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News Archive - 2006 / 2007 / 2008 / 2009 / 2010 / 2011 / 2012 / 2013

November 2008 - Ark Shop Open Day

Below are a couple of pictures from the successful Open Day at the Ark Shop. Please come along again and join us for Christmas Raffle which takes place on December 19th.

November 2008 - Christmas Cards

Once again we have received lots of packs of Christmas cards from Thea and Brad in England. All proceeds from the cards will go towards the animals. There are 10 cards and envelopes in each pack which costs 4 euros. They are on sale at the Ark Shop and English Imports, or you can order by phoning 6979798202. In Holland they are for sale at the AAI Foundation website but we still have to find a way to ship them to Holland. If are travelling to Holland and can help, please call 6979798202. (Someone will be at Schiphol to collect the cards.)

November 2008 - Ark Shop Open Day

On Friday 28 November the Ark Shop has an "Open Day" to celebrate two years with the new shop/team. You'll find lots of bargains and can also purchase tickets for the Christmas Raffle which will take place on December 19th. (Lots of very nice prizes have been donated by local shops and businesses.) The shop will be open from 10 am so please come along and help the Corfu's strays.

November 2008 - Car Boot Sale

With help of some volunteers we again put up our "Ark Stand" at La Veranda. As well as selling various articles we were able to show how we try to help animals on Corfu. Two puppies we had brought along and Albert, a sweet Jack Russell, got plenty of attention. Let's hope they will find good, caring families to adopt them. You can always contact us if you are looking for a nice pet. But bear in mind that a dog is for a lifetime "not just for Christmas". Once again, thanks to Margarita, Panayiotis, Willy, Conny, Steven and of course to Ellen, for helping us.

November 2008 - Stray Appeal

Deputy Agricultural Development Minister Costas Kiltidis has sent a circular to local and regional authorities across the country, reminding them that it is their duty to collect, neuter and tag stray dogs and cats. Many local authorities do not fulfill their obligations to avert the uncontrolled breeding of stray animals, the circular said.

November 2008 - Car Boot Sale

On Saturday 22 November there will be a car boot sale at La Veranda, Dassia (almost opposite the second Chandris hotel). We will be there with articles for sale and a presentation of the work of the Ark. Special Ark Christmas cards will be on sale as well as tickets for the Ark shop raffle. There will also be some small dogs to show that there are many lovely dogs looking for nice families. The sale starts at 10.00 in the morning and will close around 13.00 depending on the flow of visitors. Please come along and support us.

October 2008 - Thank You Mars Hellas

We have received a whole pallet full of dry dog and cat food. Now that the tourists are gone and winter soon will start, lots of animals will have a difficult time. Together with our volunteers we try to help some of those animals. We are very grateful for the support of Mars Hellas. This high quality food will be a special treat for our animals. With so many animals looking for food, we need a lot so thank you for helping us again.

October 2008 - World Animal Day successfully celebrated

Due to the great location of the shop which we were able to use a for a few days for World Animal Day, we attracted a lot of attention. Our combined efforts transformed the small shop into a bazaar full of interesting articles for sale for at bargain prices. Information about the Ark was displayed on big boards. Although there was some rain from time to time, lots of people came to see us and we had an opportunity to tell them about our aims and about the efforts we make to provide a better life for the animals on the island. All the money we raised - including donations - will be going towards the care of animals in Corfu. Thank you all.

October 2008 - World Animal Day

Saturday 4 October is World Animal Day. This year we have permission from the mayor of Corfu Town to use a shop in the main street. It is located behind the Municipal Theatre, almost opposite Marks & Spencers. We will focus on the goals of the Ark, with a special focus on Sterilisation. We also have a special theme "Attach yourself to your dog" - too many dogs are found which might have an owner looking for it and most of these dogs have neither chips, (despite there being a law) nor any identification. We'll be promoting both chipping the dog and also having visible identification - writing a phone number on the collar, attaching a tag, etc. A bazaar will be organised in the shop, with goods from our charity shop and some special goods for this occasion. There will be a raffle, cakes and surprises, so come and see us and help us celebrate World Animal Day. All proceeds will go towards the animals on the island. The shop will officially be open on Saturday from 10.00 till at least 15.00. If possible we might also be open on Friday afternoon.

August 2008 - Hunters Turned Gamekeepers
by Thrasy Petropoulos. Athens News, 22/08/2008

Hunting associations may soon be eligible to apply for European Union grants for environmental protection programmes.

Provoking a volley of criticism from environmental group representatives, who claim that many of Greece's 230,000 registered hunters are causing immeasurable damage to the country's bird and animal life, Deputy Agriculture Minister Costas Kiltidis recently left open the possibility of such funds being tapped by hunters during the presentation of legislation stipulating the dates of the new hunting season.

Nicholas Papadodimas, the president of the Hunters' Confederation of Greece, confirmed that the association - along with many of the 250 local hunting groups - would most likely seek permission to apply for the funds in compensation for the money spent yearly to "improve and protect the environment".

"Hunting groups are spending as much as 15 million euros a year on projects that support the environment, including around 8m euros on game wardens," Papadodimas told the Athens News. "Since 2001, there have been some 600,000 inspections by game wardens - an unheard-of number for Greece - from which there have been around 12,000 instances of legal action relating to people breaking hunting laws."

He added that the confederation has proposed a project to introduce small dams on rivers to help preserve water level tables in certain areas.

The agriculture ministry scrutinises all the hunting groups' accounts on a yearly basis. "This has prompted the understanding [by the ministry] that these organisations are entitled to financial support from environmental funds," he said.

Environmental groups have said that the idea of hunters benefiting from funds earmarked to protect many of the animals they kill is absurd.

"The [deputy] minister should remember that there are 424 registered bird species that live in or pass through Greece. Hunters are allowed to shoot around 28 of these," said Costas Papaconstantinou, of the Hellenic Ornithological Society. "If they told us that they were spending the money they raise through the granting of licences on environmental causes, great. But how they can justify seeking environmental funds is beyond me. It is not right."

The start of the hunting season (this year August 20) is, typically, the cue for environmentalists to lament the lax policing of one of Greece's most popular pastimes and for hunters to deny charges of the widespread breaking of hunting laws.

As Papaconstantinou put it: "A few tens of thousands [of hunters] are serious and attend forums to discuss environmental issues, but the majority have no proper hunting knowledge. They hunt at night, they exceed the legal quota of animals, they hunt in prohibited areas and - most damaging of all - they kill species they are not allowed to kill."

Others, such as lawyer Angelos Angeletos, are even more active, repeatedly challenging the agriculture ministry's yearly legislation outlining the duration of the season and hunting quotas through appeals to the Council of State, the country's highest administrative court.

"There are no studies showing accurate bird populations in Greece, and [the hunting groups] don't invite environmental organisations they do not like to discussions, both of which are requirements of EU and national law," he says. "In addition to this, hunting goes on the whole year round. It does not stop."

As Angeletos explains, the Council of State typically reacts to such an appeal by ordering the hunting season to be suspended until a court hearing, whereupon the agriculture ministry tweaks the legislation and republishes it, meaning that a new appeal is necessary. In effect, the season continues uninterrupted.

"These laws are cooked up in Kiltidis' offices in collaboration with the hunting confederation," says Angeletos. "Because of the numbers of people involved, there are huge voting implications, as well as the interests of gun and weapons manufacturers. I will appeal again this year, as well as sue Kiltidis personally for breach of duty."

Papadodimas, of the hunting confederation, bridles at these accusations, insisting that the hunting season dates are observed and that hunting groups pay for the monitoring of bird populations to provide accurate bird populations.

"We have the largest monitoring system of migratory birds in Europe," he said. "This includes monitoring by scientists and bird experts in 25 wetlands, over 11 months of the year, which we pay for. The European Union has accepted the validity of our findings. We are also encouraging hunting groups to offer local training to raise awareness of environment issues."

This, however, does not stop a wealth of animals and birds, which are supposed to be off-limits, from being shot or trapped.

In October last year, game wardens found 32 Corncrake Crex crex, a globally-threatened species, that had been killed by poachers using illegal equipment on the Aegean island of Lesvos.

Charges were pressed against three poachers by the local forestry service, and their licences and guns were confiscated.

Marios Fournaris, of the Aegean wildlife hospital on Paros, deals with the fallout of much illegal hunting.

"The big problem is that the hunting season in Greece is the longest in Europe," he said. "It coincides not only with the summer migration of birds, but also the spring migration. During this time, they hunt anything and everything, and at all times of day. If hunters respected Greek legislation, the damage would be slight. However, at the hospital we see just about every species of bird resident in Greece shot. We see everything."

The hunting season runs to February 28, with an extension until March 10 for the hunting of hare.

August 2008 - Lost Dog

Jenny Has been missing her Great Dane since 8th August. If you can help reunite Jenny and her dog please call her on 6937996732 or contact The Ark.

August 2008 - Dog Found

Does anyone recognise this little dog? We are looking for the owner of this small poodle. As is often the case the dog has no microchip and no telephone number on its collar. As the dog was full of fleas and ticks, and with hair matted (see photo) we went to the groomer and the dog now looks completely different. For further information call 26610 32111.

August 2008 - From The Sunday Times

The only time that Mark Birley, that quintessentially reserved Englishman and ruler of the nightclub Annabel’s, sent me a love letter, it began: “Darling Belinda, I know I only saw you last night, and will see you again in a few days, but there is something I wanted to put in writing. I want to tell you how much I love and admire you” (here, I caught my breath) “for rescuing that divine dog.”

The rest of the letter was not about me at all. It was all about Goofy, the mixture of spaniel and scamp with the wonderful, intelligent eyes that I had brought home, after nightmarish battles with official-dom, from the Greek island of Paxos.

From the moment he scrambled over a Greek wall into my arms, in flight from the very short chain on which he had been imprisoned, my fate had been sealed. “That is Goofy,” said my Greek friend Spiro. “Belinda, that is a great dog; he spent part of the winter with me.”

That night I had to drive to town. To my astonishment, Goofy leapt onto the back seat of the car. Thrusting head and both front paws out of the rear window, he positioned himself like the figurehead on the prow of our ship, showing off to the world.

The night continued and still Goofy didn’t seem keen to go home. Eventually, he was deposited by a girlfriend on the path beside his owners’ house. “What a terribly nice dog,” I said. “Stop it,” she said. When I awoke next morning there was Goofy. He had spent all night on my doorstep.

Over the next few days Goofy followed me through the olive groves, running in delighted circles around me. Whenever I returned him to his owners, he’d make amazing escapes to find me. Details of Goofy’s life began to emerge. In the Paxos winters, people have plenty of time for family and other animals. In the summer, they are working in the tavernas, the cafes or tourist businesses until the early hours, before rising at dawn to do the whole thing all over again. Goofy’s owners worked day and night, so the dog was left chained for interminable periods at home. His coat was good; he was fed; but whenever possible he escaped. Click here to read the rest of the story.

August 2008 - Lost Collie

What has happened to this Collie? Her owner is very sad and missing her very much. Early on the morning of Monday 25 July she let the dog out the house, which is situated on a busy street near Tria Gefaria, close to the airport. Since then it has been missing. We are hopeful that someone may have seen this dog. If you can help please contact 26610 32111.

July 2008 - Dog Found (2)

This little dog was found with completely matted hair, full of ticks and fleas. After a grooming session it now looks rather naked! However, we are sure that its owner, or somebody who knows it, will still recognise it. For further information call 26610 80308 or 6979798202. 

July 2008 - Dog Found (1)

This adult dog was hit by a car. A Greek woman brought him to the vet who fixed it with a few stitches and then called us as he did not want to put the dog back on the street. We then found out that there still was a major problem with his leg. It was operated on and he is now recuperating. If anyone knows the owner of this dog please call us on 26610 80308 or 6979798202.  

July 2008

July 2008 - Closure of Corfu Donkey Sanctuary

Julie Quinn who runs the Corfu Donkey Sanctuary has contacted us to say:

"On 7th July, the Mayor of Paleokastritsa informed us that the Corfu Donkey Rescue is going to be ‘sealed’ within 20 days and 40 donkeys are going to be thrown out. It is the job of the local authorities to collect abandoned donkeys but they never did their job. CDR has been doing it for 5 years with no help or backing from government. Now the shelter is threatened with closure. We are within months of securing land purchase but this takes time as we need to get licenses and planning permission and then fence and build stables. All of you, who know Corfu, know this takes forever! The authorities say they cannot give us any time. They are receiving so much pressure from only one neighbour who refuses to be patient. The authorities totally under estimate the popularity of the work done by the shelter volunteers. They under estimate the popularity of it for the tourists and even the Greek people themselves. We are known all over Greece and world wide. So rare is it to have a donkey shelter in Greece they cannot even categorize us. We believe that common sense will prevail and all we ask for is more time to prepare a new place for the donkeys."

To help the cause you can sign an online petition. It would also help if you could send very polite emails to the addresses below. Just a sentence to show your support of the work done at the shelter and ask them to give us the necessary time.

Mr Stefanos Poulimenos (Nomarchos of Corfu) grafeionomarxi@kerkyra.gr
Paleokastritsa Municipality (the shelter's in this region) paleomun@otenet.gr

Judy can be contacted directly by phone ((+30) 6947375992) or by email.

July 2008 - Lost Dog

We recently received this email from Antonis. He wrote:

"I lost Milou (below), a nine year old female dog. She is desexed and very friendly. She left home because she didn't liked tha fact that I left her alone while I was going to work. We are staying in Viros. Milou is a very smart dog and she knows how to walk on the street, she grew up in Athens. I lost her last December but I still hope that she is somewere out there. Have you seen her? She is white with gold spots on her back and ears. Thin and very sexy! Boys love her. Me too."

If you can help reunite Antonis and Milou please call us on 26610 80308 or email Antonis.

July 2008 - Ark Summer Party

The Ark will be holding its Summer Party at the Corfu Chandris Hotel in the evening of Friday 18 July. There will be a full buffet dinner, wine and soft drinks. Tickets cost 25 euros and can be reserved by phoning 26610 32111 (Greek) or 26610 43278. (You can also pay on the dooor but in order to guage the numbers it would be preferable if you book in advance.) There will be displays and information about The Ark's work in Corfu and it is hoped that a lot of people will come to this event and support the strays of the island. 

June 2008 - Markos, The Corfu Airport Dog

Markos, a big black and white male, has adopted Corfu airport as his home. The people working at the airport, especially the cleaners, have adopted him as well and take care of him. (A really good example that there are Greeks who care about dogs.) We had a phone call one morning from one of the airport employees. She was worried about him as a taxi had hit him the evening before and she thought he might have a broken leg. A lot of tourists who saw it happen were worried as well and angry that nobody had taken any action. When we went to see him he was lying in his favorite spot at the entrance of the departure hall where it is nice and cool. We put a collar and lead on him and got him to walk. He looked OK, but had some marks on his left back leg. Just be sure we took him to the vet, where an examination found that there was no damage. Lucky Markos. We put a Scalibor collar around his neck to protect him from ticks and leishmanisis and took him back "home". He was welcomed by the airport workers who had heard that Markos had been to the vet. Once again, all's well that ends well and the airport's mascot is back where he likes to be. Any tourists who visit Corfu and see Markos at the airport can be reassured that he is being taken care of.

June 2008 - Missing Dog

This ten year old "pekinese" mix has been missing since the beginning of June. Its family is hoping very much that it will be found and returned to them. If you might have seen him or have any information please phone 6979798202.

May 2008 - Super Spring Garden Fayre for The Ark.

A sunny day, a lovely garden and a lot of work by John and Christoper were the basics for this succesful event. There were several tables where supporters were selling all kind of articles with all the proceeds going to The Ark. Amongst others there was bric-a-brac, lots of books, clothes, fresh fruit and vegetables, home made cakes, biscuits and jam, paintings, and dog and cat articles. There was also an information stand about The Ark's activities and different dogs and puppies looking for a home. We even managed to find a temporary home for a dog which had appeared the previous day at the home of one of the Ark's supporters. Thanks to everyone's efforts this event made nearly 1000 euros. As John said, this was the first time but lets make it a yearly event even if it means getting a bigger garden!

May 2008 - Missing Dog

This large puppy has been missing from his home in the Benitses area for nearly a week. It has a collar as well as a flea collar. It is very friendly, so if you see it please try to catch it until we can come to get it. You can call us on 69797989202.

May 2008 - Boubou Reunited with Owner

Vasilis contacted us to say that he had found this Pekinese wandering in the street. We took the dog and as always went to a vet to check if the dog had a chip so that we could find the owner but there was no chip and no telephone number on its collar. So we took her with us and put an announcement and photo on our website. Just as we were preparing some flyers to spread around, the vet phoned to say that someone had come in with a poster of her lost Pekinese. It was the same dog and the owner quickly came to fetch her Boubou, a five year old dog which never had never been out alone before.Her owner Aristea will now have her dog chipped - as we told her, it doesn't hurt - and will also put a telephone number on its collar. A lesson learned. She was so happy to have Boubou back and is grateful that Vasilis saved her dog from the risks of being in the street that she has become a member of the Ark to support us. Thankfully Boubou's adventure was a short one with a happy ending.

Update: A little later we received this e-mail.

Dear Ark Members,

Thank you all for finding and taking care of our little Pekinese. "Boubou" is my grandmother’s dog and when we lost her we were afraid for both of them (grandma and our puppy). My mother has already become a member of Ark. Please keep up your valuable work.

Thank you again, Victoria Colsuzian.

May 2008 - A Dramatic Rescue

After spending several days and nights high up in a huge olive tree, a little cat called Sophie was finally rescued. She had just arrived here to spend a few days, when she got frightened and ran up the tree. At first we thought she would come back down when she was ready but after a few days nothing had happened and she just stayed there crying for help. We tried all kind of "tricks" to lure her down, including a kind of wooden slope built by a creative man, a hose pipe and lots of water, food hanging just below her, you name it - but Sophie didn't move.

So we decided to call the fire brigade. The man on the other end of the phone said, "Don't worry, she climbed up there so she will climb back down." Even when told that she had already been up there for days he was not impressed. Then we really got desperate, trying to find a long enough ladder to get her down by ourselves. Finally we tried the local fire brigade in Argirades. They immediately came and in no time Sophie was out of her "tree house". When we all thanked them for their help and kindness - even though it was "just a cat" - they replied, "That's what we are here for".

In the photos you can see a small white dot high up in the tree - that is Sophie - and the fireman who climbed up the ladder and managed to grab her by the neck and bring her down, handing her over to her owner Charlie.

This little cat has caused us a history of "trouble". She was found as a very small kitten, fed by bottle, plagued with skin and stomach problems, and was neutered. She had finally grown up to be a beautiful cat and then this! But all's well that ends well and Sophie is reunited with Charlie thanks to the wonderful firemen of Argirades.

April 2008 - Spring Garden Fayre

On May 24 at 2 pm, a Spring Garden Fayre will take place at "Dolce Vita", Poulades (about two kilometres after passing Diellas car park). There will be stalls selling books, clothes, artwork, bric-a-brac, cakes, plants, pet goods, a lucky dip and many, many more bargains. The entrance fee of 2 euros (1 euro for children) includes refreshments. All proceeds will go to The Ark so come and join us for a fun afternoon. The Ark will be there with a special stand with information and photos and letters of the animals we have helped. If you would like to help or want more information you can email us or phone 26610 80129.

March 2008 - Help from The 3rd Corfu Scout Troop

It was a nice surprise to receive a phone call saying that the 3rd Corfu Scout Troop had raised money by selling cards with pictures of animals and wanted to donate it to an animal welfare group. They wanted to see some of the strays so we invited them to come over. They were a very pleasant group of young people and were interested in animal matters. They played with the dogs and cats and learnt more about the work of the Ark. They have offered to help us again. We need the support of young people like these - after all they are the future. Many thanks for the donation which, among other things, meant that some of the dogs could get all the necessary vaccinations. But thanks also for showing such interest in our work. Thank you Maria, Elena, Magda, Stathis, Georgos and Orestis.

March 2008 - The Ark AGM

The Annual General Meeting of The Ark will take place on Wednesday 19 March 2008 at 19.30 pm at the Holy Trinity Anglican Church in Corfu Town. In the event that a quorum is not reached on the 19th then the meeting will be reconvened on the 26th March - same time, same place. All existing and prospective members of the Ark are encouraged to attend. An invitation has been sent to all members. If for some reason you have not received one then please regard this announcement as your invitation.

March 2008 - Dog Hanging in Kos

On the island of Kos, in the village of Kardamena, animal welfare workers discovered the brutal hanging of nine hunting dogs over a short period of time. The way they had been hung meant it must have taken a long time before the poor dogs were finally dead. The full story is here on the YouTube website. We hope that a lot of people will watch the video and also leave a comment there so the authorities will understand that "the world is watching" and hopefully they will seriously investigate this case.

March 2008 - Food Supply

At the end of January we received this consignment of dog food from Georgina in England - once again delivered for free by Mondial Transport. At the end of February she sent us bags of cat food and Donna - another friend of The Ark - kindly donated another four big bags of dog food. Thank you Georgina, Donna and Mondial for all your support to help our strays through winter.

February 2008 - Thank You for all the Parcels

From time to time we receive parcels with articles for our stray dogs and cats. Things such as medicine, toys, fleece blankets, collars etc. They arrive by post - most often from the UK. We always like to thank these kind people, but often there is no mention of the sender. So this announcement is by way of thanking all you anonymous supporters for your help and kind gestures. It is nice to know that others also care about our Corfu strays.

February 2008 - Ark Shop - Come and Pay a Visit

The Ark Shop and is run by volunteers who among other things design eye-catching window displays like the one below. There is currently a "bargain rail", so do pop in the next time you are in town. All articles in the shop, new or good second hand, have been donated to us and all proceeds go towards helping the strays on the island by providing sterilisation, medical care, medicine etc. Thanks to the efforts of the volunteers - and of course our customers - the shop helps pay these expenses. The Ark Shop can be found at Ag. Dimitiou 11 in Corfu Town. (Go to the end the street between Hondos Centre and the Mouzakitis Jewellers and then turn left. Alternatively you can go past the Serano cake shop and keep going up to the right.) The shop is open from Tuesday till Friday from 10.00 am until 1.00 pm.)

February 2008 - Toys from Amsterdam

Having once been to Corfu, Vanessa (who owns Pet Shop de Kanari in Amsterdam) became a loyal supporter of The Ark and the Corfu strays. On a recent trip to Holland we were given a whole variety of dogs' toys as well as some nice "pigs ears" and other snacks to surprise some of the fostered strays. A pity, that travelling by air, we were so limited with what we could carry without being charged for excess baggage! Thank you Vanessa, and a big hug for your dog Mythos.

January 2008 - Puppy found

This lovely puppy was found all on her own. She is in good condition, has a collar on as well as a flea collar, so we assume she was not just dumped and that her owner is looking for her. Please contact 26610 75106 if you know more about this little dog.