. Roussos, Mayor of Amorgos 2010


In the meantime, Philozoike supporter and chain smoker Sophokles Prekas is setting a public example. And so is Stamatis who owns the Minoa Hotel and distributes our origami ashtrays to all his guests (just in case).






From Our President

It has been a transformative year in Amorgos. Oursponsorship of a local veterinarian has changed the life of many animals and of many people who depend on them. This generated much support and interest on the part of the community. New attention has been given to the animal health and well-being. We sponsored Dr. Despoti’s internship in one of the most prestigious no-kill animal shelters in the the US, PAWS Chicago. Since her return in March, Dr. Despotihastreated various animals in need and sterilized and released over 30 stray cats. It seems a small step but it makes a huge difference.  And through these little steps we are transforming a way of being.

We thank all of you for your help and we count on your contributions to continue.  Without your help we would not be able to make all of these small steps come together to transform the fate of so many neglected animals on the island.

Recently we were contacted by a tourist in Amorgos who noticed that cats were being fed in a dangerous road-side position. We greatly appreciate being informed of any maltreatment of animals witnessed on the island. We count on your continuous support. A small action can make a huge difference in the life of many animals and the environment in which they live.



It's Official!

Congratulations to our friends and collaborators, Vangeliou, Anna, Isabella and Rita. PMAA (Philozoic Merimna Association of Amorgos) is an officially registered organization now. Finally! We look forward to continuing our collaboration and bringing news of your efforts to all of the supporters of AZI.

Paola and Pepperina from the day their hooves were clipped and cleaned. Roza, a German ex-vet assistant who now lives permanently in Lagkada, showed us how it’s done.

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.


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.

Dr. Maria Despoti at PAWS Chicago

Dr. Despoti in Chicago

AZI sponsored our resident veterinarian, Dr. Maria Despoti for a two-week learning visit at the extraordinary PAWS Chicago. Since its founding in 1997 by Paula Fasseas, the number of homeless dogs and cats killed annually has dropped more than 50 percent. During her visit, Dr. Maria got to experience the practical philosophy and mission to build a no-kill Chicago for homeless pets. Her studies focused on the needs of the patients--to relieve disease, suffering, or disability while minimizing pain or fear--all with the most up-to-date medicine and medical technology.