Categories: volunteers

Animal shelters in poorer European countries are suffering because of coronavirus pandemic

Lucy Watson has a fundraiser for a Greek animal rescue. Photo: Instagram.

NEWS/OPINION: It is reported ( that animal rescues in the less well developed European countries in terms of animal welfare are suffering because of the coronavirus outbreak. Countries such as Romania and Greece are not wonderful bastions of animal welfare anyway. Romania has a bad record on animal welfare and should not be in the EU for that reason alone in my view.

It is reported that animal rescues in EU countries where there is poorer animal welfare are run by volunteers. Volunteers are harder to come by during this crisis. It is harder for them to travel and their first priority is themselves. Animal rescuers are concerned that cats and dogs at shelters are being left with food.

Alison Standbridge, the founder of Paws2Rescue, of which Ricky Gervais is a patron, said that the situation is critical in Romania. They are appealing on Facebook for donations.

She said:

We have several tons of food held in reserve at manufacturers in Romania, please help us to buy some of this because we desperately want to send food out in the next couple of days to rescuers across the country. This really will be a horrific time for the dogs when the shops are stocking essentials only – and that does not include dog food.

In Greece, it is pretty dire as well. It is reported that Animal Rescue Kefalonia (ARK) is in crisis because of a lack of volunteers and donations. The reason: rescue animals are a low priority at present as Greeks are struggling. Apparently some are discarding companion animals. Also flight and holiday cancellations are affecting the number of volunteers at the rescue. It seems that people from abroad usually spend time at the rescue to assist.

They have 350 animals at the shelter. A big and ever present responsibility. They have a fund raising page online. Please try and help.

Comment: this is a problem with the coronavirus pandemic. People are pulling together for themselves but prioritising themselves. Companion animals at shelters can take a back seat. Although there are also reports of more adoptions from shelters to keep people occupied in lockdown at home. However, the underlying motivation for the increased adoptions is essentially a selfish one, isn’t it?

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Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 71-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in a many jobs including professional photography. I have a girlfriend, Michelle. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare.

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