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Home Living In Crete Crete_Pets_Animal_Welfare and Pets Corner Poisoning cats at the end of the season

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  • #16850
    ganesh
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        The Daily Mail in England has printed an article saying ‘the cat you petted on holiday in Greece will be poisoned by the end of October’. It refers to Rhodes but says it goes on throughout Greece where all Greeks hate cats and usually poison ferals with weedkiller along with shooting and being cruel to dogs as well.Many people have commented on the article mainly agreeing with it,so I wondered what the ex-pats of Crete have to say.
        I must admit being worried as I am soon to retire to Crete and intend to bring my pets with me!

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        #17211
        Ken1
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            Hi ganesh,yes this is true the cats are culled in some areas here if the population gets to large and it is usually done after the tourists go at the end of season.
            Feral cats do tend to breed a lot and you need to remember that some Greeks have a diferent attitude to animals than in the UK.
            Having said that and having lived here two years I have not discovered any cruelty to animals but I did when I was in the UK.
            Many Greek people are lovers of animals and keep pets but some see them as serving a purpose such as guard dogs,hunting dogs etc.Cats are also seen as necessary in keeping down vermin but they breed very quickly and need to be kept in check.
            I have lots of friends here who have pets and as long as you do not let them out on their own they are at little risk.
            Pet cats need to be confined in safe areas as if you let them run wild you are taking a chance as they could pick up poison bait.
            Dogs need to be kept on a lead when out.
            I certainly would not let this put you off retiring here but you do need to take some precautions to keep your pets safe.
            I was in the UK recently for a family visit and in the space of two days heard about two swans shot with crossbows and a dog hanged.
            Cruelty goes on all over the world and here is no different.
                                                                                     Ken.

            #17441
            ganesh
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                :-[Thanks Ken,
                The newspaper,guilty of the usual sensationalism,did however point out the hypocrisy of selling the ‘cute greek kitty’ cards,books and calenders to the tourists and then culling the cats,in a particularly cruel and nasty way poisoning with weedkiller and the like, when the tourists have gone.
                I know that every country has its cruelties but people are mostly accountable here in England by law if they are cruel to animals.I know that the greeks have a different view to pets but surely they would hate it if their cats or dogs were accidentally poisoned.
                It worries me because I don’t see how you can keep your cats ‘inside’. They are outdoor animals and unless you keep the windows and doors shut (a bit impractical in Crete!) they will roam around. We are going to be living in the countryside but will this make any difference?

                #17606
                Agatha
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                    Hi Ganesh, I really don’t think you have to worry about bringing your pets with you when you retire here as long as you take care not to let them out on their own as Ken1 has said. I’ve lived here in Crete for 22 years and lived in a small village for 10 years. Attitudes towards having animals for pets are different in villages than in the towns . There has been a big improvement in the towns but I’m afraid culling still goes on in the villages, more with cats than with dogs. Over the years I’ve seen enormous differences in attitudes towards animals and many more Greeks/Cretans love and take care of their animals. I have also learnt that the people here learn better by example than to be told so you would in fact be helping the locals to change their attitudes by doing what you do naturally ie: loving and caring for your pets. Hope this helps to reassure you. :)

                    #17720
                    ganesh
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                        Thanks Agatha, I think our posts may have crossed.
                        I am hoping that attitudes have changed but as I said,I don’t see how you can keep your cats in,nor would I want to because I think cats should be free.
                        My dog would also eat anything and think about it later but at least she could be kept on a lead outside of the garden.

                        #17803
                        Agatha
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                            Yes I agree that it’s not really possible to keep cats in and unfortunately the environment is as it is here, :) you take your chances. I did lose one of my cats to poison when I lived in the village but I had to accept the way things were there. Many people in that village also didn’t like the culling. It was done by the minority. Changes in attitudes of people always takes time and unfortunately sacrifices along the way but when you see the differences as I have in some strange way it feels good. One drop raises the sea

                            #17869
                            latsida
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                                have lived here for many years and have never seen any evidence of culling.I thought the article was poorly researched and smacked of sensationalism.
                                Latsida has a large cat population and one of my cretan neighbours has a house cat and also feeds about 12 ferals near his home.
                                one of the feral cats here,Marcus, is about 15 years old and is fed at the local taverna.
                                Obviously there are problems in tourist areas when all the tavernas close in the winter but the local charities and other kind people feed the cats and most of them survive the winter.
                                many returning seasonal workers leave animals that they have taken in during the summer.
                                these cats are now used to a regular diet and home comforts and cannot always adapt back to hunting for food and surviving the winter.
                                I do know however of a couple of dogs here who were poisoned,they were not strays but pets so it is best to keep a muzzle on the dogs when you take them out.

                                #17921
                                ganesh
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                                    Thanks Latsida,
                                    I was encouraged and feeling better about it all,but then you ruined it by your last sentence!I hate the thought of muzzled dogs!
                                    I thought the bit in the article about a cat falling in front of her was a bit of a coincidence and clearly made up.It also made out that all greeks hate cats and poison them which from these posts would suggest otherwise. Of course its sensationalised-its a british newspaper!

                                    #17966
                                    Ros21
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                                        Although not yet resident in Crete, I do have a house here in a traditional agricultural village. Whenever I’m in the village I’m "adopted" by various cats. Some of these are my neighbours cats & others are semi-homeless, villagers do put out food for them & none are thin & scrawny.
                                        However, at the end of June this year several cats & dogs died of poisoning. At least 3 of the dogs were either pets or working dogs, one was a Creten friends 10 week old puppy. I have also lost 3 of my adopted cats in the last 12 months, one definately was a victim of the June poisoning, the other two I don’t know, either poisoning or traffic accidents, both were less than 3 years old, and both were neighbours cats.

                                        I don’t think that in these particular cases that the intention is to cull any strays, it’s people putting the poison down on their land to kill vermin.
                                        Unfortunately you can’t tell a cat or dog where to wander.

                                        Ros.

                                        #18004
                                        latsida
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                                            Not my intention to upset anyone.
                                            I also do not think the poisoning was deliberate but baited meat had been put down around the local olive factory to get rid of the rats and the dogs ate it.
                                            there is an antidote that can be bought from the vets but the reaction to the poison is swift and you would need to be on hand with it very quickly.
                                            wearing of a muzzle when off the lead would have prevented the animals deaths and all the heartache that followed.

                                            #18038
                                            Anonymous
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                                                1C332234373125676F560 wrote: I don’t see how you can keep your cats in,nor would I want to because I think cats should be free.

                                                If you don’t keep your cats indoors, or at least confined to your land, you will allways risk them eating poisoned food. Unfortunately, rats are endemic in Crete and putting down poison for them is the universal low cost solution.

                                                1C332234373125676F560 wrote:
                                                My dog would also eat anything and think about it later but at least she could be kept on a lead outside of the garden.

                                                As you are still in the UK, now is the time to train your dog not to take food from anyone other than yourself and not to eat anything not in its feeding bowl. This is not difficult to do and used to be (and probably still is) a standard part of the training for police and guard dogs.

                                                John

                                                #18067
                                                ganesh
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                                                    I can but try Ric,but she is a retriever!( lol)
                                                    Surely,Ros,if your cretan friends have lost their pets to this practice you would think that they would do their best to stop others from doing it.And surely it would be better to keep cats to help control the rat population. My cats are good at catching rodents here!And would well fed cats actually eat the bait anyway?-mine can tell if there is a tablet hidden in the middle of their grub.
                                                    If most dogs out there are used for hunting and guarding and not pets,then cretans wouldn’t risk losing them to rat poison,they would be valuable to them alive.
                                                    Are the animal welfare groups in Crete doing anything about it?

                                                    #18093
                                                    Ros21
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                                                        Unfortunately the village is surrounded by agricultural land, this is where the poison is put down for the vermin.
                                                        The Cretan’s generally have a different outlook towards animals than we softie Brits do. Their animals may be pets/working animals but they are mainly fed on human leftovers & not neccessarily pet food. Very often they are not allowed indoors, almost certainly not overnight.
                                                        Although the cats in my village are not starving, they are all quite lean & slender & I’ve seen them leave my house after having been fed & then catch a bird or lizard or mouse etc.
                                                        There are are animal welfare charities in Crete but they seem to be mainly run by expats & therefore have very little clout.

                                                        Sorry but this is the way it is. I’m a really big animal, particulalarly cats lover, and I’ll still be bringing my own cat with me when I finally move. I’ll just have to keep my fingers crossed that she’ll be ok. Fortunately, unlike the village cats, she is neutered & doesn’t stray from her own garden in the UK.

                                                        Ros.

                                                        #18114
                                                        moggy1923
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                                                            I have seen a home in Norfolk, where they were close to the road, so they built runs for their cats. They used wired netting, so the cats could see out. the cats were able to travel up and down the garden, through the 2 runs, into the garden shed/garage as well as their house.
                                                            It is sad to see so many wild cats in the winter months at a coastal tourist area without food or very little.

                                                            in the UK I know whole areas, where cats have vanished. A friend of mine lost first one, then the 2nd cat. the whole area had signs for missing cats, so it happens all over.
                                                            Hope you are lucky with your animals.
                                                            best wishes

                                                            #18130
                                                            ganesh
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                                                                I’m sure cats are run over and occasionally poisoned accidentally by rat poison or something in Norfolk but it isn’t deliberate mass culling in Greece as the newspaper implies . In England there are also extreme cases of aniaml cruelty and neglect but at least people are accountable and it is against the law and there have been prosecutions.The english usually take unwanted pets to cats and dogs homes and RSPCA places rather than killing them in a particularly nasty way.
                                                                There are animal welfare groups in Crete and it would be good to hear that they were actually trying to stop it happening legally,rather than saying,’well that’s the way things are here’ and trying to re-home a few.
                                                                It has become an issue here in England over the last few days and they are actually trying to lobby the goverments involved and asking holiday-makers to boycott Greece. It may become an issue they cannot afford to ignore!
                                                                I love Crete but I love my cats too and I hope things do change as I know it is possible.

                                                                #18145
                                                                LGiddings2
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                                                                    Hi Ganesh

                                                                    I lived in a NE holiday area for 3 years and although I now live in a rural area I continue to work in the same tourist village.
                                                                    Believe me, it is not sensationalism; every year it is the same; literally one day there are lots of cats everywhere and the next day there are none; save a few wily old timers.

                                                                    It is illegal and many Greeks are angry about it but poisoning does happen.
                                                                    We lost our own dog due to poisoning; she ate something by our car as we were going out for a drive. We later learnt that 2 other pet dogs died the same day and the stray population once again disappeared. We gave her the antidote and got her to a vet asap but to not avail. It is not a pretty death.
                                                                    I have 3 cats; all ex-strays and have had them from kittens – I love them dearly but allow them to come and go from the house.
                                                                    I do not believe you can keep cats in or that it is fair to make ‘runs’ (however large) for them. They are not rabbits or guinea pigs who as prey animals will accept captivity. They are mini predators after all and need freedom. So, as another forum member said; you must take your chances.

                                                                    I would say that mass culls seems to be a problem in the tourist areas although my English neighbour lost her dog a couple of months ago here in our rural village – probably due to rat poison put down for agricultural reasons.

                                                                    I always walk my dog on a lead and our garden is secure so he cannot wander. I NEVER let him within 5 metres of the bins; I practically walk in the centre of the road.

                                                                    Regards
                                                                    LGiddings 

                                                                    p.s The beautiful pup in my avatar picture was my bonny girl who was poisoned. :'(

                                                                    #18159
                                                                    ganesh
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                                                                        Thanks,
                                                                        I’m so sorry for your loss,she looks cute.I didn’t know it was actually illegal and I’m glad it is.Maybe a few prosecutions would stop the practice.There must be greeks,the ones who hate it,who know the people who are doing it.
                                                                        Can you buy this antidote to keep in your house in case?
                                                                        I am very saddened by your post.The newspaper here in England is asking everyone to boycott greek holidays until something is done about it so maybe the government cannot afford to ignore the situation. :'(

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