A Sea Turtle is Rescued off the Coast of Amorgos

On September 10 2017, a sea turtle of the protected species Caretta caretta (loggerhead sea turtle) was found in distress at the port of Aegiali in Amorgos.

Dimitris Synodinos, the owner of the Amorgos Diving Center (https://www.facebook.com/amorgos.diving), along with his diving team, found the turtle looking exhausted and realized something was very wrong with the small creature. 

The team immediately contacted the Association for the Protection of the Sea Turtle (Archelon Association) in Athens and were told that it would be necessary to transport the turtle to their facilities so that examination and treatment could begin.

Dimitris then spoke with the port authority of Amorgos who contacted our association, and a kind of human chain was created when we arranged for the boat, Highspeed 4 of Hellenic Seaways, to speed the turtle to the volunteers of Archelon that very same evening.

Both the port policemen in Amorgos and the crew of the Highspeed 4 did a tremendous job in bringing the turtle to safety. We would like to thank Dimitris Synodinos and the team of the Amorgos Diving Center as well as the port policemen of Amorgos and the entire crew of Highspeed 4 of Hellenic Seaways along with the team at Archelon. 

The turtle was given the name Pavlos, and was treated for his injuries at the rescue center. We are thrilled to report he recovered well and on December 13, 2017 he was returned to the sea. See a video of his release here: www.facebook.com/amorgos.diving/videos/1690670217720716/ 

According to Archelon, every year about 300 dead or injured turtles are reported through the National Rescue Network. Most of them have been hit by fishermen who have found them in their nets or longlines and who unfortunately do not realize the consequences that this will have for marine life and fishing.

Learn more about the species Caretta caretta which is close to extinction and protected under the Greek law here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loggerhead_sea_turtle



AZI's Sparkling Gala 2017

The founder and president of Animal Zone International, Paola Mieli, along with members of the AZI board, welcomed over sixty guests to the 10th Anniversary Gala Benefit and Auction at Restaurant Via Emilia in New York City on Wednesday, November 15th, 2017.

Dr. Mieli gave a moving speech concerning the work that AZI has done on the island of Amorgos in the last ten years. She spoke eloquently of the veterinarians and volunteers whose dedication has drastically changed the lives of so many neglected, homeless and abused animals.

AZI also plays a crucial role in educating and changing the attitude of the community. The goal of our organization is to strengthen, support and expand these initiatives so that the project may someday be spread throughout the islands of the Cyclades.

There was a spirit of camaraderie among the many who had gathered in order to raise funds for the very same animals of Amorgos whose images were displayed throughout the night in a beautiful video presentation. We want to thank our distinguished guests for their company, Alberta Vita among them. For the music that graced the evening, led by pianist Jed Distler and violinist Stamatis Giannakopoulos, we offer our gratitude. Additionally we offer our thanks to the many supporter who donated beautiful artwork and luxury items that made our silent auction a resounding success.

Founded in 2007, Animal Zone International is a non-profit organization dedicated to the protection of the environment as well as of the animals of Amorgos. AZI works tirelessly with the community to develop a model for Greek animal welfare and it has established the island’s first veterinary clinic providing free or low-cost medical care and spay and neuter surgeries.

Thank you to all who attended as well as all others who join our cause from afar!

Photography by Peppe Carincola, who kindly donated his work to AZI.


Donation from Purina Petcare

“We support companies that support stray animals”

Animal Zone International and the stray cats and kittens of Amorgos are grateful to PURINA PETCARE – NESTLE HELLAS A.E. for their generous donation of dried food devised especially for the recovery period from sterilization. These boys and girls will be given this special diet during and after their participation in our ongoing sterilization program.

We extend our thanks to Purina Nestle for their generosity!


Buy your ticket NOW! Celebrate with us on Wed Nov 15th!


10th Anniversary Gala Benefit and Auction

Wednesday, November 15 at 7PM

Via Emilia, 47 East 21st Street, New York, NY

Please join us for a very special evening: For ten years, we've supported and rescued cats, dogs and equines throughout Amorgos. With your help, this important work can continue.

Bid on art work, jewelry, luxury vacation stays, tempting household items, training sessions, private concerts in your home, and much more. See our catalog here.

Come enjoy great food, drinks and company with fellow animal lovers and help support our efforts.

Live music by violin virtuoso Stamatis Giannakopoulos from Amorgos with New York composer Jed Disler at the keyboard.

Pay by credit card or PayPal by clicking button below, or send a check payable to Animal Zone International, P.O. Box 1039, Cooper Station, New York, NY 10003.


Sterilization program completed with success

Our two-day sterilization program on the 3rd and 4th of November has been a great
success. Over fifty-six cats -thirty females and twenty-six males- are now unable to
increase the number of feral kittens in the areas of Agiali, Chora and Katapola and
they are all in good health and have been released back into their home turf.

We want to thank Dr. Manolis Vorisis and his wife Nikoletta Delasouda for their
amazing work and for the kindness and generosity with which they have donated
their expertise to the feral cat colonies of Amorgos.

We also want to thank Mr. Michael Koveos for his generosity in providing accommodation for our two vets in his Anna Studios Pension.

The Municipality of Amorgos has been a great partner in this program as has the
local animal welfare association, “Filozoiki Merimna of Amorgos” and its many
volunteers as well as those wonderful residents of Amorgos who helped in this
important project sponsored by Animal Zone International.

And we have committed to another program to be held in March.

Sterilization for stray cats

On Friday the 3rd and Saturday the 4th of November, Animal Zone International, in
collaboration with Amorgos Animal Welfare Society (Filozoiki Merimna of Amorgos)
and the Municipality of Amorgos, will carry out a sterilization program for stray cats
and kittens and the cost of this important program will be covered by Animal Zone
We are asking anyone who is aware of stray cats in their area to contact us at the
following numbers:
The Animal Zone Internatioinal office: 22850-71716
Litsa Passari: 6974990045
As a reminder, we include the text of the Greek Law 4039/2013, article 5, item G:
“The owner of a pet is obliged to care for the sterilization of that pet and, if there
have been any offspring from that pet, to find homes for the newborns. The owner is
also required by law to register their pet as well as to ensure that a microchip is
placed in the body of that pet. At the required annual visit to a veterinarian for a
rabies vaccination, a metal badge will be given to be attached to the collar of their
pet providing proof of that vaccination.”

Πρόγραμμα Στειρώσεων Νοέμβριος 2017.jpg

Celebrate with us on Wed Nov 15th!


10th Anniversary Gala Benefit and Auction

Wednesday, November 15 at 7PM

Via Emilia, 47 East 21st Street, New York, NY

Please join us for a very special evening: For ten years, we've supported and rescued cats, dogs and equines throughout Amorgos. With your help, this important work can continue.

Bid on art work, jewelry, luxury vacation stays, tempting household items, training sessions, private concerts in your home, and much more. See our catalog here.

Come enjoy great food, drinks and company with fellow animal lovers and help support our efforts.

Live music by violin virtuoso Stamatis Giannakopoulos from Amorgos with New York composer Jed Disler at the keyboard.

Pay by credit card or PayPal by clicking button below, or send a check payable to Animal Zone International, P.O. Box 1039, Cooper Station, New York, NY 10003.


World animal day - October 4

Our hopes and prayers are with all of the precious animals who share our planet. Large and small, they fill our days with joy and friendship and we do our best to make their time on earth a safe and joyful one. Domestic or wild, they count as one of the most important part of our lives in many ways. Let us hope that every passing year will bring us closer to a world in which we will all be living together, side by side, in safety and beauty and harmony.

A 6 year old child from Amorgos needs our help

We write from the island of Amorgos to tell you of six year old Emilio, a young island resident who suffers from leukemia and is in need of our help.

Emilio Soulejmani was diagnosed with leukemia in August of 2017 and has been transferred to Athens in order to undergo therapy. He is hospitalized at the "Marianna V. Vardinoyiannis-ELPIDA" Children's Oncology Unit where his parents and his brother are able to stay beside him.

The expenses for his family are great  and the Association of Parents and Guardians of Aegiali – Thollaria is collecting donations for his care.

If you are able to help in any way, please contact the Association at this email address:
The telephone number of the Association is:
+30 6932618515


Money may be deposited directly into the bank account of the family:
Soulejmani Albana
Piraeus Bank
+30 6995389189
IBAN number: GR39017 1153000 615312 6991111

We stand beside this island family and wish them all the very best for a healthy and loving future.


Support the Filozoiki Merimna of Amorgos

The passionate volunteers of the Filozoiki Merimna of Amorgos have created a GoGetFunding page for two cat sterilization programs. Please support this important work and make a contribution, however large or small. Go here to contribute or learn more: https://gogetfunding.com/stand-by-amorgos-cats/

Below are some of the beautiful Amorgosian cats that have been helped along the way...there are many more, too many. Please help! 

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.

Ιban number: GR95 0171 3610 0063 6101 0072 331
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. 

Ermis and Dias

Good news! Two kittens who were left alone in a chicken coop after their mother was poisoned have now been adopted.

Ntartanian and Athos were brought to our Center where they received health restoring treatments, and now they have been adopted and given new names, Ermis and Dias.

The secretary of the Filozoiki Merimna of Amorgos, Anna Maria M., brought the kittens home. Her daughter Melina fell in love with the small brother and sister duo and is now busy sewing clothes for them.

She sleeps with them and cares for them as if they were small babies, which means that these sweet kittens who began life in tragedy have found love and joy in a safe and caring home.

We wish Ermis and Dias and Melina and Anna Maria a long and happy life together. And we are thankful for one more happy ending to our work at the Center.


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.