The problem of stray dogs is getting worse

Stray dogs, abandoned to their fate, create a serious problem for residents and visitors of one of the districts of Thessaloniki.

Animals huddled in packs, resulting in aggressive behaviors, and they are chasing people who move vigorously, jogging or cycling, writes

Another case of dog attacks occurred on the evening of Tuesday, July 19, when a pack of dogs attacked a cyclist who was riding along Agatupoleos Street in the residential area 40 Ekklisies (περιοχής των 40 Εκκλησιών στη Θεσσαλονίκη).

The man says: “I was cycling down the street around 11:30 pm and the square was full of people. The dogs lay quietly on the lawn, there were 7 or 8 of them. At some point, one of the dogs chased me, trying to bite my leg. The others followed him, immediately rushing after him. Due to the descent, the bike began to develop too much speed. By pure chance, I didn’t lose control. In addition, fortunately, a little lower, at the end of the street, I met two women who helped me, gave me water so that I could calm down, because I was in a state of panic.

But it seems that this is not an isolated case. “The residents who came to my aid said that this happens all the time. According to them, the tenant of the apartment building in which I took refuge from the dogs was “chased” ten meters down the street by angry animals and, fortunately, he escaped with only bruises and scratches.

In a similar incident on the same street four years ago, another man had to be hospitalized in AHEPA after being attacked by stray dogs. The woman who came to help me said that although her child had grown up, she was afraid to send him to school alone for this very reason.” The cyclist turned to the municipality of Thessaloniki after the incident with a request to “solve the problem that exists in the area.”

In September 2021, there were systematic criminal offenses against stray dogs in the 40 Churches area, and many animal lovers rightly expressed their outrage. In accordance with animal protection law, killing a specimen is a criminal offense punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to 50,000 euros, depending on the incident.

It is possible that the stray dogs that exist in the area have been abandoned for many years by their former owners, but the care and effectiveness of the state seems to be insufficient. For several municipalities of Thessaloniki, the problem of the homeless remains a complex and difficult to solve puzzle. Even the New Framework for Pet Welfare – ARGOS, which was passed by Parliament a few months ago, does not appear to provide significant solutions to the problem, according to local government officials. The opportunity given to municipalities to create shelters for the homeless at the expense of the Ministry of Health does not imply how they will then be maintained and how their operating costs will be covered. There are also no clear answers on how such a shelter will be staffed if it is created by the municipality.

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